Luxury Cars Dipping Below $50,000

Many companies vying for same demographic; pricing drop hurts middle-range cars

For those looking for a luxury car under $50,000, the current economic climate provides the perfect opportunity in the last half-decade. Thanks to a combination of leasing deals and entry-level luxury choices expanding, the many models from manufacturers are starting to dip below the $50,000 mark.

“The battle among luxury auto brands to capture buyers with models under $50,000 is the fiercest it’s ever been,” said Edmunds.com’s Jessica Caldwell. “Look at all the models out there right now in that price range. They are all very good models, so there are more choices for first-time buyers.”

After crunching numbers for CNBC, which found nearly two-thirds of the mass-market luxury models being sold in the United States below the $50,000 mark, it became clear that automakers are battling it out for entry-level luxury supremacy in the market place. Most of the cars went for anywhere between $40,000 to just under $50,000.

According to experts, one of the main reasons is the aggressive leasing offers being make by automakers. “It’s not uncommon to find leases advertised with monthly payments under $500 or even $350,” said Caldwell.

Caldwell says she comprehends the logic behind the leasing practices, but wonders if the automakers are watering down their brand more than they ought to in order to sell the product. “The real concern is that some customers spend $70,000 on a certain model and then they see a lot of other people driving around small cars from the same brand. Then it doesn’t feel so exclusive,” she said.

With so many models vying for attention, the buyers are looking for cars less than even $40,000, there is little surprise the non-luxury sedan market dropped. Essentially the middle-level cars tend to suffer the most as luxury prices dip to previously unheard of levels. “You know, a lot of buyers are thinking, ‘Hey, for a few more bucks I can get a Mercedes or BMW, so why not?'”

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