Ten Mistakes That Can Kill A Luxury Car Company

Illustration for article titled Ten Mistakes That Can Kill A Luxury Car Company

When customers pay more for your luxury car, they expect to get more in return. If they don’t, a quick and painful demise is in your automaker’s future.


10.) Cheap Platforms And Drivetrain Layouts

As a luxury carmaker, you might not have the full resources to completely redesign a platform. But if you want to attract buyers who actually care about what’s under the hood, it’d probably be best not to have your $70,000 executive sedan torque steer like a savage.

It’s no secret that all-wheel drive attracts buyers (at least here in the Northeast) and for those of us that want a something a little more sporty or performance oriented, a RWD option is a game changer.

Suggested By: EL_ULY

9.) Cheapened Materials And Build Quality

If your products begin to become less reliable, your titanium trim ends up replaced with poorly-coated plastic, and your hand-stitched leather gets dropped in favor of cheap leatherette, your customers will notice. They will not be pleased. There’s no room to drop the ball in quality when a competitor at the dealership next door offers better for less.

Suggested By: cazzyodo

8.) Brand Dilution

It’s totally cool to have cheaper, entry-level models that help your brand appeal to a lower-income buyer, but be careful! Going downmarket dilutes your brand’s overall reputation. It’s “bad looks,” as the kids say.


Suggested By: Green Pig

7.) Lack Of Innovation

Separating your brand and lineup from the rest of the crowd can give your potential buyers a reason to have interest in your models. Create something new, interesting, and eye-catching. It might not be easy, but it’ll probably be worth it.


Suggested By: StylistCC

6.) Lack Of Product Differentiation

Some luxury brand lineups have consisted of nothing poorly badge engineered versions of cheaper cars from a sister brand. Sometimes, somehow, they can get away with this. Keep it up and keep the models almost exactly alike, though, and buyers will quickly realize you’re not worth what you charge. Seriously, there are only so many morons on this planet that will pay a premium for just a name.


Suggested By: Manwich

5.) Lack Of Identity

Just like it happens with people, it can happen with brands; as you grow in age, you can forget who you are. Reader Ryan Frew can explain.

The same thing that makes most brands fail. Lack of identity. Lincoln and Acura feel lost right now. No one knows exactly who they are or who they want to be, and that doesn’t resonate with consumers. BMW and Mercedes, on the other hand, are unapologetically themselves, and have been for a long time. Same is true for brands like Nike and Apple. They have identity. Cadillac used to have identity, then lost it, and are experiencing how challenging it is to “gain it back.”


Suggested By: Ryan Frew

4.) Poor Marketing

Whether you’re a new luxury brand or one that’s been around for over 50 years, getting your name out there and keeping it there in a positive and hip fashion can make or break sales numbers. Oh, and make sure that it’s clear that you offer genuine luxury. Those exorbitant MSRPs don’t explain themselves.


Suggested By: CB

3.) Catering To A Single Demographic

If you’re going to have a whole brand dedicated to the production and sale of luxury vehicles, it’d be best not to just have a single model. Offering multiple models that all only appeal to the same demographic isn’t much better. Make your brand well known and make it attractive to kids, old people, and everything in between. Remarks like “that’s an old person’s car,” or “those are for teenagers,” have never been all-too positive.


Suggested By: GrannyShifter

2.) Poor Customer Appreciation Benefits

Brand loyalty is a powerful thing. Whether you have to set up free customer track days or shmoozy invite-only new product reveals for loyal customers, do what you have to do to keep those owners satisfied.


Suggested By: AMGFTW

1.) Dealership Experience

Those fancy customer appreciation events won’t do your brand any good if your dealerships can’t properly introduce new buyers to the brand. It all starts when the potential customer enters the parking lot. How are the cars arranged? How are customers greeted? Are your dealers assholes about giving test drives? What’s it like when the customer brings a car in for service?


These are all extremely important experiences that customers and potential customers may face, and can decide how they think about the brand, if they buy the car, or if they continue to buy the cars. Don’t screw it up.

Suggested By: DennyCraneDennyCraneDennyCrane

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