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Steve Chiotakis: When Porsche and BMW release earnings today, we’re gonna get a peek at the state of the luxury car market. The auto industry as a whole has started rebounding a bit. And people are starting to buy fancy cars again. But as Marketplace’s Alisa Roth tells us, it’s all a matter of perspective.
Alisa Roth: When the recession was at its worst, nobody was buying cars. Especially fancy ones.
Alan Baum is an auto industry analyst. He says that’s starting to change, slowly.
Alan Baum: We’re talking about a recovery that’s more modest, perhaps slightly better than the overall market, but not dramatically.
He says for one thing, carmakers are leasing again. Leases are a good deal for people who always want that new car smell and trade in, and up, often. But even if the market is improving, it’s still much worse than it was in 2008. And the luxury cars people are buying are quite different.
Baum: Smaller vehicles, still having that level of style, but not necessarily quite as ostentatious.
He says carmakers are trying to accommodate that change in taste — making vehicles like SUVs and cross-overs that are more versatile.
As for the super high-end — the Mazeratis and Lamborghinis — he says that market’s going to take even longer to recover.
I’m Alisa Roth for Marketplace.
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