If you’ve wanted to get a piece of German engineering for your next car but found the price premium to be a bit too high, 2013 may be the year that makes it possible to get your German-made car. Germany’s high-end car makers have often been out of reach for the average American, and as a result have lost sales to those who offered lower priced options such as Ford, Toyota, and Honda. Despite seeing record sales in 2012, the top German auto makers want to do more to compete in the American market.
In 2013, expect to see three separate German vehicles with a much more appealing sticker price for the mass market. Daimler AG recently showcased their upcoming Mercedes-Benz CLA with a price hinted to start below $30,000, BMW announced their new 3 series sedan for roughly $4,000 lower than their current $37,000 option, and even Audi revealed a four-door version of its new A3 compact expected to be priced in the mid to high $20,000 range. Considering that the average US selling price for a new car is $31,228 according to the auto shopping site Truecar.com, these three companies are in a good position to take some market share away from the current market leaders.
The biggest risk these German brands face by lowering the cost of entry is that it could eat away at sales of their more expensive offerings. Even if it does affect higher end sales at first, they have the opportunity to build up customer loyalty. The key is to target the younger generation of car buyers just starting out in their careers, and then hope that as they move up in their jobs they can afford the higher cost models.
Source: Wall Street Journal
Photo: Mercedes-Benz CLA by Daimler AG