European, Japanese, and other import marques accounted for 78.3 percent of July luxury car sales in the U.S., with that share rising to 79.4 percent in August. Daimler's chief Dieter Zetsche foresees no slowdowns in America through the end of the year, while Toyota's Lexus brand will see an overall increase in sales this year, as will BMW and Audi, reports MSN Money.
Some industry analysts credit American auto makers' focus on SUVs in the 1990s - to the detriment of their luxury brands - for the import invasion's success. Others see the recession in American domestic luxury success as a combination of factors: Ford focused on Volvo and Aston Martin while neglecting Lincoln; American luxury makers don't have headline-grabbing top-end models like BMW's 7-series or Mercedes-Benz's S-Class; and import makers are innovating by creating new market segments like sports-crossovers, while American makers are largely standing still.
Whatever the reason, the fact remains that most Americans don't want American luxury cars. It looks like the U.S. domestic auto industry has to step up its game, or risk being pushed out of the luxury market completely.