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The Case of Super Luxury SUVS

Lamborghini unveiled its all-new Urus super-SUV. This outrageously fast, 650-horsepower, $200,000 off-roading four-door is not the first sport utility vehicle from the famed Italian exotic automaker.
It was also well before a brand like Bentley — another boutique automaker that is, like Lamborghini, part of the VW Group conglomerate — decided that there was room in the marketplace for an SUV that was capable of supercar acceleration, supercar top speeds, and supercar pricing. The brand’s Bentayga SUV, released in the second half of last year, accelerates from 0–60 mph faster than a Chevrolet Corvette, reaches a top speed of 187 mph, and hosts a starting price of $230,000.

Bentley produced the Bentayga because research showed that a great majority of Bentley owners also had a high-end SUV in their fleet. If the brand could gain even an incremental portion of this significant business, it was thought that it could not only organically grow its footprint and offerings but become more stable and profitable.

This same thought also occurred to Bentley’s cohorts atop the vehicular pyramid. Since its release in summer of 2016, Bentley has pretty much had the ultra-luxury SUV market nearly to itself. However, in the next year or so, we will see the release of similarly priced vehicles from brands like Lamborghini (Urus), Aston Martin (DBX), Rolls-Royce (Cullinan), Mercedes-Benz (all-new G-Wagen, Maybach GLS), and even Ferrari (unnamed FUV).

According to marketing presentations, each of these vehicles is projected by their manufacturer to behave in much the same way as the Bentayga in the global marketplace: to drastically increase or even double brand sales.

But is there buyer bandwidth to accept this expansion? The global ultra luxury car market definitely grew last year by more than 15 percent (to around 28,000 units), fueled mainly by the capricious Chinese market, where demand for very high-end vehicles grew by a whopping 54 percent. The appetite for ultra luxury SUVs, especially in China, means that if you’re not in the segment very soon, you may likely be left behind.
So this segment is new and particularly sensitive to all news, changes etc and people want the hottest luxury thing.

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