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The state of the luxury car market in 2013

The automotive market was one of the biggest losers of the recession in the UK. New car sales dropped in March 2008 just before the recession hit and it took them more than five years to recover.
 
Luxury cars
Some might expect that luxury car brands are immune to drops in the economy, but the figures show that this simply wasn't the case this time. Bentley, Porsche and Lamborghini were amongst the brands who had to deal with huge dips in sales during the late 2000s. It appeared that even the world's top earners were less inclined to buy new cars. 
 
Jim O'Donnell, the chief executive of BMW in North America, might have hit the nail directly on the head when asked to explain poor sales of the company's all-new 7-Series back in 2009. "I think some people can still afford it, but when you're a CEO of a company and you're laying people off, do you want to be seen driving a new 7-Series?" he asked.
 
BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover and other luxury brands were all trying to comprehend sales dips of more than 25 per cent in certain parts of the world that year. 
 
Recovery
 
Although cuts were made and jobs were inevitably lost during this period, most luxury car firms have been unable to recover sales as the global economy began to recover. However, in the UK, sales rose faster than in most other markets. 
 
It wasn't a quick recovery by any means. New car sales in the UK really got moving in February 2012. In fact, the amount of new car sales in the UK has grown every month since then until September 2013, when they finally reached pre-recession levels once again. Although there were a few exceptions, sales of most luxury cars in the UK followed this trend as well.   
 
Many had to drop the prices of their new releases to show more value to their customers in order to get there, but shareholders will remain pleased to see the finances of these companies going in the right direction. 
 
Official sales figures suggest that luxury car sales are growing faster than for a lot of mid-market brands. The BMW Group is enjoying record sales in the first nine months of 2013. Porsche has enjoyed a 14.7 per cent rise in sales in the same period. 
 
Describing the automotive market in August 2013, Hyundai chief executive Allan Rushworth said that Europe was experiencing a "squeezed middle".
 
Barring a dramatic collapse in the winter, 2013 will be remembered as the year that the luxury car market finally recovered from the recession. 
 
The future
 
Industry experts have tipped profits and sales in the luxury car industry to plateau or show the mildest of growth in 2014, but many luxury brands appear to be confident that they can build on their growth from 2013. 
 
Most of them displayed a bigger range of new vehicles than expected at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. Many are placing a lot of hopes on their entry into the hybrid market. Others look set to take advantage in the huge growth of luxury car sales in the BRIC regions (Brazil, Russia, India, China). 
 
The UK looks like one of the most promising markets in Europe for these companies though. Other European nations are still at the early stages of recovery. Britain was one of the only nations to post a month-on-month rise in car sales in August 2013. 
 
The growth of the car manufacturing industry is incredibly important to Britain's economic recovery, particularly as other manufacturers are struggling to keep up with its impressive progression. 
 
With this in mind, it could be worth keeping our fingers crossed that new car sales in the UK continue to be at least as healthy as they were in 2013. 

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