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The Value Proposition of Luxury Brands
How do we arrive at a "yes"? Let's take a simple comparison between a Toyota Camry and a Lexus ES 350. Both cars are on the same platform, but the ES 350 costs roughly 33%-50% more than the Camry. One justification for choosing the Lexus is that it ages better than the Toyota. What I mean is that a three, five, or 10 year old Lexus looks better (interior and exterior) than a Toyota the same age. When you drive up to someone's house or a restaurant, people who care at all about cars will focus more on the brand than the model year, and this, in many cases, will be reflected in the way you feel about yourself. If you drive up in a five year old Lexus, you look relatively successful. By contrast, no one even notices a five year old Camry. It doesn't draw attention to itself. It isn't the object of pity, but neither does it draw admiration that the owner has achieved some modicum of success.
The difference remains as the cars age. Compare a five year old Volkswagen with a 10 year old Mercedes or BMW, or a Chevy versus a Cadillac, and the older cars still manage to win more admiration.
Okay, I generalized, and there's lots of room for debate on this topic. I've told you the way I see it. You may say, "I just want safe transportation and the lowest cost-per-mile." Or, "I prefer to be annonomous, and don't want to be judged by the car I drive. Besides, the car doesn't make the person." Or, it's smarter to buy a new Accord than, say, a 1 or 2-year-old Acura." Fine. That's why there are so many choices on the market.
Have you debated between buying a luxury model and a more modest one? What factors did you consider, and what did you buy?
Do you feel similarly about the clothes you wear as the car you drive? Some do, and others don't.
What are your thoughts? Are luxury models worth the extra money to you?