Car purchase – what is the premium premium really?


Premium lures. And not just automaniacs. In surveys, more and more respondents say from year to year that they do not value envious status objects. In fact, it's not like no-name is booming. On the contrary: trendy brands are in demand.

When it comes to car, the noble brands still lure. Apart from small suppliers, premium brands are understood to mean Audi, BMW / Mini, Mercedes, Jaguar and Lexus. In Germany, the market shares of Audi, BMW / Mini and Mercedes are far above the import brands. If you like, you can supplement the circle of premium brands with Range Rover, Infinty and others – they do not play any role in terms of unit sales. In spite of the Cayenne and Panamera, a manufacturer like Porsche specializes mainly in sports cars and real luxury cars.

Manageable surcharge

Premium costs extra. But how much? There is a simple way to calculate the premium surcharge. Audi belongs to the VW Group, many Audi models have equivalents at Volkswagen, Seat or Skoda. Anyone who chooses a vehicle at Audi can make a direct comparison to a Volkswagen. The Audi premium is less than ten percent. Comparing a 1 Series BMW roughly with a similar motorized and equipped Golf, results in a slightly higher, but similar distance.

Clear distance to cheap providers

10 or maybe 15 percent for Mercedes star, BMW kidney and Audi grill? That sounds like a bargain. The objective comparison is misleading. First of all, the premium comparison follows a car of the Volkswagen brand. VW is a mass brand with very confident pricing. The lower end of the scale for mass producers is well below the level of VW. Even in their own group, the models Seat and Skoda are ten percent below the Volkswagen list. The gap to the premium brands increases accordingly. Instead of ten percent you should now set 20 to 30 percent.

More expensive entry level

The entry-level classes of the premium brands are higher motorized, the basic equipment is high-quality and the smallest available engines are stronger. For customers who want to configure their car high-quality anyway, the difference is irrelevant. However, those who can manage with less, inevitably have to invest more. However, this surcharge applies to more vehicle substance and not just for the brand aura. For vehicles of cheaper brands, the surcharge can already be 60 percent.

Entry-level models with basic equipment

If it only depends on the brand, you can also be modest in a BMW. He buys a BMW 1 Series with entry-level engine and one of the typical equipment packages as they tie together BMW and dealer organizations. Compared to the similarly equipped Golf costs the fun then about 2500 euros more. In the end, though, you sit behind the BMW kidney, but you have to be content with the modest performance of the entry-level engine and forego the all-round interior cosmetics of the Nobel manufacturer. Expressed in spoken language: You ride a “lame crutch” and sit in a “bare hut”. In fact, these models are often purchased with dealer equipment package in the entry-level cars the BMW 1 Series and the Audi A3. On the other hand, these base cars are rarely ordered on the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series.

Addictiveness through the extra list

Even the word premium makes you want more, seduces you to tick in the equipment list. Who goes to the befitting development of his premium car, is properly asked to pay. “Round” is an A1 then estimated for 26,000 euros, a 1 Series, which is not only called BMW but also drives so fast is 30,000 euros. Incidentally, the end of the price list has still not been reached. Transfer for the middle class: You can buy a wheeled Opel Astra station wagon for 22,000 euros, a “round” Audi A4 Avant costs 40,000 euros. But beware of “innovative” equipment. Trade magazines always cheer for the extras that have just made their way from the luxury class to the butter and bread wagons. At present these are elaborate multimedia systems and active driving assistants. However, these internals are so expensive that they make even an eight-cylinder upper middle class noticeably more expensive, in a compact car they blow up every reasonable budget.

Hardly any bargains

To make matters worse, the premium brands keep their prices reasonably. The discounts granted are generally lower, also less daily admissions are offered at cracking prices. In B-segment you can currently get very cheap a Skoda Fabia or a Kia Ceed as a day pass. Such discounts will not exist in an Audi. In the long run, the premium models in the smaller classes score well. In order to correctly classify the value, you have to know the calculation basis. The loss in value is always calculated on the basis of the list prices. A car that is usually sold far below list price can then formally have a high loss of value. If the loss is determined on the basis of the actual purchase price, the picture looks different.

Beyond the normal

Vehicle types for which a direct comparison of volume brands still exists are among the standard variants among premium manufacturers. But they also offer many things that many mass producers do not have. This applies to engines with six, eight or more cylinders, elaborate interior fittings, drive concepts and much more. Who dreams of these things, is no longer in the range of “surcharges” to the offers of volume brands in the premium prices, here the prices multiply. An example from the middle class. For 30,000 euros you can get a fancy Opel Insignia or Ford Mondeo. Who dreams of the big coupe Mercedes CLS will certainly spend significantly more than 60,000 euros.

How are the costs kept within limits?

The price difference of a premium vehicle for the cheapest offer in the vehicle class is enormous. Here you can drive cheaper in middle class cars or compact even for half. If the alternative but not the cheapest bargain, but a vehicle manufacturer such as Volkswagen is, and if you do not aim anyway the cheapest equipment variant, you can limit the premium surcharge for the smaller vehicles of compact and mid-range to about 20 percent. At least if you keep your hands off the premium ingredients.


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