Labor Day is less than a month away, but that doesn’t mean the car business is on vacation. On the contrary, new vehicle prices continue to rise, opposite to a used car market heading the other way. In addition, the government is still on the job (at least in California), as state regulators slapped Tesla with complaints over the company’s Full Self-Driving system.
And the luxury vehicle market is still alive and kicking, with the Cadillac Escalade leading the pack among interested shoppers. And speaking of alive and kicking, 90-year-old industry icon Bob Lutz is never at a loss for words.
Market At A Glance
- Used car prices take a dip
- Record retails for new cars
Here’s the latest look at used car prices from CarGurus. While the second-hand market appears to have plateaued, that’s not the case with new vehicles. KBB reports that the average transaction price for a new car continues to climb upward.
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California Targets Tesla For Misleading Self-Driving Claims
In a formal complaint filed late last month, the California Department of Motor Vehicles alleges that Tesla engaged in deceptive marketing by using the Autopilot and Full-Self-Driving terms in its promotions and advertising. According to the agency, these labels convey the idea that a Tesla vehicle can fully drive on its own.
Read the full filing here if you have a hankering for legalese.
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Q2 Luxury Market Report
You’ll want to take a few minutes to read the latest KBB luxury report if your business caters to the premium set. It’s a mix of the predictable and a few surprises. BMW continues to be the most-shopped premium brand among consumers, with a 21% consideration rate. This is followed by Cadillac and Lexus, both at 17%. Audi and Tesla are also in a tie (15% each) for next up on the preference list.
With demand for SUVs still strong, it’s no surprise that the big boxes led the most shopped-for luxury vehicles. Leading the pack is the Cadillac Escalade, with the Buick Enclave and Acura MDX completing the podium. The Tesla Model Y takes the fourth spot; surprisingly, a second Buick, the Encore, captures fifth place.
But the premium market isn’t all SUVs as shoppers looked at passenger cars, too, with the favorite being the Tesla Model 3. In the second spot is the BMW 3 Series, followed by another Tesla, the Model S. The Cadillac CT5 and BMW 5 Series round out the top five most-considered luxury passenger cars.
What are buyers most looking for in a premium vehicle?
- Driving comfort
- Driving performance
Bob Lutz Speaks His Mind
At 90, Bob Lutz still doesn’t pull his punches. A recent Hagerty interview shares some new insights about the auto industry legend, including that he’s given up flying his Czech fighter jet. In his typically blunt style, Lutz remarks, “You tell yourself that at age 90, how much business do you have in a jet fighter cockpit?”
Given his tenure at the big three and BMW, Lutz offers a unique and last-of-his-kind perspective on the rapidly changing industry, including heaping praise on the drive towards electrification. After all, he helped usher the Chevrolet Volt to market.
If you’re looking for an easy, but revealing summer read, check out Lutz’s 2011 book, Car Guys vs. Bean Counters: The Battle for the Soul of American Business.
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