investing

Luxury car sales rebound?

Wednesday, Jan. 13
Posted: 11 a.m. EDT

Automakers are heading into the new year with a hopeful outlook for luxury car sales -- or at least an improvement over last year's soft market. In 2009, small luxury cars outperformed the rest of the industry, but large models did worse than the overall auto market, according to The Wall Street Journal.

At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, some 200 invited guests (that means they were screened and determined to be wealthy enough to afford the $100,000-and-up price tag) visited a separate showroom, Monday, Jan. 11, to preview the most exclusive cars for 2010.

Among the models on offer, potential buyers viewed a Lexus "supercar" sports car that can only be purchased by those individuals selected by Lexus, which plans to manufacture only 500 of them. Price: $350,000. That ought to appeal to the rich who yearn for the return of real luxury, when expense and rarity made the pursuit of exclusivity worth the means.

Speaking of hot cars: Don't get caught speeding in Switzerland, where the price of the ticket is scaled to the net worth of the speeder.

One rich lead-footer recently was handed a ticket for $290,000, based on his estimated wealth of $20 million. He can appeal the decision to the Swiss supreme court, but the previous record for a speeding ticket in that country is $107,000 -- not exactly chump change.

Read all about cars in Bankrate's 2009 Winter Auto Guide.

How to research a car online.

Questions? Comments? E-mail jmartel@bankrate.com

Read more Your Wealth blogs.

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