I guess this trend is not a surprise. Europe’s economic crisis has car buyers buying cheaper automobiles. Car buyers also note that fancy wheels are no longer the status symbol — iPads and smartphones (cheaper options) are becoming the way to show off. Read more in Bloomberg Businessweek, “For European Car Buyers, Cheap Is Now Chic,” (January 3, 2013). The photo with this post is a Dacia Logan — one of the budget models mentioned in the article.
This might be an example to use when talking about the economic environment or consumer behavior. It might be interesting to ask your students whether this is a long-term trend — will cars return as status symbols when the economy gets better? What would that mean for brands like BMW, Mercedes Benz, and Audi?