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Economy and Business


Northeast Ohio car sale increases include brands costing $100,000 and more
Aston Martins, Maseratis and other big money cars are rolling off lots
by WKSU's KEVIN NIEDERMIER


Reporter
Kevin Niedermier
 
Some of the $4 million inventory at Collection Motorsports in North Olmsted. The Aston Martins, Lotuses and Maseratis are selling very well.
Courtesy of Kevin Niedermier
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Car sales are up in Northeast Ohio, and that includes models costing well over $100,000. Maserati’s, Aston Martins, Porsches and electric Fiskers are rolling off the lots of the area’s high-end dealerships.

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Collection Motorsports general manager Mark Thomas is hopping into a 430 horsepower Aston Martin convertible in the North Olmsted dealership’s showroom. This is a $180,000 V-8 Vantage S, and it’s in the middle range of the Aston Martin line which includes models at this dealership costing more than $300,000 apiece. Thomas estimates the 2 dozen Astons, Maseratis, Lotus’ and Fiskers in the showroom and on the lot outside are probably worth about $4 million, and, people are buying.  Collection Motorsports just added Aston Martin to its’ line-up 6 months ago, and in 2 of those months Thomas says they’ve had the highest sales in North and South America.

“For Aston Martin we project selling 1 to 2 cars a month, and we’re hitting and topping that. For example last month when we were the number one dealer in the Americas, we sold 9 cars. But we’re been fairly consistent of selling at least a few cars a month, and it’s always a good sign to a have at least some traffic. It’s a hard market to judge, whether it’s in Cleveland or whatever part of the country it’s in.”

“Who’s buying these cars?”

Most high end car buyers are rewarding themselves doing well in business

“It’s a diverse group of people, mostly business entrepreneurs, people who reward themselves for an accomplishment or plateau in their life. We have someone looking at an Aston Martin to mark his 30th birthday because he’s been able to do well in business. People sell stocks or their business and reward themselves.”

And Northeast Ohioans are rewarding themselves with $110,000 to $160,000 Maseratis. Thomas says they’ve sold 18 since the dealership started carrying them 5 months ago.  And since last December, he says they’ve sold nearly 50 of the $100,000 plus all electric Fisker sports cars. So what makes a car worth that much money? Thomas uses an Aston Martin to demonstrate.

Exclusivity and high quality sell ultra expensive cars

“Obviously it’s hand built. One guy builds the engine and puts his name on it. The car is hand inspected and that guy puts his name on a plate on the car. It’s hand assembled in Gateon England. It’s the highest quality leather. One person stitches the car so the consistency of their eyesight is throughout the car. It’s not like you would stitch the seats and I did the dashboard, all the seams look the same. It’s part of that personalized essence of the car. There’s an extensive process for painting the car. There’s a heavy coating and then an extensive hand inspection process.”

Thomas says with Aston Martin sales, it helps that the car has been featured in the James Bond movies as 007’s ride. The Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealer’s Association says overall car sales in the 21 counties it cover were up about four-percent last month over the same time last year. The association’s president, Lou Vitantonio says a big chunk of the increase came at Honda, Toyota and Nissan dealerships where a lot of cars in the $20,000 range were sold. He credits to pent-up demand for much of those sales, and says the same is true for the next level of car that costs between $40,000 and $70,000.

There’s pent-up demand for cars at all price levels

 “When we come down to a Lexus, Cadillac, Audi or BMW, those brands are doing very well. They have some unique products coming out that people have waited for, especially as the economy improves. And people drive those cars everyday. And then there’s another segment of the $100,000 and beyond vehicles, what they call exotics, low production run vehicles that are also selling pretty well.”

“What are the sales numbers for those higher end cars?”

“We don’t have specifics for sales from year to year because they’re such a small segment of the market, but the dealers say they’re selling very, very well at those high prices.”

Regardless of the price range, Vitantonio expects overall car sales in Northeast Ohio to continue growing in the next 2 years, but probably not at the pace as this year or last year.


Related Links & Resources
Greater Cleveland Auto Dealers Association

Collection Motorsports in North Olmsted

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