In Canada, the market for luxury cars is currently experiencing tremendous growth. Since 2001, this segment of the market has more than doubled in total revenue. Part of this phenomenon is due to the aging population. The baby boomers’ kids have all moved out and started adult lives of their own, meaning more people are now free to indulge themselves and finally acquire the car of their dreams that they had been wanting for so long.
Luxury carmakers have also helped this market expansion by redefining what we mean by “luxury vehicle,” adding several lower cost alternatives to their main brands and introducing new aggressive payment plans. Today, BMW dealers are advertising leases for the 320i sedan for $348 a month, with an additional $5,600 as initial payment. An Audi A4 sedan can be had for $368 a month, with $5,998 up front, while a Mercedes-Benz C250 will cost you $385 per month, with an initial investment of $6,000.
These payment plans are comparable to leasing a Toyota Camry XLE, which will cost you $358 per month plus $5,500 up front, or an Honda Accord V6, which will set you back $346 per month, plus a $5,000 payment. Essentially, this means you can drive an entry-level luxury vehicle for the same cost as a very good non-luxury model.
Entering new markets
According to experts, if nothing disrupts the current market, high-end automobiles could represent 10 per cent of the vehicles on the road by 2020. If you’re currently receiving auto mechanic training, make sure you are familiar with luxury vehicles, as there will be plenty of demand for service and maintenance in the coming years.
Another element to keep an eye on is luxury automakers entering new markets, such as subcompact cars, to compete with non-luxury companies. For luxury automakers, this is an interesting situation. On one hand, there’s a clear market demand for a wider range of luxury vehicles. On the other, companies like BMW and Mercedes-Benz must be careful, as each new entry into their catalog has the potential to dilute their brand.
All across Canada, we are starting to see the market react to this influx of new consumers. In Vancouver’s Kitsilano district, Calgary’s Heritage Meadows Road and in downtown Toronto, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW now all have flagship stores ready to help consumers. New luxury dealerships are popping up in other parts of the country as well, such as Southern Ontario. With dealerships competing harder than ever against one another, we are starting to see interesting tactics and strategies. BMW Canada, for example, is now allowing customers to rate any of its dealerships publicly, so that others consumers can see a dealership’s average rating and decide whether or not they want to do business with it.
If you’re currently pursuing auto mechanic courses or interested in automotive careers, you should know that the market for luxury vehicles in Canada is currently very healthy, meaning there should be plenty of employment opportunities in this area in the coming years.