At the curb beneath those $100 million Manhattan penthouses, the streets of New York are lined with big, black vehicles, their motors idling, waiting for their well-heeled passengers. Not long ago, they would have been workaday Lincoln Town Cars, along with a few custom-bodied stretch limos for extroverts. Today, they are trucks in tuxes: high-end SUVs like Mercedes-Benz GLs (base price: around $65,000) Cadillac Escalades ($75,000 and up), and Land Rover Range Rovers ($80,000 plus).
The sudden surge of interest in full-size luxury SUVs, which isn’t restricted to the Northeast, has become the auto sales story of 2015. Range Rovers are in such short supply that buyers are waiting six months to get them. Sales of the flashy Escalade, all-new this year, have more than doubled, while the Lincoln Navigator, refreshed this year with a new grille and LED running lights, is up 84%.
It seems hard to believe, but…
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