Conventional wisdom says the very well off go through recessions with little or no impact. The belief being they have billions, if not tens of millions of dollars so when the economy tanks, the value of their portfolio may shrink, but they will still lead a charmed life. That thinking explains why the ultra luxury auto market generally withstands recessions better than the mass market.
This fall, conventional wisdom will be tested. There are a slew of new models either hitting showrooms or being introduced for hitting the street next year. Whether it's the new Porsche Panamera, the company's first four door sedan, or Jaguar's new XJ, there is no shortage of new high end rides to choose from. Meanwhile, with the Frankfurt Auto Show coming up, there will be new copies introduced by Lamborghini, among others.
On CNBC.com: Slideshow: 2009 NY Auto Show
With all this activity, you'd think the ultra luxury market is doing well, or at least holding up better than the lower end of the luxury car market. It's not. In fact, upper end auto sales are down more than 50 % this year, according to Autodata. Compare that with mid-level luxury autos dropping 32% and entry level falling 28%. Seems even the rich in the U.S. have decided to pull back as well.