We've seen it before and we'll see it again, quite possibly before the end of the year: A luxury brand padding its numbers with questionable "sales." This time it's BMW, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal, although there have been rumors of arch-rival Mercedes-Benz doing the same thing in past years.
Luxury car sales are off by at least one-third compared to last year's numbers, and the end is probably not in sight. In past recessions, the wealthy have been insulated by their money, but not this time. Real estate and banking are responsible for a large amount of the financial pickle we're in, and as those sectors get walloped by reality, the luxury cars typically purchased by agents, brokers, and bankers are languishing.