Monday, April 17, 2006

High-End and Ultra High-End Luxury Vehicles

High-End Luxury Vehicles
This category includes many flagship vehicles of luxury brands such as the Lexus LS 460. Currently, all vehicles priced between the range of $60k and $100k are a part of this exclusive club. The vehicles in this segment offer extremely high levels of quality and latest technological developments, as well as degrees of comfort at least equal to those found in Mid-level luxury vehicles.

Vehicles in this category include some of the models from the flagship lines of luxury car brands. Vehicles in this segement include the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7-Series, Audi A8, Jaguar XJ, and Lexus LS. The Volkswagen Phaeton V8 is the only high-end luxury vehicle that is not sold under a luxury nameplate.

This segment is operated under various German, British and Japanese nameplates. It is mainly controlled by Germans (60%), Americans (30%) and Japanese (8%).

Ultra High-End Luxury Vehicles
Currently, all cars in the ultra-luxury segment are priced at approximately $100k or higher.[3] They may or may not be better in quality and refinement than some of the more affordable luxury cars, but due to their high MSP, they guarantee exclusivity and help to get their owners noticed. This segment includes the entire lineup of Rolls Royce, Bentley, Maserati, and Maybach. Many "flagship sedans" from car companies whose average car sells in a lower class are actually in this category. For example, anything more upgraded than the Mercedes-Benz S500, BMW 750, the Porsche Cayenne Turbo, or the Audi A8 can be included in this category. The Volkswagen Phaeton W12 (not V8) and the Toyota Century (only in Japan) are the only ultra luxury vehicles not manufactured by a luxury car manufacturer. Most of the vehicles in this category offer 12-cylinder engines, though some such as Maserati offer only V8s.

This category is operated mostly by European nameplates and controlled mainly by Germans (70%), Americans (10%) and Italians (15%). Some critics have speculated that Asian manufacturers do not have any presence because they fear no one will accept their products in this category.

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