"Clearly, people buying luxury cars today expect quality and value," says Richard W. Pryor, executive vice president and general manager of Midwestern Auto Group. "When they purchase these vehicles, they consider it an investment -- they want a high resale value."
Pryor says luxury sport utility vehicles like Porsche's Cayenne and Land Rover's Range Rover are selling well.
"The Cayenne drives like a Porsche on the highway and performs like an SUV off-road," says Pryor.
Midwestern Auto Group sells a range of high-end vehicles, from Rolls Royces and Bentleys to the more common BMWs, and Pryor says all lines are selling well.
"The Rolls are doing well, Bentleys exceeded our sales expectations and Ferraris are sold out for the rest of the year," Pryor says.
BMW's new 7 series, a high-end luxury vehicle that is newly redesigned, was offered for the first time at the end of 2002 and has already reached record sales both at Midwestern Auto Group and nationally, says Pryor.
And BMW's entry level car, the 325i, is still popular , says Tim Alvoid, new car sales manager with Kelly BMW.
"It's a great value for the money," he says.
And value is important. Brian Kramer, new car manager at Germain Lexus, says resale value is a top consideration for luxury car buyers.
"The Lexus ES 300 is the best-selling mid-luxury model in the country," says Kramer. "And we have a high owner retention percentage, with the cars having a very high resale value."
Harvey Ford, general manager at Ed Potter Mercedes Benz, says the E-class, mid-size model is the leading seller and that customers are concerned about safety, value and durability.
Here is Smart Business' list of top selling cars, according to a poll of area dealers, in alphabetical order by model:
* Top-selling Acura models: Acura MDX, Acura 3.2 TL
* Top-selling BMW models: BMW 325i, BMW 7 series
* Top-selling Bentley: Bentley GT Coupe
* Top-selling Land Rover: Range Rover
* Top-selling Lexus models: Lexus ES 300, Lexus RX 330, Lexus GX 470 SUV
* Top-selling Mercedes Benz models: Mercedes Benz E-class, Mercedes Benz S-class
* Top-selling Porsche: Cayenne