Luxury automakers eye new goals as changes roll in

January 17, 2013 12:00 AM

Driving a luxury vehicle is about much more than wanting a flashy car while on the roads. In fact, while many owners want special features, innovative technology and comfortable interiors in their rides, they don't necessarily need the vehicle to be overly luxurious on the outside, The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. Instead, these buyers are looking for a unique experience that goes along with buying a new car, and luxury models are battling it out to come out on top when it comes to customer satisfaction.

More competition enters the fold
As redesigns and auto repair continue to improve individual models across the board, many manufacturers are considering entering the competitive world of luxury vehicles. Brands that were once considered to be affordable options for the middle class have transformed themselves into top-tier options, and the line between luxury cars and standard ones is blurring, The Detroit Free Press reports.

Traditional luxury makers like Audi, Mercedes and Lincoln are going above and beyond to create new models with relatively more affordable prices and improved vehicle maintenance in order to compete with new additions like Honda's Acuraline. But regardless of the brand, many of these models are proving to be great vehicles and have prospective owners clamoring for a test drive.

"There's no such thing as a bad luxury car anymore," Steve Cannon, chief executive officer of Mercedes-Benz, told Autoweek. "Our customers have such high expectations, and 'I had a decent service or sales experience' does not cut it in the competitive luxury business ... It is like the Ritz-Carlton or luxury experience where they feel special - that is what we are trying to do."

Younger drivers take the wheel
One way several automakers are striving to stand out from the pack is by customizing the purchase experience for all drivers. This goes beyond offering special financial incentives or providing gifts - they want each driver to feel unique when they begin shopping around, and that includes creating special advertisements targeting once-ignored groups like younger drivers.

Many automakers have revamped their ad campaigns and redesigns to attract this younger group of buyers. Upcoming Super Bowl commercials for luxury models will feature youthful faces like supermodel Kate Upton, comedian Jimmy Fallon and recording star Usher in an effort to reach out to a new demographic.

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