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Maserati and Ferrari Leap Ahead in Small U.S. Niche Market

Maserati and Ferrari Leap Ahead in Small U.S. Niche Market

By Philly Murtha, October 24, 2013
Maserati is the sales king so far this year in the ultra-luxury segment in the U.S. auto market. In the past three years, the Italian brand, part of the Fiat-Chrysler Group, added three new models and sales have surged. In the first nine months of 2013, Maserati sales in this country were up by 277 units to 2,261 from 1,984 unit sales in 2012. The second-biggest gainer in the ultra-luxury category was Ferrari. Also in the Chrysler-Fiat stable, the exotic sports car brand posted an increase as well--1,440 unit sales vs. 1,314 a year ago.

The ultra-luxury niche, which features nine models and is classified as the Super Premium segment by J.D. Power, posted an 18% increase in sales this year vs. the same period in 2012. Sales through the first three quarters were up by more than 1,100 units to 7,459 unit sales vs. 6,343 in 2012, which represents slightly over one-half point of share in the U.S. market in both 2013 and 2012.

BMW's Rolls-Royce high-end nameplate sold fewer than 1,000 units so far this year, but that more than doubled year-to-date sales of 286 in 2012. The total so far this year also surpassed calendar-year sales for all of last year (382 unit sales).

Volkswagen Group's premium Bentley and Lamborghini brands also recorded better sales this year, while the limited Lexus LFA carbon fiber supercar, which has been discontinued, saw sales slip to 18 units from 33 last year. Another high-end luxury model sold in the United States in 2012, Volkswagen Group's Maybach, has been discontinued.