Luxury SUVs grabbed the spotlight at the New York auto show, as carmakers place their bets on the highly profitable vehicles. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Bigger is better for American car buyers, and that was clear from the big luxury SUVs on display at the New York International Auto Show. It is also where the money is, says Edmunds' Jessica Caldwell: (SOUNDBITE) JESSICA CALDWELL, SENIOR ANALYST, EDMUNDS, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Well, big luxury really brings profits to these luxury car companies. Anything that's a large SUV, or anything big, is going to be the catalysts for the profit margins that we're seeing. Adding to the allure of luxury SUVs - cheap gas prices that have stayed low for so long. Caldwell says high gas prices are a distant memory for car buyers. That extra cash comes in handy when paying the higher prices for these vehicles. Among the big names promoting their offerings: Cadillac, Infinity, Mercedes, BMW and Jaguar with its F-PACE. Ford CEO Mark Fields showed off a Lincoln Navigator concept car along with celebrity spokesperson actor Matthew McConaughey. (SOUNDBITE) MARK FIELDS, CEO, FORD (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We're off to the strongest sales start to the year that Lincoln has enjoyed in eight years and our strongest SUV sales in 15 years." Even Maserati is getting into the upscale SUV business. The Levante will be its first SUV, and will arrive in the U.S. this fall. It will start at just over $72,000.