Green Luxury Car Sales Ready to Explode?

Not quite yet but maybe soon? In May, Mercedes sold 51 hybrid cars in the United States, he says, while BMW sold 20 and Porsche sold 114.

Mercedes, Porsche and BMW — brands that are synonymous with affluence — are producing vehicles that use electricity, ethanol and even hydrogen.

The trend is driven by higher gasoline prices, the recession and stricter government fuel-efficiency standards.

“Buyers are going to start demanding more fuel efficiency even from luxury cars,” says Bill Visnic, analyst and senior editor at, an automotive research and review website. “Even if they can afford (higher gasoline prices), it still works on their psychology.”

The green option also can serve as a counterweight to the conspicuous consumption many associate with luxury vehicles.