Super-Lux Is In; Recession Is Out

2012 Bentley Continental GTC

The Frankfurt show reminds us that automobiles, as much as anything else, are symbols of desire and excess.

The fact that the Maserati Kubang is a bloated pig of a car, like the new Bentley Continental GTC (at $212,800, above) is really the whole point. All the nouveaus (and there are plenty) will want one. As someone once said, “Nothing succeeds like excess.”

Despite the massive credit crisis in Europe and a virtual recession here, sales of and interest in super-lux cars are zooming. The Maserati brand may well help FIAT, its parent company, weather a 42 percent drop in company value (per the Stoxx 600 index). Maserati is projecting deliveries of 45,000 cars in 2014, with dealers up 150 percent worldwide.

In an interview, Ferrari Chairman Luca di Montezemolo announced that the 4-seat “family Ferrari” FF (at $356,000) will go on sale soon in the U.S. “I’m not worried because we have quality, exclusivity, a strong brand and innovative technology.”

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