January luxury car sales: Are new shopping trends indicated?

Automotive sales statistics are in for January, and the luxury-car market is raising some eyebrows. Audi topped Cadillac in sales with an increase of 20 percent versus the same month last year, while Cadillac watched sales drop by 29 percent. A hint at what’s to come? Not entirely.

For starters, Audi has been working hard developing a strong line of products consumers–those who can afford them–love to drive. However, Audi’s been aiming to beat out European competitors like BMW and Mercedes-Benz for years, so the fact that the arrow landed a bull’s eye on Cadillac is a bonus, but may not have been Audi’s intent. As for competing with Bimmer and Benz, Audi still has some work to do: January sales numbers show Mercedes sold twice as many vehicles as Audi in January, and BMW was nearly as successful.

Cadillac, on the other hand, sold half as many cars as Audi for the first month of the year–3,134 cars vs. Audi’s 6,497. To be fair, Cadillac currently has a shrunken product line, so these numbers are heavily skewed. With the launch of new models like the ATS and flagship-sedan.html”>XTS sedans later this year, Cadillac is likely to turn the tides back in its favor.

Also, looking strictly at truck sales numbers the story is significantly different. In January, Cadillac managed to out-sell Audi in the truck arena by 2,933 vehicles.

Automotive News adds that Cadillac’s numbers rose significantly a year ago due in large part to “generous discounts.” If fewer discounts are available today, it would make sense that fewer sales would occur as a result.

Who will be the winner by the end of the year? We’ll have to wait for a few more laps to be completed before we make that prediction.

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