…But not for the businessman.
Favored by the intermediate businessman and the upwardly mobile are the mid-range luxury vehicles; the bread-and-butter for Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW. To be in the “in crowd”, you’d better grab the keys to one of these marques after the meeting. Stiff competition has caused these carmakers to wrench every bit of variety from this segment of the market. After a while a CLS is the same as an E-Class and when placed next to an Audi A6, an A7’s purpose seems unclear behind the clever marketing. In recent years, Lexus has been the only one to enter this field. Surely, the powers-that-be will never turn their backs and let that happen again. Lexus seems to be more focused on Zuckerberg types; those with start-up money and their own companies. Not the ones who claw their way to the top. Now that Lexus has broken into the field, they intend to widen it.
What happened to the days of variety? Oh how I miss Citroen and Peugeot. I wish there was a modern Alfa Romeo 164L to slap the faces of the establishment. I am sure there are those who, like me, would give their right arm for a Jaguar. However, the XFR has been branded as a performance car and the new XJ (“J” for “Just what were you thinking, Tata?”) has simply left the Sales Rep and gone straight for the CEO. I am not trying to stir the ire of my fellow auto enthusiasts who recite Bruce Springsteen lyrics every morning. I too, believe in U.S. Auto makers but let’s look at the facts: 1.) Lincoln has yet to finally break the shackles off of our antiquated image of this brand. 2.) With Cadillac carrying the torch for America, we put all our stock in the redesigned CTS to compete for the market share. They need a true mid-range sedan with world-class styling and performance. One placed in between the XTS and CTS. Whoa! I forgot about that Ciel they keep plastering over the internet. Hey, Caddy! Isn’t that the type of car that got you in trouble in the first place? 3.) Finally, the Chrysler 300 may have been bought by entrepreneurs and superstars, the car’s size and image limit its longevity. With the Arnage out of production, the 300 is no longer a “poor man’s Bentley”.
Is there any hope for the business man who wants to make his mark in the world and be an individual? For right now, his choices are limited. Black or silver. Audi, BMW, Lexus or Benz? Work hard, business man! If you get a promotion to Board of Directors or become CEO you may have a little more variety. Until then, don’t lose your keys. The parking lot is looking kind of bleak.