Americans are constantly altering the way they buy and drive cars. The segment class of the industry offers a wide variety of choices and suits different requirements. For instance, a subtle sedan can be a good choice for everyday use while a high-end luxury Coupe can be a weekend getaway machine.
On the study of the behavior of the rich citizens on their habits of buying cars, it was found that a good chunk does not go for gaudy automobiles and see practicality as their first priority. First things first, let us define the bracket of individuals we are talking about as being wealthy is a variable term. The individuals having an income bracket of more than $200,000 a year are included in the list. These can be content with a 2021 Lexus RX 350 as well, however, even a luxury barge will not make them stand out amongst the ‘normal’ individuals, so a Bimmer is surely not enough!
Cars and trucks are some of the most fun things the rich can buy and experience the inexperienced. It was found that apart from catering status symbols, most of the wealthy people prefer practical SUVs, something like a 2021 BMW X5or a pick-up truck over high-performance sports cars. Driving a Ford F-150 pick-up wagon is more preferable to the Audi R8 Coupe or a Lamborghini Huracan.
It does not imply that the wealthy do not appreciate luxury. Most wealthy people go for luxury options as additional packages to make the cars more appealing.
Interesting facts for the higher income brackets
Moving up the income ladder, changes can be witnessed in people who are earning more than $400,000 a year. A switch to more luxury cars can be seen. People from this end prefer a variety of luxury cars from luxury automakers. A Merc, BMW M5, or even a Tesla is their favorite choice among others. Also, the buyers want to taste the latest versions. Buying the latest car is what will make them stand out!
Again, once this number exceeds the $500,000 mark, the Ford F-150 is on the top. Getting hold of a practical pick-up truck or an SUV is much preferable. This bounce back to subtle cars is due to the change in the mindset of these individuals. For them, cars are just appliances and they don’t want to shell out on expensive packages when the job is being done by modest cars.
Why move to modest when you can afford expensive?
A number of reasons were found out when researching why the wealthiest prefer subtle rides. An automotive editor Robert Ross found out that some rich folks see automobiles as an appliance rather than a status symbol. Though, these guys may have parked a Rolls Royce in their garage but rely on robust pick-up trucks and subtle SUVs.
Another interesting reason is the advancement in technology and the sheer competition itself. Automakers throughout the globe are offering great value for money with a minimum gap between ultra-luxurious cars and decent affordable cars. With most of the standard features inside any of the mid-range cars, rich buyers are aware of getting a sweet deal rather than spending loads.
Whereas, in the case of Silicon Valley CEOs who have recently been rich, they prefer to ride along with the same metal before they bagged riches. Maybe after getting a taste of luxury and being successful, these folks prefer expensive cars and trucks.
The smart way to dig deep into what Americans love to drive
Another smart approach to find what the rich actually drive and prefer is to track down the zip codes where most of them live. TrueCar did extensive research in 2012 to pinpoint zip codes where the ultra-rich live. According to IRS’s data, the wealthiest lived in lower Manhattan. This zip code had an average income of $5.7 million yearly. The most popular rides around this neighborhood were BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
Other wealthy areas like Chicago downtown had a more subtle side with rides like Jeep Grand Cherokee, Honda CR-V, and Volkswagen Jetta. Whereas in California which is also one of the wealthy states, the Toyota Prius was the top pick.
The Billionaire Club is pretty sensible
Taking the example of Warren Buffet who drives a 2014 Cadillac XTS that is retailed at around $23,000, a clear state of mind and subtle nature can be drawn. Another example is Steve Ballmer, the former CEO of Microsoft who is worth over $50 billion. He drives a 2009 Ford Fusion Hybrid which comes at a ballpark of around $19,500.
Though these studies reveal most of the rich Americans, there are also few who embrace expensive flashy rides. Celebrities and sports figures own an array of expensive rides from Rolls Royce to Lamborghinis and Ferrari.
An idea can be drawn through two techniques, the studies done on rich individuals and gauging the same by pinpointing rich places where the wealthy Americans reside. It was found that there are interesting changes in the habit of buying cars when moving up the income ladder.
People who exceed $200,000 per year prefer subtle rides like a Ford F-150 or a Honda Civic despite their affordability for expensive cars. A switch in choice can be seen in people who are earning more than $400,000 per annum. They generally go for expensive rides like a Lincoln Navigator or a Tesla Model S.
When this income bracket exceeds $500,000, the subtle list of cars is again at the top. Also, when studying particular zip codes where the rich reside, it was found that they may have expensive cars like a Rolls-Royce in their garage but prefer a subtle and reliable truck or SUV for everyday use.