The ‘Mood’ of Irish Consumers in early 2024 remains cautious – the combined effect of an almost 40-year inflation peak with corresponding high interest rates means that financial struggles are the true day-to-day reality for many Irish households.

It may therefore seem surprising that alongside these stark economic influences, Ireland is also experiencing a surge in demand for luxury goods. This observed rise is consistent with global demand for luxury brands and demonstrates that despite the bleak economic factors at play, the luxury market is showing true resilience. It further displays how incredibly well these luxury brands are at building brand experiences which truly WIN the hearts, minds, and wallets of consumers.

Ireland’s luxury car market in particular, has shown expedited growth into 2024, with increasing demand for advanced features and luxury vehicles. This article will explore how these luxury car brands have become so sought after in the Irish motor market.

The Irish Luxury Landscape.

According to EY’s Colette Devey, “High income consumers are definitely feeling less impacted by the current economic crisis and are three times less likely to see themselves as financially worse off this time next year than lower income consumers.” While these affluent consumers’ spending remains high their purchasing decisions are considered, with many looking to premium and heritage brands, ones which provide a sense of comfort and continuity.

Demand for luxury cars in Ireland was strong throughout 2023 and continues to surge into early 2024 with the latest figures released by Finance Minister, Michael McGrath revealing that the number of people purchasing cars costing over €100,000 more than doubled!

Dr John Byrne of further supported these figures, he notes that consumer demand for luxury car brands such as Bentleys, Aston Martins, Porsches and Maseratis are “The highest we’ve seen since we started these figures in 2014. The Porsche Cayenne was the most popular car for the new/nearly new market in 2023, with Irish consumers and boasts an all-leather interior, pollen filter and automatic climate control.”

He believes that “With so much uncertainty in the current market, it is interesting to see how many top-end luxury cars are in the country. And that there’s possibly a ‘life is short’ mentality to this kind of growth.”

Changing Consumer Preferences.

In addition to the strong demand for luxury cars, there has been a notable shift in Irish consumers preferences towards specific types of vehicles. Irish car buyers are increasingly inclined towards automatic gearboxes, reflecting their changing preferences and desire for convenience and ease of driving.

There is also a growing popularity of electric/hybrid vehicles and SUVs, which reflects the evolving needs and preferences of Irish luxury car buyers. With a focus on sustainability, convenience, and versatility, these vehicles are becoming increasingly sought after.

It is worth noting that this trend is not unique to Ireland, but rather part of a global movement towards more sustainable transportation. And while Ireland has seen considerable progress in the availability of EV infrastructure over the last 24 months, and with over 2,800 charging points across the country, there of course are still opportunities for further growth and development.

These consumer behavioral shifts can be attributed to several factors:

  1. Environmental Consciousness: With increasing awareness of environmental issues, many consumers are opting for electric or hybrid vehicles as a more sustainable transportation option. These vehicles produce lower emissions and have a smaller carbon footprint compared to internal combustion engines.
  2. Government Incentives: The Irish Government introduced various incentives to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles. These include grants for purchasing electric cars, reduced motor tax, and exemption from toll charges in certain areas. While some of these incentives have reduced in value, they still offer benefits to consumers and have made the adoption of electric cars more appealing and have contributed to their rising popularity.
  3. Advancements in Technology: Electric cars have seen significant advancements in technology, making them more practical and convenient for everyday use. The availability of charging infrastructure has improved, reducing concerns about range anxiety. Additionally, the performance and range of electric vehicles have improved significantly over the years, addressing previous limitations. A recent study by SKODA Ireland revealed that average electric car batteries are under warranty for 8-years! Electric vehicles batteries life expectancy should exceed 20 years usage based on the average milage of a typical Irish driver (17,000km per annum) vs that of an internal combustion engine (ICE) which is only 13 years!
  4. Desire for Versatility: SUVs have gained popularity due to their versatility and functionality. Offering spacious interiors, ample cargo capacity, and a higher driving position, making them appealing to customers who value comfort and practicality.

The Luxury Car Loyalty Landscape.

Top Car Brands Preferred by Irish Consumers in 2024

But how have these brands positioned themselves firmly in the hearts and minds of Irish consumers and what do they do to actively create and foster loyal brand advocates, for life?


Customer Centricity

Karl Benz is credited with inventing the first modern day car, the Motorwagen, all the way back in 1886… a first step in Mercedes-Benz innovative history. More recently, there has been a shift in company focus: its customers and a ruthless ambition to move into a new dimension of customer-centricity and single view of customer across all touchpoints.

“This new focus starts from the moment customers begin searching for cars online and continues through all the years they’ll spend driving them – the idea is to give every customer the true Mercedes experience.” according to Group CEO Ola Källenius.

A hyper personalised online experience is something that is masterfully delivered by the Mercedes-Benz website, where customers who have already designed their all-new, all-electric EQS will upon re-entry to the website be greeted with THEIR EQS – right down to the paint colour…. WOW.

But the team have not stopped there, once you are the proud owner of your EQS, your connected car, will based on its learned experience with you, suggest an in-seat massage exactly when you are most likely to want it.

This hyper personalisation drive was a direct response to a statistic in 2019, which said that 54% of global car customers switched car marker. Britta Seeger, a member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing and Sales, said “the key was in this data – which now allows us to anticipate our individual customers wishes and needs.”

Mercedes-Benz Rewards

This rewards programme promises customers a front row seat to Mercedes-Benz, offering them money can’t buy experiences through unmissable tickets, unforgettable experiences, and exclusive offers.

By signing up, members gain access to:

  • Personalised customer offers which are relevant to you and your Mercedes-Benz.
  • Exclusive invitations to Formula One Grand Prix’s, The Open Championship as VIP guests of Mercedes-Benz.
  • Insider access – Be the first to know about new product launches and new models.

What’s next?

True to this ruthless customer focus, at the time of writing, Mercedes-Benz were piloting a tiered subscription-based driving Programme in two American cities. As we move into a subscription-based society, this truly insight-led pilot is fascinating – so watch this space!


Customer Centricity

Audi have long recognised the true commercial power of customer loyalty and began this journey, with a bit of a hard truth – when in 1996 they ranked near bottom of the industry for customer loyalty and satisfaction. From these humble rankings, an ambitious plan was developed to deliver ‘consistently superior customer experience,’ through the ‘Service by Design,’ a CRM strategy that would give the brand a centralised, single view of customer for

the first time ever, AND support a consistent customer experience from brand and dealership.

Speaking about this revolutionary way of thinking, Dr. Christoph Wargitsch, Head of CRM Audi said ‘Focusing on customer relationships is not a project or initiative at Audi. It is a function, on the same level as product development or any other marketing function.”

These consolidated data points not only supported a consistent customer experience across all Audi dealerships, but also allowed for individual customers to receive relevant offers and elevated service levels that are the most meaningful to them. It has most recently been the core pillar to support Audi Connect – which is a seamless digital experience accessed through the MyAudi app.


Once a new Audi customer downloads their MyAudi app they are ready to unlock the benefits of the connected Audi world, such as:

Remote Control

  • Remotely lock and unlock your Audi from anywhere around the world.
  • Easily locate where your car’s parked at any given time.

Know before you go

  • Pre-programme a driving route to your Audi before leaving your home.
  • Check where your neatest fuel stations/electric charging points or areas of interest are.

Manage your car

  • Conduct a real-time check of your car: window and doors locked, fuel or change levels.
  • Automatically send vehicle data to your preferred Audi Service Centre ahead of your annual service.

Audi Rewards

Through MyAudi you can also choose to take part in Audi challenges, and win free and exclusive, core Audi Rewards. A tiered rewards programme, which rewards drivers with points for app usage, Car usage or Special Audi Challenges.

Bronze Tier (10,000 points):

  • Reward 1 – a vehicle health check plus tyre, pads & discs wear report.
  • Reward 2 – Washer fluid and engine oil top up.

Silver Tier (50,000 points):

  • Reward 1 – Exterior wash & interior vacuum.
  • Reward 2 – Audi gecko air freshener.

Gold Tier (100,000 points):

  • Reward 1 – 15% discount on Audi Genuine accessories
  • Reward 2 – Light blub replacement.

Platinum Tier (150,000 points):

  • Reward 1 – Wiper blade replacement.
  • Reward 2 – 30% discount on the Audi e-scooter.

Audi rewards is an ever-evolving customer-centric offering, one which the global Audi brand strives to continually enhance and ‘expand beyond products, to become a lifestyle services provider,’ according to Balbir Singh Dhillon, head of Asia Markets.


Customer Centricity

BMW Group’s customer centricity goes well beyond the normal objective of “customer satisfaction”, the goal is “customer enthusiasm”. The brand was one of the first in the industry to truly acknowledge the power of their dealership network – and have always cited this network as a key factor in overall commercial success.

The basis for successful CRM within the BMW Group is excellent product substance of its brands – and in recent years BMWs production plants have repeatedly won prizes for the quality of their cars. In addition to this, increasing the flexibility of its ordering processes in a bid to bring their customers closer to the brand.

This appreciation of CRM is not just at a Group level, but also key for BMW’s dealership network. According to Alan Gilligan, former Marketing Manager for Joe Duffy Motor Group in Ireland, CRM is a vital strand of their customer retention and acquisition strategy. “CRM is vitally important in managing customer retention. As the reliability and therefore the lifespan of cars increases, we are seeing a bigger gap emerging between sales. So, the inter-sales period or service interval is crucial, and we need to develop an ongoing relationship with our customers.”

He explains, “Irish people are notoriously bad at complaining but they will go and tell everyone they know if they have a bad experience. And a simple post-purchase customer survey gives us the chance to pick up any issues the customer may have, contact them directly and address the issue quickly.”

BMW Points

Launched to the Irish market in March 2024, BMW Points is a pioneering Points Programme, which regards drivers of BMW plug-in hybrid models driving in the electric mode.

  • Earn points for every single kilometer travelled electrically.
  • Earn double points when charging at designated BMW Public Charging Stations
  • Earn points for driving in an urban clean-air zones, defined as BMW eDrive zones – now in place throughout Limerick & Dublin.

These points can be converted for electric/hybrid car charging vouchers. This highly relevant and targeted Points Programme truly captures the customer zeitgeist of electric/hybrid car adoption.

“This is the type of flexibility that customers want, as they make the transition to electromobility” said Kevin Davidson, Managing Director BMW Group Ireland.

Final thoughts.

The luxury car market in Ireland is thriving and has the potential for further growth. Now is the perfect time for any car brand to get to understand their customers better by:

These influencing factors will empower your brand to build long standing customer relationships that drive repeat purchase and brand advocacy for life!