Car manufacturers need to take a lesson from Alfa Romeo. This Italian car company offers the Mito, at about the cost of a Honda Fit — and the 8C Roadster, at $300,000.
How can they span such a wide spectrum in their offerings? Because they are not afraid of their image. They 8C shows the public what they can do when money is no object. The Mito shows what they can do when money is constrained. More of the adoring public can have the Mito — while dreaming of driving an 8C.
It used to be that you could buy a BMW or a Mercedes in Europe with wind-up windows, while the same cars in the States were offered with only power windows. Why? In Europe, those cars are more “normal”. In America, they are luxury brands. My contention would be that if BMW and Mercedes offered a cheaper range of cars here, it would not tarnish their image — only improve it. When an entry-level buyer bought their first BMW, it would whet their appetite for a more expensive model, when in the future, their budget allowed.
(The only thing I object to about my story is that my last point buys into that “american dream” thing — we always need more, bigger and better. That’s a bad way to live your life!)