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A Taste for Technology Drives the Luxury Car Market

Philipp Lücke
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Not all that long ago - at least in automotive history - luxury cars were promoted in a lot of ways. There was the rich, Corinthian leather. The comfortable passenger space and the huge trunk. And of course, there was the soft - sometimes practically squishy ride.

That's not the way Cadillac, Lincoln, or really any luxury manufacturers advertise their cars any more. It's all about speed and performance, and maybe passenger space, too. But it's a trend that caught the eye of  Lake Effect automotive contributor, Mark Savage.

He explains that these changes can be attributed to advancements in technology. "Technology has allowed us to create large cars that are both luxurious and high performance, so that has become the standard mix."

Savage indicates that consumers have come to expect the essential high performance features, changing the nature of the market. "Gone is ... [the] luxury car that says, 'Hey, I've made it, it's big, its got a big leather interior in it, its got a soft ride, and I can get six, seven people in this thing and just relax as we roll down the road."

With the advent of new technologies, consumers' expectation levels "just keep rising. [We] used to only expect power windows, now [we] expect to have power mirrors, windows, day/night mirror, WiFi in my car and backup camera," he notes.

According to Savage, these changes could be attributed to not only new technology, but also cultural mores. "We're Americans. We demand luxury on every thing in every way. So, even your basic car is getting to be more luxurious and having more bells and whistles on it."

Lake Effect automotive contributor Mark Savage writes about cars for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and his website, Savage on Wheels.

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Mark Savage writes the auto review column, Savage On Wheels, for WUWM (formerly for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) and He is the former executive editor of American Snowmobiler magazine and FineScale Modeler magazine, both part of Kalmbach Media in Waukesha.
Maayan Silver has been a reporter with WUWM’s News Team since 2018. She joined WUWM as a volunteer at Lake Effect in 2016, while she was a practicing criminal defense attorney.
Dan Harmon was one of the original members of Lake Effect (formerly At Ten). He started at WUWM in November of 1998 and left December of 2015 after 17 years of production.