General Motors Vice Chairman Robert Lutz says the definition of luxury has changed and will take on a new meaning this decade.
Lutz talked with Automotive News Editor David Sedgwick and Product Editor Rick Kranz and other journalists last month at the Paris auto show.
How has the definition of luxury changed?
In the 1960s, it clearly meant Cadillac and Lincoln. Today, the word seems overused, with some nonluxury brands touting luxury. How will luxury be defined this decade and next?
We used to have a definition of luxury that was sort of synonymous with plush and wood, soft, and cushy and quiet. (Lutz points to his wristwatch.) A watch like this back in the old days was not a luxury watch - it was called a sports watch. It is titanium; it is interesting technology; it has more precision and accuracy than you need; and it is expensive. Therefore, it is luxury.
I think the new definition of luxury is having more than you will ever need in the product.