Marketin Segment Essay

5793 words - 24 pages

Mid-Level Luxury Performance Sedans

Situation Analysis
By Craig Schlesinger and Jason Wachter

I. The Mid-Level Luxury Performance Sedan Market
Consumer Overview
This market attracts consumers exhilarated by the thrills of driving. They are willing to spend more on their cars to obtain a desired level of performance. Although these drivers are primarily concerned with speed and handling, they are also interested in the luxury components, safety features, and durability of their automobiles. Fuel-efficiency is neither the first nor the last thing on their minds – they are not willing to sacrifice performance for the environment, but they are environmentally conscious enough to stay ...view middle of the document...

Other mid-size luxury performance drivers are older in body but younger in spirit. They see driving as an escape from the rigor of their routine, and seek a performance car with practical features. They may have families, for which they need efficient vehicles with sufficient space. These consumers don’t necessarily see themselves as middle-aged or older; they’d like to think they are younger than what their birth certificate indicates. Despite their age, these drivers tend to occupy the middle-toupper income bracket. For instance, consumers with household incomes greater than $75,000 are 16 percent more likely to purchase a four-door hard-top sedan than the average consumer. As is usually the case, education and income figures for automobiles are strongly related. Consumers who have graduated college are 22 percent more likely to purchase a four-door sedan than the average consumer.

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I. The Mid-Level Luxury Performance Sedan Market
Vehicle Overview
Mid-level Luxury Performance Sedans are a unique product category in the vast field of automotives. Vehicles in this segment are engineered to provide maximum performance, and are intuitively designed with responsive suspension, powerful engines, and sleek exterior lines. The mid-level luxury performance sector is a crossover – a hybrid between gas-guzzling sports cars, fuel-efficient lower-level sedans, and expensive luxury vehicles. Mid-level luxury performance automobiles are as aesthetically pleasing as they are fun to drive. They are typically fitted with cutting-edge automotive technology to create an ultimate driving experience. They are performance cars first and family sedans second. These cars are built to perform and detailed to impress, aggressively attacking the road while smoothly accommodating their drivers. Pricing for these vehicles tends to fall between $30,000 and $39,000, reaching no lower than $26,000. Some cars in this segment can be upgraded with various packages and features, at which point prices may reach higher than $50,000.

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I. The Mid-Level Luxury Performance Sedan Market
Entry and Exit in the Market
Several manufacturers have recently tried to enter the mid-level luxury performance sedan market, while other brands have fallen considerably. For instance, Ford Motor Company’s Jaguar brand lost nearly a third of their light vehicle sales during 2006. They only sold 20,683 vehicles, as opposed to 30,424 during the previous year. Their premium luxury sales notwithstanding, Jaguar has clearly lost a substantial amount of market share in lower-to-mid-level sedans. Audi, however, has recently repositioned their A4 model to appeal to this target market. The basic 2.0 liter model starts at $28,900 and churns out 200 horsepower. The price is considerably lower and the engine less potent than most cars in this segment; however, there is a 3.2 liter model available that offers 255 horsepower at a higher price. The vehicle itself is smaller, offering passenger...

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