Leather-clad luxury cars may seem the domain of an affluent few. After all, this year's best-selling luxury car through March — the Mercedes-Benz C-Class — ranked 51st among all cars. But the group may be poised for a comeback. Total sales improved 12.3% in the first three months of 2013, outpacing the industry's 6.4% gain. By year's end, one in every 7.5 new cars sold in 2013 could be a luxury model.
That would buck a trend several years in the making. Luxury cars, including Buick, hovered around 13% of the new-car market from 2005 to 2010. In 2011 that share slid to 12.9%, and in 2012 it tumbled to 12.6%.
It seemed counterintuitive, given the wealthy are alive and well.