Filed under: Luxury Cars & Autos
After all, when a loaded Chrysler Town and Country or Honda Odyssey minivan crests $40K, can we really use that pricing standard? A luxury minivan?
Then, there is the discussion about brands. BMW is a luxury brand. Volkswagen and Hyundai aren't. Right? Not so fast. A Volkswagen Touareg SUV starts at $44,000 and climbs North with options to above $60K for the Hybrid version. Hyundai's new Equus sedan starts at $58,000.
Here are five brands seeking credibility with luxury car buyers and the products they are reaching with:
Chrysler: As Italian automaker Fiat restructures the Chrysler brands it has acquired after the U.S. automaker went through bankruptcy in 2009, it is hoping to position Chrysler as a kind of "value luxury brand." The Chrysler 300 sedan is the linchpin in the effort. While the base model starts below $28,000, the two other trim levels, Limited and 300C, easily reach between $44K and $48K when the technology, safety and luxury option packages are checked. "The 300 is for the successful person who doesn't forget whey they came from," is the way Chrysler brand CEO Olivier Francois puts it.
The new 300 is the second generation design of the car that captured the attention of the hip-hop community when it first came out in 2004. Snoop Dog and Jay Z were among those who praised the "gangsta" design of the car. That has been toned down in the new design in part to try and reach a broader audience--let's say, more the Black Eyed Peas and Linkin Park crowd than P Diddy and Cee Lo Green.