Every automaker needs at least one superluxury car that costs more than $100,000. Whether it's a sleek 12-cylinder sports car or a big, overstuffed sedan, you need to have one.
At least that's the way it seems.
Volkswagen's Phaeton falls a little short of the $100,000 threshold, but VW has the Bugatti and Bentley brands. BMW has the Rolls-Royce marque even though it has a model or two that top the century mark. Ford has the Aston Martin brand and the Ford GT. Mercedes-Benz has the SLR McLaren plus two Maybach sedans.
You get the point.
Last week Chrysler group CEO Dieter Zetsche told a Detroit newspaper that Chrysler plans to build the ME Four-Twelve ultra sports car.
That raised a few eyebrows.
When the car was displayed at the 2004 North American International Auto Show in Detroit it seemed too radical to be anything more than one of former COO Wolfgang Bernhard's pet projects that was done as an engineering exercise and to have a little fun.
The Chrysler group may plan to use it as a halo car for its Chrysler brand but it's hard to imagine the ME Four-Twelve supercar wearing the same brand jewelry as the PT Cruiser, which isn't much more than a gussied-up Neon.
Just a week earlier, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Irv Miller told Automotive News reporters and editors that Lexus execs are having serious discussions about a superluxury vehicle to give that brand a halo.
And General Motors is working on a superluxury Cadillac, says Gary Cowger, president of GM North America. The ultra Caddy likely will be a downsized version of the Cadillac Sixteen show car that was unveiled at the Detroit auto show two years ago.
Acura's NSX coupe is a halo car, even though it goes for a paltry $90,000.
Can Infiniti be far behind?