As DbC has reported before, contrary to prevailing mythology, automobiles are one of the most stratified product categories in corporate capitalism’s core areas. As apologists prattle on about how cars “unite us all,” the reality is that the rich live in a different automotive universe than the rest of us.
I mention this again because, with help from the Supply-Side Bailout, makers of overclass chariots are enjoying record profits during this Great Recession.
So what are the products being delivered to the moneyed elite’s detached, heated, multi-car garages?
Here is Automotive News‘ description of the low end of the luxury market:
In the U.S., the entry-level [Mercedes] S class is a $91,850 hybrid that combines a 3.5-liter engine with an electric motor, while BMW’s base 7 series goes for $71,000 and has a standard 3.0-liter engine. Audi’s A8 comes with 4.2-liter engine and starts at $78,050.
Above that come things like Mercedes’ “$114,100 CL coupe” and “$189,600 SLS gull-wing supercar.”
How many of these monstrosities get sold each year?
Mercedes has typically been the leader at the upper end of the luxury-car market, which is crucial to its image and bottom line. Last year, the manufacturer delivered 80,000 vehicles from the S-class line, including the CL coupe and SL roadster, beating the 65,800 7-series cars sold by BMW and the 17,000 A8s by Audi, according to company figures. [source: Automotive News]
Mercedes’ “gull-wing supercar,” by the way, gets 13 mpg in the city. In a ruling class that is collectively unwilling to admit the ecological and geological limits to its insane reign, everyday life reinforces the obliviousness, as excessive wealth encourages increasingly criminal inattention to reality by elite individuals. “Let them eat MPG!,” snarl the entrepreneurs, as they cash their dividend and bailout checks.