Thursday, December 31, 2009

It's the World's Most Expensive Phone

This bank breaker is actually the Apple iPhone 3GS encased in 271 grams of 22ct solid gold. Seated around the gold casing's bezel are 136 "flawless" diamonds (color F whatever that means), equaling to a massive 68cts.

Not enough diamonds to dazzle your dots? Stuart Hughes has planted an additional 53 "flawless" diamonds into the rear Apple logo stamped into the gold casing, equaling to 1ct. On the front, the company mounted a single cut of a very rare diamond, equaling at 7.1cts. With all this glitter, diamond lovers should salivate in glitz heaven.

Stuart Hughes didn't stop with the device. Rather than dump its precious golden iPhone into any old box, the company devised a chest made from a signle block of granite. There's also Kashmir gold thrown into the mix, and Nubuck top-grain leather lining its interior. Apparently, the casing alone weighs around 15 pounds.

Currently Stuart Hughes' golden iPhone 3GS costs a whopping £1.92 million... that's almost $3.2 million USD. That's a whole lot of crazy for an iPhone, and with the amount of gold and diamonds loaded onto the device, it's a wonder if anyone would actually dare take it out in public.
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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Most expensive dog collar

From the i Love Dogs La Collection de Bijoux, Amour Amour is the world's most expensive dog collar with the price tag of $1.8 million.

It is a one-of-a-kind, stunning, 52 carat diamond dog collar. The collar includes 1600 hand-set diamonds with a seven-carat, D-IF, brilliant cut center diamond.

The line of diamond dog collars include other pieces named Juene Cheri, Amour de la Mer, L'Etoile, and Cheri and selling for $280,000 to $480,000.

i Love Dogs La Collection de Bijoux is a stunning line of dog collars that showcases over one hundred carats of sparkling diamonds and exquisite jewels. These breathtaking, limited-edition collars are in a class of their own, and are most certainly the first of their kind. Even the most pampered pooch will stop in its tracks for the chance to wear one of these elegant beauties.
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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Gold PS3 named most expensive console

A golden PlayStation 3 from gadget manufacturer Stuart Hughes has been named as the world's most expensive console. Priced at £200,000, the limited edition machine has been reformed with 1,600 grams of solid 22ct gold and encrusted with 58 0.5ct diamonds on both sides of the disc loading entrance.

"Officially the most individual and expensive PS3 in the world. Twelve weeks of unambiguous workmanship was involved to fashion this beautiful console," read the designer's description of the product. According to the company, only three of the elite consoles will ever be made. Stuart Hughes has previously developed a golden Nintendo Wii and gold plated iPods.
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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Wiicked Expensive - Designer Sells $485,000 Nintendo Wii

For the gamer who has everything -- including gobs of money -- a British designer has unveiled the ultimate video game console: a solid-gold Nintendo Wii. Stuart Hughes, famed for plating consumer electronics such as the Apple iPod and the Nokia Royal smart phone in gold and silver, has unveiled his latest creation. He calls it the Nintendo Wii Supreme, and claims that it's "officially the most unique and expensive in the world."

It's hard to confirm the uniqueness of the gaming console, but the fact that it sells for 300,000 pounds in the England -- that's nearly half a million U.S. dollars -- indicates it's easily the most expensive. Hughes's Web site boasts that six months of workmanship went into creating the ultimate gaming station. Some of his creations use platinum, silver, and other gems. The Wii Supreme uses over 2,500 grams of solid 22ct gold. The front buttons are home to 78 quarter-carat flawless diamonds totaling 19.5 ct.

Hughes's other creations are equally lavish. His iPhone (with a solid-gold body, of course) sells for a mere $37,000, although there's a platinum and diamond version that's a hair more expensive, at $40,000. But if you're interested --and you've been sitting on a spare half a million dollars -- you'd better move quickly: The Wii Supreme is available only as a limited edition of three. Operators are standing by!
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Saturday, December 19, 2009

The most expensive Wii in the world

Shiny. That's what one might think when taking a look at the Nintendo Wii Supreme. This special Wii console has been created by Stuart Hughes - with gold. A lot of gold.

All in all more than 2.5 kilograms of the metal have been formed into a unique and impressive console. The whole production took more than six months.

Besides the gold there are also worth-seeing since they are made of almost 80 flawless diamonds. The price for this awesome piece of consumer electronic entertainment is set to 299,995 British Pounds.

Currently this would be about 483,442 USD or 336,924 Euros. You can find more information about the Nintendo Wii Supreme at the Stuart Hughes website, where you can also purchase one of the consoles. The exclusiveness of this device is extreme since it is limited to only three units that will be made.
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Thursday, December 17, 2009

World's Most Expensive Chicken

It is the annual National Bekisar Chicken Competition in Jakarta, and dozens of Bekisar owners are waiting for the judges to take a look at their prized possession. How is the Bekisar judged? Although it looks like an ordinary chicken, the Bekisar has a distinct voice. So a Bekisar is mainly judged by its voice, which also determines its monetary value.

For ordinary people, all Bekisar chickens sound the same. But a professional can determine the quality of a Bekisar’s voice. Some of the criteria include intonation and vibration of the voice. Besides its beautiful voice, the Bekisar can form a special bond with its owner. It can sense what its owner is feeling.

[Joko – Bekisar Chicken Owner]: “He knew and he was familiar with anybody in my home. When I came home from my office and called his name, he always went looking for me. And if I tell him to crow, he immediately sounds his beautiful crowing. So it looks like he has an ability to understand my heart." The Bekisar is the first generation hybrid offspring of a male Green Junglefowl and a domestic female game chicken. It is the mascot of East Java province.
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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Most Expensive Women's shoes in the world

The Cinderella Slippers is the name for the world's most expensive pair of women's shoes. These 4½-inch heel stiletto sandals are decanted with 565 platinum-set Kwiat diamonds which include 55 carats of clear diamonds and one big 5-carat stone. The Cinderella Slippers are designed by Stuart Weizman and cost stunning ≈ € 1.51 million ≈ £1,34 million$2 million! They were worn by singer Alison Krauss at the 2004 Oscars ceremony.

2nd most expensive women's shoes in the world Another masterpiece created by Stuart Weitzman are the second most expensive women's shoes called Ruby Slippers. They are based on the ruby slippers worn by Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, but these slippers are much more expensive. They were made for an actress for the Oscar ceremony, but were never worn. Ruby Slippers are studded with 690 rubies woven together with platinum thread and have a price tag of ≈ € 1.36 million ≈ £1,21 million$1,80 million.
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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bugatti Veyron, most expensive and fastest production vehicle of all times

I just saw the launch of the new ‘Beetle’ by Volkswagen, the German car-manufacturer. Now it is believed that Volkswagen AG is all set to launch the fastest and most expensive car in India, the legendary French car brand Bugatti, Bugatti Veyron. Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4 is the most recent version of a mid-engined full-sized grand tourer.

It is produced by the Volkswagen-brand Bugatti Automobiles SAS at their headquarters in Château St. Jean in Molsheim (Alsace, France). The car is named after French racing driver Pierre Veyron, who won the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1939 while racing for the original Bugatti Company.

Bugatti Veyron is all set to hit the Indian roads by next year, mid- 2010. Bugatti Veyron would be the most sophisticated vehicles of all times with its 16-cylinder four-wheel drive. Bugatti Veyron is nonpareil in the super sports category that boasts a maximum speed of more than 400kph.

Each cylinder has four valves for a total of 64, but the narrow staggered 8 configuration permits two overhead camshafts to drive two banks of cylinders so only four camshafts are required. The engine is fed by four turbochargers and displaces 7,993 cubic centimetres (487.8 cu in), with a square 86 mm by 86 mm (3.4 in × 3.4 in) bore and stroke.

The Electronic Stability Program (ESP) assures the essential flexibility and maneuverability at any speed. “To reduce the risk of injuries in accidents, Bugatti had a Formula 1 safety concept adapted for the Veyron. All these technical details combine to make the Veyron a truly exceptional super sports car,” as informed on the site.

Bugatti Veyron will cost anywhere between Rs 5 crore and Rs 12 crore when it hits the Indian roads by the mid-2010. According to the website, “The Veyron’s high velocity is due to the perfect combination of engine technology, consistent lightweight construction, specially developed tires, and the complex balance of propulsion and downforce.

For not only the aerodynamic drag is a crucial factor at very high speeds, but also the precise adjustment of the downforce that holds the car to the road surface. And in addition to all this, the Veyron production vehicle meets the highest safety, reliability and maneuverability standards of even the most discerning drivers.”

“A super sports car like the Veyron 16.4 needs to be light in order to reach top speeds.” Each part of the Veyron 16.4, Titanium, carbon, magnesium, and aluminum is made of the material with the lowest weight and the highest level of functionality.

“The Veyron’s GPS data are always accessible in case the car should go missing. In addition, the Veyron features speech-controlled, hands-free mobile phone operation with integrated Bluetooth technology. The Bluetooth GPS is controlled via an exclusive Bugatti PDA.

Both systems use the Burmerster sound system for crystal-clear audio output. All visual data are displayed on the rearview mirror – a feat made possible by the extremely bright LED display placed behind the semi-transparent mirror glass.” The Veyron debuted in China and Russia in 2007.
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Monday, December 14, 2009

Sakawa Cars Under Fire

The bloody thirst for money through the sacrifice of vital parts of fellow humans for ritual purposes by the youth of today has started causing ugly problems to young and hard working people who drive relatively expensive cars.

Results from interviews conducted along the streets by a team of The Heritage reporters have revealed that eight out of 10 teenagers who driver expensive cars in parts of the capital are booed by people on the streets. The reason is simple; the perception is that “they killed people to buy those cars.”

Paul, a 20-year-old man, narrated his ordeal to newsmen. According to him, the Ford he drives belongs to a team of volunteers from the United States of America, who contracted him in August this year to drive them around.

“But, on more than three occasions, people have said to me ‘You are Sakawa man, God go punish you,’ he laments. According to him, when he is alone in the car and “especially, when I am playing music to ease off some stress; I get so angry and always reply them with an insult.”

Most of the teenage drivers interview on the Accra-Circle, 37-Airport roads re-echoed Paul’s experience. “I don’t know why people think some of us are Sakawa boys; I worked hard to buy this vehicle I drive,” was how Frank Adu, a businessman, put his frustration across.

The Heritage Newspaper rounds also revealed that not only are teenagers who driver private cars subjected to unfair verbal insults on the streets, but some landlords deliberately refuse to rent their premises to them. A classical case involved a 23-year-old final year student of the University of Ghana who narrated that his uncle living outside the country instructed him to find a three-bedroom, self-contained apartment for rent.

He said an agent led him to a house at Labone suburb of Accra, but on realizing that he drove there in a green Astra that belonged to his family, the landlord refused to negotiate the price with him on suspicion that he might be a ‘Sakawa’ man.
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Saturday, December 12, 2009

The most expensive bike in the world

IT’S billed as the world’s most expensive motorcycle and at a price tag of $185,000 we don’t doubt it.

The MV Agusta F4 CC is named after MV Agusta, Italy, president Claudio Castiglioni.

The Australian distributor for MV Agusta has managed to get hold of the very last F4 CC in the world - number 84, to be exact.

Only 100 of the exclusive motorcycles have been built - one for Claudio Castiglioni and the other 99 for the rest of us. MV Agusta is recognised as the world’s most premium motorcycle brand.

This stems from its glory days back in the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s with the marque winning 18 premier class riders championships. The company was bought lock, stock and barrel by Harley-Davidson Motorcycles in 2009 for a reported $108 million.

The F4 CC features an up-spec engine to 1078cc, 200hp, rated to 315km/h and an abundance of technical upgrades. It comes with a luxurious F4 CC Trussadi leather jacket and Girard-Perregaux watch which is individually numbered as the motorcycles production number.

Australian MV Agusta importer, Paul Feeney Group managed to secure one last production F4 CC machine. Feeney has already sold “a few” of the bikes in Australia, but remains coy about the exact number. The last F4 CC is being offered for sale after failing to find a new owner at the recent Sydney Motorcycle Show.
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Thursday, December 10, 2009

World's Most Expensive Christmas Card Includes iPhone

Former CNET UK staffer Chris Stevens has designed one of the most expensive Christmas cards ever, and also released a video that shows you how to make one too. The card includes an iPhone that displays the Bauble app, which shows a Christmas ball that sways from side to side as the iPhone is tilted.

While the idea appears to be conceived as an advertisement for Bauble, the card is at least an amusing idea. It's very unnecessary, sort of like taking an airplane to cross the street. I'm not sure who would treat an iPhone this way, but for a project that probably nobody will actually take on Stevens sure gives perfect step-by-step instructions.

If anything, this card could be a clever way to give someone an iPhone. Maybe I'm missing something, but I believe an iPod Touch could be used as well, which wouldn't require a phone contract. On a side note, the slots in UK mailboxes sure look small; I'm surprised Stevens could fit his iPhone Christmas card in one of those.
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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Avatar is Foxs Most Expensive Film Ever

It’s obvious that James Cameron’s Avatar cost a pretty penny to produce with its 3-D graphics, animation, and special effects but everyone wants to know the final price tag. Most estimates have ranged from 250 million to half a billion dollars, which would scare even the most profitable studio, but not 20th Century Fox. Their the ones backing Cameron’s latest feature, and according to them Avatar is money well spent.

Fox executive James Gianopulos recently spoke about Avatar and its budget speculation, but wouldn’t confirm the official number. He just owned up to the rumor that its the biggest film the studio has ever produced.

The studio stood behind Cameron when he made Titanic, which was another costly investment and we know how that story ended. The film made over a billion dollars at the worldwide office and won a Best Picture and Best Director Oscar.

Even though Gianopulos’s attitude seems a bit arrogant, he never fully states that the film will be a huge success. If anything he puts up a strong front for the sake of the studio, which makes sense. The film will hit theaters next Friday so this isn’t the time to show weakness.
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Monday, December 7, 2009

The World's Most Expensive iPod


Katherine Hughes, of Stuart Hughes, has designed what is likely the world's most expensive iPod. The iPod Touch SUPREME's body was re-formed using 149 grams of solid, 22-carat gold, with a rear Apple logo from 21 grams of gold that houses 53 VVS1, color F diamonds.

The front outer section has been set with 300 VVS1 diamonds, also color F. The main navigation buttons has 12 diamonds of the same quality set in 16 grams of gold, all of which surround a single cut pink 2.10-carat diamond, color G-H. A true limited edition -- only three available. £139,995, or $231,776 USD at today's exchange rate.
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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Most Expensive Diamond-'Vivid Pink' sets world record

The price smashed the previous Guinness world record, set 15 years ago in Geneva for a 19.66-carat stone that sold for $7.4 million. The pink gem's per-carat price of $2.2 million was also the highest ever paid for any diamond at auction, Christie's said.

"No stone has ever been sold for $2 million a carat, we were used to ... a million dollars a carat for colored diamonds but never 2 million," said Francois Curiel, Christie's Europe chairman. "This is an absolute record that is not going to be broken for a while I believe."

"Vivid Pink," as it's called, is a glittering five-carat stone flanked by two white diamonds and set in a ring by elite jeweler Graff, owned by U.K. billionaire Laurence Graff. Demand exceeded Christie's' expectations. Last week the auction house's department head for jewels, Vickie Sek, predicted the rock would fetch $8 million.

Auctioneer Francois Curiel said the pink gem's per-carat price of $2.2m was also the highest ever paid for any diamond at auction. The Most Expensive Diamond toured Singapore, Bangkok, Geneva and Taipei before returning to Hong Kong, where collectors and connoisseurs vied for it at the Convention and Exhibition Center.

An anonymous Asian buyer placed the winning bid of $83.5 million Hong Kong dollars via telephone through a Christie's representative, beating out Shanghai millionaire Liu Yiqian, who ranks 196th on Forbes' list of the richest people in mainland.
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Friday, December 4, 2009

Hybrid Cars May Be Industry's Next High Profit Center

Is it possible that the auto industry has found its latest Holy Grail? For a long time, the industry had relied on its pickup trucks and sports-utility vehicles (SUVs) as their largest profit centers. Indeed, they looked at these vehicles as the geese that laid the golden eggs. That changed with the sharp spike in gas prices a couple of years ago and with gasolines settling back to the $2.50-$2.75 range so that now the margin on pickups and SUVs is razor thin, if theres any margin at all.

However, if you look at the hybrid segment, theres an interesting phenomenon going on. The 10 least expensive hybrids are priced between $19,800 and $28,100. And the prices seem to be holding at or near dealer invoice, which means that dealers are making a profit on these vehicles that, while it may not approach the same levels as their former star profit-makers, they are still doing all right.

AOLs list looked like this (from least to most expensive): 1. Honda's reborn Insight. The Insight, was the first hybrid to market, beating Toyota by a full year, and became a cult car when it didnt achieve the mass it needed to be considered a mass-market car. The Insight is priced at $19,800.

2. Toyota's Prius Hybrid. Available since 2001, this has been the vehicle to beat in the hybrid market. It achieved the critical mass needed to become a market mainstay and offers a wide variety of features, including 40-plus mpg on the highway. The Prius starts at $21,000.

3. Honda's Civic Hybrid. The Insight was produced until 2006, although it was very limited in its last year on the market. The Civic Hybrid, which came to market in the 2003 sales, powered by a 1.3-liter four, is available only as a sedan and is starts at $23,800.

4. Chevrolet's Malibu Hybrid is next. It is also a mid-sized, rather than a compact as are the first three on this list. Still, it achieves respectable mileage of 34 on the highway and 26 in the city. It is powered by a 2.4-liter Ecotec four and cranks out 164-horsepower. It is priced at $25,592.

5. Toyota offers the next hybrid with a Camry Hybrid. Priced starting at $26,150, this front-drive mid-sized sedan seats five and offers mileage of 34 and 33, highway/city.

6. Saturn, although no longer part of General Motors active stable, has an entry with its Aura Hybrid. It is essentially the same car as the Malibu Hybrid mid-sized and achieves mileage of 36 and 24, highway/city. It is priced starting at $26,325.

7. Nissan';s Altima Hybrid is next. Another mid-sized sedan, it seats five and powered by an electric motor that is charged by a 158-horsepower, 2.5-liter four. The interesting ratings for this vehicle are its highway/city rating. The Altima Hybrid achieves 33 mpg on the highway (probably the most realistic estimate so far in this bunch) and 35 around town. This is the type of mileage skew you would expect in a hybrid. The reason is that in the city the vehicle can take advantage of the natural charge offered by first and second gearing as well as the charging of the regenerative braking system that does put a lot of energy into the battery system. The Altima Hybrid starts at $26,780.

8. The Ford Fusion Hybrid is next on the list. The 2010 Fusion was radically restyled for the 2010 model year, roughly three years into its product cycle which makes this an even more interesting offering because automakers usually wait until the fifth or six year of their product cycle to change a model radically, but Ford chose to do it halfway into the Fusions product cycle for 2010 and the result is not only a Car of the Year, but also an exciting product. The Fusion Hybrid if a sedan that seats five and uses a 2.5-liter four to power its electrical system. Ford is another of the automakers that uses honest figures in its mileage, showing its highway mileage to be 36 mpg and its city cycle to be 41 mpg. This is a far more honest way of listing things. This model starts at $27,625.
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Thursday, December 3, 2009

9th most expensive city

A STRONGER currency and a rise in inflation have made Singapore a more expensive place for expatriates to live in, a survey has found.

Singapore jumped three spots from a year ago to become the ninth priciest Asian city in the latest cost of living ranking by human resource company ECA International.

It beat Taiwan's Taipei and China's Shenzhen and Guangzhou, but remained cheaper than Japan's Tokyo and Yokohama, and China's Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Worldwide, Singapore's rising cost of living catapulted it into the 78th spot on this year's global survey, up almost 20 places from 97th last year. The main reason for the movement - and, in fact, for most of the changes in this year's survey - was exchange rate fluctuations, said ECA International.

The Singapore dollar has gained about 10 per cent against the US dollar since March. This has helped push up the cost of living in Singapore, compared with some neighbouring cities whose currencies are pegged to the US dollar such as Hong Kong.
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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

New York most expensive place to be ill

IT'S at the top of many Australian's travel wish list, but New York has also emerged as the most expensive place in the world to get seriously ill.

Travellers could face fees of up to $64,000 for three nights in intensive care, a survey by insurance company AAMI has revealed.

AAMI's national travel manager Heather McDonald said most people don't realise each state in the US has a different fee structure for medical expenses.

"Hospitals in popular US destinations for Aussie travellers, like California and Florida, charge up to $8,500 per night in intensive care, while the same treatment in a Hawaiian hospital can set you back up to $10,500 per night," she said.

"But New York City is by far the most expensive, with the amount per night priced between $16,000 and $21,500."

Hawaii was second on the list, with intensive care costs coming in at $10,500 a night, followed by Canada with $10,000 a night. France was fourth with $9,500 a night.

South East Asia is the cheapest place to fall ill, with hospitals in Thailand and Indonesia charging around $3,000 per night for treatment in intensive care. Vietnam hospitals charge up to $2,500 per night.

Ms McDonald said people should factor travel insurance into their travel budget, just as you would your airfare and spending money.
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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

New BMW 5 Series Has Hints of the 7 Series

What does the new BMW 5 Series have to do with a new Rolls-Royce Ghost? Each is being built on a modified BMW 7-Series chassis. BMW unveiled the new 5 Series – the sixth generation of the midrange German luxury car – this week in Munich. The unveiling, at the stadium where Munich hopes to host the 2018 Olympic Games, was attended in person by BMW executives and employees, and broadcast on television in Europe.

But BMW aficionados elsewhere in the world were rather curiously shortchanged. The company says it is not planning on introducing the 5 Series lineup at any of the upcoming auto shows – a departure from tradition.

The changes to the vehicle include styling touches meant to make the 5 Series look, feel and drive more like the pricier 7 Series. To that end, the 5 Series has grown a few inches in most directions. And it weighs in at several hundred pounds heavier than the equivalent outgoing models.

Despite a 7 Series lookalike grille treatment, the new 5 bears a lot of resemblance to the smaller 3 Series lineup, especially in profile.
The new chassis has a double-wishbone front suspension with cast-aluminum control arms, as well as BMW’s Integral-V multilink rear suspension.

In Europe, the 5-Series range will include five different sedans and seven different powertrain choices — one V-8, three inline-6s, two inline-6 diesels and one inline-4 diesel. The United States is likely to get a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 with 407 horsepower, single-turbo 3-liter inline-6 (306 horsepower), a 3-liter inline-6 (258 horsepower) and a turbocharged 3-liter inline-6 diesel (245 horsepower). A new 8-speed automatic transmission will be offered for the first time. How soon? Next year. How much? Nothing official, but like a good cut of steak, the price per pound is likely going up.
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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Buyers balk at 'world's most expensive show'

It has been billed as “the most expensive show on earth” and the Dubai Air Show did not disappoint with the equipment on display proving too costly for most attendees. After enjoying a record year in 2007, the tenth edition of the biennial event is feeling the effect of economic reality with many investors keeping their money in their pockets, with few big deals announced this week.

Sales of commercial aircraft at the show were their weakest since 2003. Only 42 planes, worth some $5.6 billion (£3.3 billion), were sold during the week. The only substantial order for commercial airliners was placed by Ethiopian Airlines, which confirmed a $2.9 billion deal with European manufacturer Airbus for 12 long-range A350 XWB aircraft.

Rolls-Royce, one of the few other companies to tie up significant business at the show, will supply engines to power the new Ethiopian planes. In total, the company won contracts worth $2.3 billion, including a $1.5 billion order for Trent 700 engines from Air China.

With some 900 exhibitors this year, organisers had claimed that Dubai now ranks alongside the industry’s leading annual showcase events at Farnborough and Paris. However, with aviation still suffering the effects of the global economic crisis, matching the level of business done in 2007 was not expected.

Two years ago, with the market buoyant and the Gulf region enjoying record levels of growth, orders for commercial aircraft topped $100 billion, led by Dubai’s government-owned carrier, Emirates, which opened the show by announcing orders for 143 new aircraft from Airbus and Boeing worth almost $35 billion.

The two main airliner manufacturers have struggled for sales this year, with many airlines cancelling or deferring orders. Although Boeing forecasts demand for 29,000 aircraft worth $3.2 trillion over the next 20 years, the company warns that most airlines are unlikely to return to profit until 2011, with orders for new aircraft only picking up in 2012.

Tom Enders, president and chief executive of Airbus, conceded that the industry’s difficulties will continue into next year and beyond.

“We all believe that 2010 and 2011 will still be quite challenging, but at this air show it is encouraging to see that there is still growth in the industry, particularly in the Middle East and Africa,” he said, speaking to reporters at the event.

“We are a growth industry, nobody debates that, and we are used to cycles, some deeper and more pronounced than others. If this is the worst economic crisis in generations, obviously we are not surprised that it affects aviation, but we will get through this.”
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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Frederique Constant Ladies Love Heart Beat

Lovers can feel the heart beating of each other, nervous or excited. All in all, everything is full of expectation. Frederique Constant got the inspiration of love and launched the Ladies Love Heart Beat whose dial is newly launched after the success of the Double Heart Beat Series.

It’s a typical representative of feminine beauty. Set the Geneva as its production base, the skeleton window of the Double Heart Beat Wristwatch is the symbol of Frederique Constant Ladies Wristwatch. This kind of wristwatch, FC-310 Ladies Love Automatic, is especially designed for women.

The unique dial features LOVE character written with decorative flowers. Letter O is hollowed to reveal the balance wheel of the wristwatch. When the watch is on normal running, the balance wheel sways regularly like the heart beating of human being. Meanwhile, the decorative LOVE and the watch bezel are paved with diamonds, making it a real luxury. On the center of the dial engraved the heart-shaped veins, enriching the details of the wristwatch.

With the diameter of 34mm, the watch case is decorated with diamond bezel which is surely to make it a piece of perpetual magnificence. The dial with decorative embossed hearts set a Love skeleton window with diamonds at the position of twelve o’clock as though a beating heart. Every detail of Ladies Love Automatic wristwatch shows the value and expectation of modern women. Its name indicates that more and more ladies like to wear automatic mechanical wristwatch. There is no doubt that such kind of wristwatch is the best alternative for men to show their love to their companions.

Frederique Constant “Ladies Love Automatic” wristwatch offers three colors for selection. The most attracting two kinds should be the styles of rose gold case with chocolate MOP dial and the stainless steel watch case with white MOP dial. Each kind is enchased with diamonds of different amount, delivering the beauty of fashion. We can say that Frederique Constant “Ladies Love Automatic” is the compliment of feminine beauty and “Love”.
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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Top 5 Most Expensive Mobile Phones in the World

Until recently, the vast majority of mobile phones had been priced between £100 and £300, with only Vertu, a division of Nokia, manufacturing uber-premium phones. With prices starting at around £4,000 Vertu phones are only for the filthy rich, and the super famous.

However, Vertu’s monopoly of the luxury phone market is coming to an end with the launch of several new luxury mobile makers, including Gresso, Mobiado and GoldVish. Other mobile phone manufacturers are also partnering with luxury brands to produce a range of premium mobile phones, such as LG and Prada, D&G and Motorola, and now Tag Heuer and Modelabs. Finally, there are the ridiculous, super-expensive one-offs, made purely for headline grabbing, such as Goldvish’s “Le million”, worth a cool $1,000,000, see below for details!

1. Goldvish “Le million” = $1,000,000 (£540,540)

A PR stunt it may be, and they surely can’t be expecting to sell any, but the Goldvish “Le million” is officially the most expensive mobile phone in the world, according the Guiness Books of Records. There’s even been talk of a $1.3million phone, but this has fewer diamonds than the Goldvish so I can’t see where the extra expense comes from! The “Le million” is a one off, featuring a blinding 120 carats worth of VVS-1 grade diamonds, according to designer Emmanuel Gueit. If $1 million is out of your price range. the Geneva-based Goldvish also offer several other diamond-encrusted 18k gold models in your choice of rose, yellow, or white, starting at a much more reasonable $25,600 (£13,837).

2. Vertu Signature Cobra = $310,000 (£167,567)

Vertu is now taking orders for the Signature Cobra, designed by French jeweler Boucheron, but you had better be quick as only 8 are being made! The Cobra will feature one pear-cut diamond, one round white diamond, two emerald eyes and 439 rubies. Vertu will also be offering a “cheaper” version, ruby free, at $115,000 (£62,162).

3. Sony Ericsson Black Diamond = $300,000 (£162,162)

Apparently the Black Diamond will be available in 2007, not from Sony Ericsson but by a company called VIPN. Initially only 5 unique numered pieces will be available for the unbelievable price of, wait for it… $300,000.

With regards to the specifications, don’t expect anything remarkable for your money. It will have Quad-band with Wi-Fi, an Intel 400Mhz processor running windows mobile 5, and a touch sensitive 2″ screen. It will also include internal memory of 128mb and will come with a 2Gb SD card for external storage, plus a respectable 4 Megapixel camera.

The designer Jaren Goh has used some pretty impressive materials for the build, featuring titane with polycarbonate, mirror-finish cladding and diamonds.

4. Vertu Signature Diamond = $88,000 (£47,567)

The Diamond is Vertu’s premium range of high-end mobile phones. As the name suggests the handsets in the Diamond range are diamond-encrusted handsets made from platinum. Only 200 of the handsets are being produced, the most expensive believed to be worth an estimated £50,000.

5. Motorola V220 Special Edition = £28,000 ($51,800)

Austrian designer Peter Aloisson, has taken a standard Motorola, studded it with 1,200 diamonds and added a keyboard inlaid with 18 carat gold. The outcome is a £28,000 handset, suitable only for footballers and film stars!
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Monday, November 16, 2009

BPL's most expensive flop

A FASCINATING battle of wills is unfolding in rich Manchester City. And whatever happens, one thing will be for sure: Robinho will become the Barclays Premier League's most expensive flop. The Brazilian forward, bought last season from Real Madrid for an English record £34.2 million (S$79.5 million) as a show of financial might by the Abu Dhabi owners of the club, is apparently desperate to return to Spain - preferably to champions Barcelona.

His predicament was broadcast by his agent to The National, a newspaper in Abu Dhabi, where the club are having their mid-season training camp amid a two-week international break. Man City's chief executive, Garry Cook, has moved quickly to quell the rumours, telling The Times of London: "There are no plans to meet Barcelona here this week to talk about Robinho. I think some people are trying to make mischief when they talk about him leaving.

"Recent reports that he may leave on loan or be sold in January are categorically untrue."

However, The Guardian reported that City have reluctantly accepted that the player whose signing was supposed to symbolise the club's ambitions "does not want another day in Manchester".

Manager Mark Hughes, whom Robinho has not warmed up to, has apparently started the search for a possible replacement.

Benfica's Angel di Maria has been identified and has a £27 million buyout clause in his contract.

The question seems to be when, rather than if, Robinho leaves.

If that is so, then he will be regarded as nothing but an extravagant signing - all hot air but no substance as he failed to lift his club in any manner.

Last season, he began his City career quite brilliantly before fading off with injury. This season, he has yet to play a game as he recuperates from those ailments.

With his playboy antics and lifestyle (he asked for official leave to return to Brazil to celebrate his birthday), the Brazilian is hardly a reliable linchpin to build a team around, even if he is eventually forced to stay with City.

As the battle of wills continues, he is becoming a huge distraction to the squad's ambitions to break into the BPL's Big Four clubs.

It would make sense for City to sever ties as soon as possible, no matter how embarrassing this signing is turning out to be.

Remember, they snatched Robinho from under Chelsea's nose right at the end of last season's August transfer window.

They thought they had just pulled off the BPL's biggest transfer coup. Instead, they are now having trouble accepting what would shape up to be the most expensive flop in the league's history.
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Sunday, November 15, 2009

States With The Most Expensive Cars

It's long been conventional wisdom that big cities--centers of population, wealth and commerce--are where the most luxury cars are sold. It turns out, however, that you're more than likely to see a Lamborghini on the streets in Missouri, where Chevrolet is the biggest-selling brand in general, or a Ferrari in Washington state.

There were just as many Ferraris sold in Washington last year as there were in Connecticut, a well-known haven for Wall-Street warriors and home to some of the country's most expensive ZIP codes. In fact, the states with the highest populations don't necessarily sell the highest number of cars each year--and they certainly don't always sell the most luxury cars.

In Depth: States With The Most Expensive Cars

Minnesota, for instance, is the eighth-most populous state in the union, but it didn't make our list of top-sellers for luxury vehicles. And while Michigan is the ninth-most populous state, it registers thousands more high-end cars each year than Illinois, which has the fifth-highest people of any state.

Broadly speaking, however, California, Florida and New York are the epicenters for luxury and exotic cars. That's important because automakers must cater to their widest audiences as they introduce each new model--especially with launches of 2010 models in high gear.

Behind the Numbers
To determine the states where drivers purchase the most luxury cars, we used data provided by Experian Automotive, a Schaumburg, Ill.-based analysis and consulting firm. Experian provided registration numbers, by car brand, for each state and further itemized each car brand based on where it registered the most units. We then calculated the percentage of luxury cars sold compared to total new cars sold in each state and ranked them accordingly.

Experian analysts tallied the number of registrations of all new models sold in the 50 states and the District of Columbia for the reporting period of September 2008 to August 2009. The numbers reflect individual registrations, not fleet or business sales.

Such data help manufacturers know their strongest markets--and learn where they can improve. The information helps automakers define and satisfy their customer, says Jeff Anderson, director of consulting and analytics for Experian Automotive--which is especially important in such a loyalty-driven industry.

Almost 70% of consumers purchase the same make or brand as their current vehicle, according to an Oct. 28 study by the global consulting firm Capgemini. That number is up from 61% last year. A full 63% of respondents said they would purchase from the same dealer where they bought their current car. Its a sign of the times, says Joseph Oddo, a senior manager at Capgemini.

"There is an uptick as far as brand loyalty and as far as consumer satisfaction with the buying process," he says, noting that luxury dealerships do particularly well at creating repeat customers.. "You go to a brand you know, that you can trust--especially with high-ticket items like a vehicle."

Pockets of Luxury
The big three sellers on our luxury list are Lexus (153,809 units sold nationwide), BMW (144,472 units sold nationwide) and Mercedes-Benz (131,146 units sold nationwide).

In California, consumers tend to buy German: Drivers there are more than twice as likely to buy a BMW than any other luxury brand. In fact, the big two German automakers made the No. 1 or No. 2 slots in all 10 states that landed on our list. California, Florida, New York and Texas--in that order--were the top-selling states for each of those brands.

Florida is the standout, as it has a smaller population than both New York and Texas (18.3 million compared to 19.5 million and 24.3 million), but it outsells both of them when it comes to luxury cars. Almost 14% of all cars sold in Florida are from luxury brands, versus 11% in New York and just 6% in Texas--which is even more remarkable because the median income for Florida last year ($48,095) was less than that of New York ($51,763).

It could be partly because Miami in particular is experiencing a cultural renaissance. Sissy DeMaria, the president of Kreps DeMaria, a Miami-based marketing firm, says Latin American developers--who have escaped the recession largely unscathed--have dramatically boosted the local economy by investing heavily in luxury hotels, retail outlets and million-dollar homes around the city. “Miami is for sale,” DeMaria says. That influx of funds likely applies to cars as well.

The northern U.S. tells a different story. German automakers BMW and Mercedes sell many more units in Los Angeles than in Detroit: "Domestics and Japanese reign supreme in Motown," says Mike Caudill, an automotive expert for the vehicle data Web site NADA Guides. Cadillac sold 3,000 more cars in Michigan than any of its luxury competitors.

Maserati topped the list among brands that sell 1,200 models a year or less in all but three states: New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Drivers in those states seem to prefer their cars to be of British heritage--Bentley registered 63 units in New Jersey and 20 in Pennsylvania. Aston Martin registered 20 cars in Virginia, which Anderson says makes sense when you consider that the staid wealth that has accumulated around the nation's capital is likely to prefer an understated vehicle, rather than something flashier, like a Ferrari.

And while neither appears on the final list, two other European brands--Rolls-Royce ( RYCEY.PK - news - people ) and Maybach--reported disproportionately high (albeit extremely exclusive) registration numbers in Nevada. That's thanks, no doubt, to the real estate titans and entertainment moguls in Las Vegas, Anderson says.

So why are Lamborghinis so popular in Missouri? For the same reason they are anywhere else a Lambo dealership opens.

"It's the bravado of the Lamborghini, the attraction," says Steve Burks, the marketing director at Motorcars International in Springfield, Mo. "The extreme aggressiveness of the car basically just draws people to the brand." Even in a state where most people drive a Chevy.
Courtesy: forbes.com
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Friday, November 6, 2009

Top 10 Most Expensive Hotels #1 Westin Rome

The Top 10 Most Expensive Hotels in the World starts with #1 Ranked Westin Excelsior Hotel, of Rome which has been offering the best of hospitality to celebrities, artists, diplomats, business tycoons and style icons from across the globe since 1906.

The hotel is situated in the prime location of the district of Via Veneto in Rome, the Eternal City. Renowned for its excellent service, the Westin Excelsior Hotel offers its guests a delicious drink to rejoice and revelries in an exquisite setting. One night stay amidst lures of luxuries at this hotel’ suite costs $29,255.

With sumptuously furnished 35 suites and 281 guest rooms, the Westin Excelsior Hotel is a hub of luxury for tourists from the peak of economic heaps. Villa Cupola the largest suite at the hotel has recently undergone a renovation for seven million dollars. The modern interior decoration of Villa Copula oozes dollops of splendor and grandeur of the hotel.

Activities

The Westin Excelsior offers an array of activities to keep its guests on the go even on holiday vacations. The best of all refreshments at the hotel is dining at Restaurant Doney. Dining delights including Roman favorites offered at the restaurant are rare to be found in other parts of the city. Guests can enjoy a personalized workout in the health club fully equipped with gym equipments. Indulgence in massage therapies at the state-of-the-art spa center of the hotel is a source of both physical and mental comfort.

Dining

Dining in a swanky ambience adds to your stay at this luxurious hotel. Binging on Roman delicacies is a pleasure with guests to the Westin Excelsior. One of the most coveted nightspots in Rome, this dining center of the hotel offers elegant candlelit indoor tables and charming sidewalk café tables.

Meetings & Weddings

The Westin Excelsior Hotel offers a super service to host business events, social parties and ceremonious functions in a grand style. Catering services and staffs are available here to facilitate all arrangements. With colorful stained glass ceiling, plaster medallions and gilded columns, the Winter Garden is the most beautiful venue for grand events.
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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Savvy shoppers are digging deep for new car deals

When Jitka Dvorak went shopping for a new car to replace her Audi A4, she was shocked.

“It was amazing; it was like a carnival,” says the North Vancouver realtor who is juggling the decision to buy a new Volvo, or perhaps the restyled 2010 Subaru Outback.

Like so many others, Dvorak found dealers anxious to clear out leftover 2009 models now that November has arrived, along with a flood of new 2010s.

But shoppers such as Dvorak, says Paul Timoteo of the new-car pricing service www.carcostcanada.com, are being more careful than ever.

“Sales in Canada are down 15 per cent this year, so I'd say people are digging a lot harder for information and to get the right price,” says Timoteo, whose service sells five new-car price reports for $39.95. The reports include current incentives, finance and lease rates and dealer invoice pricing. Car Cost Canada also provides a dealer referral service.

It is no surprise that in a down market, new-car deals abound.

Indeed, strong brands such as Acura, Honda's luxury brand, have dealer discounts and factory incentives on every single 2009 model in the lineup – and even certain slow-moving 2010s are in showrooms loaded with sweeteners to get buyers to pull the trigger on a deal.

But Canada has suffered recessions before and car sales have slipped in past years, too. So what makes 2009 different? Shoppers are expanding their list of potential choices. At Car Cost Canada, the list of the top 20 most popular models for which pricing reports are requested includes vehicles Timoteo has never seen before in two decades in the business.

Sure, perennial best-sellers such as the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla remain popular, but savvy shoppers who do mountains of research also appear to be willing to expand their options to include models from Ford, Chevrolet, Hyundai, Mazda and Subaru.

“That list [top 20] we feel is a leading indicator of where the market is going,” Timoteo says. “We have never had an American car on the top 20 list before – other than the [Pontiac] Vibe, which was a rebadged Toyota Matrix,” says Timoteo, noting the Ford F-150 pickup, the Ford Escape small SUV and the Ford Fusion mid-size sedan are all among his 20 most- researched vehicles.

Dvorak is among those doing her homework. She has spent hours gathering feature and pricing information and diligently worked her way through a serious of test drives. Right now, she's leaning toward a Subaru Outback. The 2010 version, she says, surprised her with its quality and driving characteristics, but the real eye-opener was pricing.

Subaru Canada, under pressure to boost sales from its parent, Fuji Heavy Industries, recognized for 2010 that its buyers are some of the most demanding and technologically savvy customers in the auto industry. Those buyers frequently research pricing in the United States and compare it with Canada, too. In the end, the company decided to offer more for less with the revised Outback and its Legacy cousin.

Thus, the basic version of the 2010 Subaru Outback, the 2.5i PZEV ($28,995), is $2,000 less expensive than last year's model and the ritzy Limited 2.5i ($35,795) model is down $3,600. That's for a wagon-y crossover with new styling, more features, tighter handling, a bigger interior and industry-leading safety and quality.

Not surprisingly, Subaru Canada's sales are up more than 8 per cent on the year. With new 2010 Legacy and Outbacks rolling into showrooms for the first time, Subaru's September sales soared a whopping 68.4 per cent.

“Improve your car, lower your price – magic. That formula works every time. Sales go up,” Timoteo says.

That's a truism in the auto industry and, while it's easier said than done, it certainly works. Great deals help juice sales across the board, but great deals on improved products lead to spectacular results.

“Almost without exception, products that have been recently renewed – the Toyota Venza, Matrix and Corolla, Mazda3, etc. – are performing quite well. And products that are getting long on the tooth – Toyota Yaris, Ford Ranger, Honda Accord and Civic, Dodge Grand Caravan, etc. – are underperforming relative to their competitors,” notes Dennis DesRosiers of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants.

“There are exceptions – like when an OEM [original equipment manufacturer] puts serious money on the windshield of any model it will increase sales no matter what the age of the vehicle – for example, the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra in September. But barring these, there is a close relationship between new-product introductions and sales performance.”

For new-car buyers, the trick is to find the best deal on the right make and model – one that you can live with for eight years. Eight years? That's the average length of time a Canadian holds onto a new vehicle.

“You can get a great deal on a car, but if you hate it, what kind of deal is it, really?” Timoteo asks. “I'm advocating an emotional approach to choosing your next car and an unemotional approach to deciding what and how you're going to pay for it.”

So once you've narrowed down your choices to three or four you'd own and enjoy for eight years, it's time to research deals and do some serious shopping and test-driving. Many auto makers at this time of year have inventories of 2009 models just as 2010s are rolling on to dealer lots and that often signals a buying opportunity.

Also, new-car sales were down 14.3 per cent through the first nine months of this year. Thus, the push is on to sell more than ever. Buyers who research price trends, visit numerous dealers and negotiate assertively can pick up a set of wheels at an impressive discount.

Indeed, auto makers are offering generous deals, including cash-back offers and low financing rates across a wide range of vehicles. Some of the best deals are available on once-hot models, too. For instance, until recently BMW was offering a $4,000 cash incentive to dealers selling leftover 2009 BMW X3 SUVs in a cash purchase. An updated 2010 X3 is arriving soon, so the pressure is on to move any leftover 2009 metal.

Cadillac's slick and sporty 2009 CTS sedan had been available with up to $10,500 in incentives for the buyer able to tap into a $6,000 factory-to-dealer rebate, a $3,000 Cash for Clunkers program, a $1,000 GM Loyalty bonus and a $500 Canadian Forces Appreciation program. These various incentives were set to expire Nov. 2, as all promotions do at some point. New programs usually take their place at the start of each month.

Infiniti, the luxury brand of Nissan Motor, has had a $5,000 incentive on 2009 versions of the E35 luxury compact SUV. Hyundai, until recently, was goosing sales of its 2010 Sonata mid-size car with a $3,500 incentive that could be combined with 0-per-cent financing for up to four years.

And so on and so on. Timoteo and others, however, caution against buying any new vehicle before you are absolutely ready. Regardless of how enticing the deal, always be patient and do your homework.

“At the end of the day, the right time to buy is when you're ready to buy,” Timoteo says.

That's advice a very patient Jitka Dvorak is taking to heart.
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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fast luxury's slow sell

Local motorists bored with their Mercedes, BMW or Bentley have one place to go around here where someone will listen to such troubles without judgment, without even a snicker. At Maryland's only Maserati dealer, they understand.

On York Road in Timonium, of all places, across from Bagel Works and next to Timonium Animal Hospital, Jack Davis, the general manager, and salesman Alfred Ramos hear the stories of men, and even the occasional woman, in pursuit of something ... something ... else. It's not a matter of "need" in the usual sense of the word, as Ramos acknowledged.

"No one needs a Maserati," he said.

The curvaceous body, the 400-plus horsepower, the lightning-fast transmission, the Italian leather, the breathtaking pickup and braking, the conspicuous prestige - this blend of muscle and luxury is not the stuff of need but of desire.

Maserati builds fewer than 8,000 of these cars a year, all by hand, catering to a most exclusive club.

"What we're selling is the line of separation" Ramos said.

It's for Ramos and Davis to consider the line between those who can afford to join the club and those who can only dream about it. They comprise the entire sales staff and half the employees of Maserati of Baltimore, now in its third year in Baltimore County. One of 52 dealerships in 28 states, according to the company Web site, the store is open - really.

This point might escape passers-by peering into the showroom, which often seems to have been abandoned by humans to the stunning presence of Maseratis, Lamborghinis and Ferraris, cars that start at nearly $130,000 new and quickly accelerate.

When the place opened in 2007, local reaction was mixed. Some wondered what in the world a Maserati dealership was doing in Baltimore. Others thought such recognition of the county's status was overdue. Some couldn't help but ask: Are you going to make it?

More than two years later, Davis does not seem concerned, no matter the recession and the fact that sales are down about 40 percent from 2008, when he said the dealership sold "about 40" new cars, nearly hitting their target.

"The store is not going away," he said, seeming unconcerned about the quiet prevailing in the shop.

For hours on end on one rainy and cool October weekday, the phones scarcely rang, and the only people to step through the glass doors were delivering something - a mail carrier, a UPS guy, a fellow wheeling in a small load of tires. Davis insisted that business is fine, or as fine as it needs to be in a place where they call it a good month if they sell four new cars. Managers at local Nissan, Lexus and Toyota dealers said their monthly sales quotas are between 100 and 180 new cars.

This is Maserati, where Davis said foot traffic scarcely tells the story. To paraphrase F. Scott Fitzgerald: Selling really expensive cars to the very rich is different from selling less pricey ones to you and me.

"When someone walks in, I'm not trying to leap on them and try to sell them something," said Davis. He said he'd rather they step into the lounge equipped with blue leather couches, the giant TV tuned to the Speed Channel and the Italian coffee machine dispensing espressos, macchiatos and cappuccinos at the touch of a few buttons.

A test drive? Maybe, but probably not right away.

"You've got to use discretion," said Ramos, who has been here since the place opened, having previously worked at a high-volume, high-pressure Land Rover/Jaguar dealership in Tysons Corner, Va. "It's not a kiddie ride, to come in and say 'I drove the Maserati.' "

Say a guy walks in - and it's almost always a guy - says he'd like to have a look around, poke his head into a Quattroporte, settle into the cockpit of a GranTurismo and get a whiff of that Poltrona Frau leather. The car smells like a large, new wallet.

Ramos said he'll ask questions: What kind of cars have you driven? What did you like about them? What did you not like?

"Nine times out of 10 that'll flush out the clowns," Ramos said.

Davis put it this way: "If somebody's coming in here to scam me on a ride, I'm going to pick that up."

They recalled a fellow driving onto the lot a few months ago in an old pickup truck. The conversation went well enough so that the fellow that day test drove a Quattroporte (the four-door) and bought one that week. With one check.

More often, it's less colorful than that. Davis and Ramos spend much of their time cultivating sales leads by working the phones and the cocktail circuit, or just showing up at certain restaurants.

"You go to where someone is paying $50 for a steak," said Ramos.

"Or $80," said Davis.

A good prospect might be someone who has "had their third or fourth or fifth Mercedes Benz. They're bored. They want something else," said Davis. One eventual buyer had had his fill of the BMW "7" series. Another prospect of the moment is "bored with his Bentley."

Given a name and an appointment for a showroom visit, Davis and Ramos can research the prospect ahead of time, do a little Googling. If things check out, Ramos said, it's time to let the car make the pitch.

"You gotta get him in the car. You don't put on the squeeze."
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Monday, November 2, 2009

Bijoudally leather jewelry is a chic, budget-friendly indulgence

When I was a poor college student, my mom would always slip me a little extra cash because "every girl needs a new lipstick now and again." And she was right -- on my rice-and-beans budget, a new tube of lipstick or inexpensive pair of earrings was a welcome bit of indulgence.

Jewelry designer Andrea Bijou has taken that concept of small luxuries and run with it with her year-old laser-cut leather jewelry line, Bijoudally (meaning "jewelry play"). "I saw many of my friends lose their jobs and struggle with the economy, but they still wanted to have something nice every once in a while," she explains.

"It was important for me to make accessories that were affordable," Bijou continues. "I found that it's way easier to make an expensive product than it is cheap one, so that was a challenge. Through conquering that challenge came the ability to make everything in the Northwest for lower costs, which gives all my suppliers and vendors business."

Add that her jewelry is a unique and dazzling blend of Bohemian chic and vintage Art Nouveau, and everyone's a winner.

The Bijoudally collection contains 15 pieces of red, black, maroon, gold and silver laser-cut leather earrings, bracelets and necklaces ranging in price from $24.95 to $60. The small price tag does not reflect the big statement that this jewelry makes. The Spoke earrings ($30), for example, are more than two inches across and three inches long. Slip a pair of silver ones on and let them speak for themselves.

Bijou's bestseller is the Bouquet necklace, which at $60 is her most expensive (and most elaborate) piece. A mélange of seven different flowers, starbursts and swirls, this piece epitomizes "statement necklace," spanning three-and-a-half inches across and five inches from top to bottom.

Bracelets ($40) come with magnetic clasps and can be stacked for added effect. My favorite, the Dizzy bracelet, features concentric circles tied together with gold- or silver-plated wire and is a stunner that stands on its own.
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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Philippe Most Expensive in 2009

In 1851 through combining the craftmanship of Antoni Patek & Adrien Philippe, produced the timepiece that tops the 2009 list of the most expensive watches to sell on the market.

The “Ref. 5002 P Sky Moon Tourbillon” double dial wristwatch is considered the most complicated wristwatch ever produced by the renowned Swiss watchmaker.

Only two such watches are made every year, one in platinum and one in rose gold. This rare and exceptional timepiece features mechanical movement that must be manually wound.

A minute repeater with tourbillon escapement, chime with two “cathedral“ gongs activated by a slide piece.

In the case, perpetual calendar with retrograde date hand, hours and minutes of mean solar time, day, month, leap year by hands and moon age.Last April, the platinum watch was retrieved at an auction in Hong Kong for a whopping $1.49 million.
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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Madonna Expensive Jewelry

Madonna, 50, is a great legendary entertainer from America. She is an internationally acclaimed singer-songwriter, actress, record producer, film director and producer, fashion designer, author and entrepreneur. With an estimated net worth of around $500 million dollars and a record-breaking sales of more than 200 million albums, Madonna has been recently inducted into Rock and Roll Fame of Hall. She does not need any introductions in any part of the world.

Madonna is known in the world for her overly sexual and extravagant performances, be it in the music, fashion or expensive jewelry. Madonna’ rich and luxurious lifestyles inspire modern women all over the world to emulate her fashion, styles, trends and jewelry. Madonna is a classic example of celebrity superiority and a true epitome of fashion and expensive fashion jewelry. She has successfully reinvented and redefined her sexy images and fashion statements. Madonna’ expensive jewelry and sexuality keep the crowds captivated throughout the world.
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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Most Expensive Camera Lenses Ever

Photography is a fun sport. I personally enjoy it because there is always something new to shoot everyday. You can look at a single landscape and capture it in so many different ways. While I’m by no means a pro photographer, I do take some fairly decent pictures in my spare time. Recently, I looked on Amazon to see how much a few new lenses for my camera would cost. While most mainstream lenses are priced reasonably, there are a select few that might require you to sell your car to afford. Check out some of the biggest and baddest lenses you’ve seen after the jump.

Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM Super Telephoto LensExpect to sell a few organs to afford this thing. Price at almost $12,000, the Canon EF 800mm is designed for the pros among us. It will be released in May 2008, it is meant for long-range photography like sports, wildlife, and nature. Don’t expect to use this thing without a tripod by the way. At over 10 pounds, it probably weighs more than your camera. Thankfully, Amazon has graceously included free shipping with the item.

Sigma 300-800mm f/5.6 EX DG HSMThe longest-zoom lens available from any manufacturer. It is rated as having 2.7x zoom, but that’s because its initial zoom size is already much bigger than that of a regular camera. At 21.3 inches (54.1 cm) in length it’s one of the longest if not the longest lenses out there. It can mount on both Canon and Nikon cameras, and is priced quite reasonably considering its features.

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L USM LensEver heard the saying “good things come in small packages”? Unlike the previous two lenses mentioned, this Canon EF 16-35mm model is a wide angle lens. It is meant for taking in a large areas, not limited, zoomed-in shots. Lenses like this are very popular for taking landscape photos. While still more expensive than most cameras, it is well worth the investment if you are a professional photographer.

Nikon 200mm f/4.0D ED-IF AF Micro-NikkorThough it looks more like a space age gun muzzle than a camera lens, the Nikon 200mm f/4.0D is an auto focus lens meant for close range picture-taking. It features 1:1 image reproduction, a length of 7.6 inches, an f/Stop Range of 4-32, and accepts 62mm filters. Surprisingly, there isn’t that much information on it.

Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L Tilt Shift LensThe Canon TS-E 24mm is a special-purpose lens great for architecture shots. The tilt-shift lens can allows you to change the shift of your picture by up to 11 degrees. It is good for avoiding the distortion and disfigurements that occur in just about any camera lens. It has manual focus only, making it great for professional photographers. Amateurs will find little use for this piece of photo equipment.

And there you have it! While there are many more expensive lenses like these on the web, I chose to list the ones above because they were the most unique and interesting. While good equipment can help in taking good pictures, any decent photographer will tell you it all comes down to your skill level. Great photographers can take amazing shots with cheap digital cameras, while spending $800 on an SLR won’t turn a newbie into a pro overnight.
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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Most Expensive iPhone Case

Is your iPhone impressive enough for you? Do you find that it’s just a little too pedestrian? If you answered “Yes!” to either of those questions, then a German-based company called GnG may have just what you need. Consisting of two guys—Gerrit Guggenberger and Martin Gadalla—with a rather, uh, interesting slogan, GnG has delivered a world-class drubbing to any competition for the most expensive iPhone case.

This extravagant iPhone case is the culmination of twelve months of development. The case features a 1mm subshell made with 140 grams of 18k gold, a carbon fiber inlay and about 200 diamonds. The outer frame features another 400 diamonds in the logo, which may be customized. The pictured “Golden Delicious” (ha-ha) case is €77,777—US $108,981. As a customizable luxury item, however, prices may vary widely based on the materials needed.
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Monday, October 26, 2009

Lexus launches $375k LFA

Toyota chief Akio Toyoda did his best to liven up proceedings, but even the unveiling of a production version of the $375,000 Lexus LFA supercar couldn’t help this year’s Tokyo Motor Show capture the excitement of recent years.

Toyoda helped develop the Lexus LFA and when he unveiled it at the show’s opening day on October 21, he said he hoped visitors to the biennial event “can leave feeling that automobiles are exciting and will want to come again.”

On Day One, though, there were visibly fewer attendees than in 2007 when the Nissan GT-R, another very fast car, was the star. Indeed, while Toyota also unveiled the exciting FT-86, an affordable sports car due for release in 2011, and other automakers showed off a host intriguing hybrids and electric vehicles, the absence all major international carmakers-and even two Japanese truck makers, Hino and Isuzu-confirmed long-held fears that Tokyo’s motor show is no longer the most important in Asia.

After all, automakers from over twenty countries braved the recession to attend the Shanghai auto show in April. In Tokyo, only three foreign automakers-Group Lotus and Caterham Cars from Britain and Alpina Burkard Bovensiepen from Germany-could be bothered to show up.

But what of the LFA, which will go on sale in 2010? A long time in the making, it certainly has some dazzling performance stats, including a top speed of 202mph and 0-60mph in 3.7 seconds. Clearly, this is no ordinary Lexus. For all that, I’m slightly baffled by the price (I repeat: $375,000) and the decision to limit sales to 500.

In his speech on the floor of the show, Toyoda talked about the need for automobile to serve as dreams and aspirations. Well, the high price and limited availabilty certainly sees to that. Of course, the LFA, alongside the great looking FT-86 sports car concept, will give Lexus and Toyota’s brands a much-need sporty boost.

The difference of course is that the FT-86, which goes on sale in 2011 is likely to cost closer to $20,000 and should sell in thousands. Indeed, given that Toyota will lose money again this year, it would also be interest to know more about the economics of the LFA. The price tag is high, but then so is the cost of developing super-fast sports cars. And by limiting sales to 500, one wonders how much Toyota will lose on every sale.
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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Greubel Forsey Watches

Greubel Forsey watches are some of the most expensive watches in the world and considered among the most expensive among luxury wrist watches.

They stunned the watch-collecting world with the Double Tourbillon 30 degrees, the only wrist watch of its kind.

Highly sophisticated mechanisms characterize this unique watch from one of the most coveted watch brands today.

Greubel Forsey watches’ double Tourbillon 30 degrees has in its mechanical movement 301 parts. Each individual part is custom finished by hand under the sharp eye of the expert for not less than eight hours at their in-home facility in Switzerland. Naturally, this is a limited edition timepiece and around two dozens of these watches are made for sale each year. Watch collectors must keep a close lookout on the forums, watch review sites and online discussion boards to see when someone who owns this fine watch is likely to trade it.

The Greubel Forsey watches’ have a new kind of Tourbillon, which is coveted among watch collectors. This is the original Tourbillon invented by Breguet and shows the cage, which houses the actual parts of the mechanical watch that keep time. The idea is that it counters the effects of gravity. The highly innovative and collectible Double Tourbillon 30 degree Greubel Forsey watches are available for sale with a white or red gold case, in addition to a platinum case, with a variety of gold watch faces.

The case measures 43.5 x 15.76 mm. It can also come with custom variations at the personal request of the person who buys it. Several international patents protect this collectable watch’s mechanism making it the best of its kind.

This Greubel Forsey watches’ movement is a hand-winding caliber GF 02, with double Tourbillon 30 degrees. The exterior Tourbillon has a rotating cycle of 4 minutes and the interior Tourbillon has a rotating cycle of one minute.

The watch comes with a 72-hour power reserve indicator. This watch is water resistant to 30 meters. This wonderful designer watch is one of those from which you can’t take your eyes off. You don’t have to, when it is strapped to your wrist with its cool black or brown alligator strap with a folding clasp. Greubel Forsey watches are naturally wearable with any dress and fashion. If you want a piece of watch making history, then you will find it in Greubel Forsey watches.
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Friday, October 23, 2009

The Most Expensive Cars Ever

The most expensive car currently on sale in Britain is the Porsche Carrera GT. This ultra-exotic supercar costs £321,093. According to the Halifax Building Society this makes it almost twice as expensive as the average British house, currently yours for £162,086. By almost any standards at all, it is a phenomenally expensive car.

I use the word 'almost' advisedly because for one group of people -super-wealthy car collectors - its price would be a trifling irrelevance. It may be our most expensive car today but stood against the most expensive cars ever sold, its stature is so small and insignificant it would likely be trodden on...
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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Most Expensive Mobile Phone Of The World

Now, their precious jewel arrives in Russia and it is no other than the world’s most expensive phone called GoldVish Le Million.Exposing the highest level of Swiss craftsmanship and precision, Le Million is present also in the Guiness Book as the most expensive phone worth 1 million Euros (approx. 1,437,000 US dollars).

Russia is now one of the providers of this piece of art made of 18 K gold, coming in 4 gold color versions: white, gold, yellow and pink. There are only three units available worldwide and the mobile provider that brought to the country the phone decorated with the most precious diamonds is Euroset.
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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Worlds Most Expensive Handbags

If you think Leiber is already expensive, well, Lana Marks released its 2007 limited edition Cleopatra Clutch bag for $100,000. It’s made with metallic silver alligator skin and 1,500 fully cut, faceted black and white diamonds set in an 18-karat white gold frame.

Each year’s bag is signed and numbered. These bags are so exclusive that Lana only allows one star per year to carry her handmade diamond studded designs down the crimson carpet, since 2004.
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Monday, October 19, 2009

World's Most Expensive Cruise Ship

After five years of planning and construction, Royal Caribbean is unveiling the Oasis of the Seas, a $1.4 billion ship that will be the largest and tallest cruise liner in the world when it takes its maiden voyage this December.

At 1,184 feet from stem to stern, it's nearly as long as the Empire State building is tall--while rivaling the amenities of any world-class Las Vegas resort. A crew of roughly 2,160 will man 18 decks and tend to 5,400 passengers (assuming two per room).

"It's in the DNA of our company, about every 10 years, to take more or less a fresh sheet of paper and create the greatest cruise ship in the world," says Adam Goldstein, CEO of Royal Caribbean International.

The laundry list of amenities is daunting: a central park the length of a football field with 12,000 plants and trees; a boardwalk with two rock-climbing walls; an aqua theater with dive performances; two FlowRiders for surfing; a full-service spa and a main theater where the Broadway musical Hairspray will be shown four times a week. As an avid runner and sports enthusiast, Goldstein's favorites include the 600-plus meter jogging track on deck 3 and the zipline across the boardwalk.

The average Oasis ticket is $1,000 per person for seven nights, making it significantly more expensive than Royal Caribbean's typical seven-night packages, many of which start at roughly $490. This could be a tough sell: Worldwide, tourism is expected to contract by 3.5% this year, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council. In the U.S., 2009 travel spending is forecast to fall 9% to $705 billion, according to the U.S. Travel Association. Meet Royal Caribbean's Oasis, a retreat for executives and their families.

Still, Goldstein remains optimistic. "Our customers want more choice, more options, more variety, they want to be in control of their vacation decision making," he says. It's a major gamble for the cruise operator, which has been discounting tickets during the recession to combat the pullback in consumer spending and H1N1 travel fatigue.

In the second quarter, the company swung to a loss of 16 cents a share, with revenues down $1.3 billion. According to Goldstein, while occupancy rates are expected to be stable on a year-over-year basis (2009 vs. 2008) revenue yields will be down 13%--indicative of the steep discounting environment.

For now, the Oasis will feature two main routes. From December 2009 to April 2010, the ship will sail seven nights from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., to St. Thomas, St. Maarten and the Bahamas. Then, beginning May 2010, it will sail from Ft. Lauderdale to Haiti, Jamaica and Mexico. Prices start at $729 for interior rooms, per person, based on double occupancy. For a steeper price, there are multi-level loft suites available with floor-to-ceiling windows.
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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Hot Cars Make Men...Well, Hot

It turns out all of the stereotypes are true: Driving fast, expensive cars causes a spike in men’s testosterone levels, according to a new study from Concordia University John Molson School of Business.
The study used 39 male volunteers and asked them to drive down.

A quiet residential road and a street loaded with pedestrian traffic twice, each time in a different vehicle. The cars? A 1993 Toyota Camry and a new Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet. After each drive, researchers took a saliva sample to measure testosterone levels.

It didn’t matter if they were driving on the pedestrian-heavy street with female onlookers, the men always had elevated and sustained testosterone levels after driving the Porsche (or maybe that was just the normal level and libido-sapping ’93 Camry was putting them into a coma).

The authors write that men use powerful, expensive cars as “sexual signaling devices” the same way a peacock uses his tail feathers. It’s nice to know that after thousands of years of developing our civilized world, men are still trying to impress women with hyper-expensive tail feathers.
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Friday, October 16, 2009

The World's most expensive earrings

That title may sound like some sort of slick marketing thing, but here's the back story. The gold discs in the earrings are actually experimental photo diodes that were developed for use in Cat Scan machines. The original cost of developing the diodes was over $30 Million dollars.

Approximately 300 diodes were produced. When it became clear that they would never perform to expectation the project was terminated.

These are two of the original 300 at a cost of $100,000. each plus .12¢ for the acrylic. Don't you just love the transitory value of things.
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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Getting Noticed With The Worlds Most Expensive Jewelry

Today, the spending money thing is in. To be someone, you have to spend a lot of money, and you have to show it off in the jewelry that you wear.

This is a trend that has been started by a lot of the rappers of today. They line themselves with the world’s most expensive jewelry.

Most of the things that they wear cost as much as most people make in a whole year (sometimes more).

Going out and getting the world’s most expensive jewelry is not something that you can do on a normal person’s salary. There are some trends that are not made for everyone (this goes for jewelry).

The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. This is the sad truth to the world that we live in, however, there is something else that you do not know. The rich also have the money to look good at the same time! That’s right, to look good in today’s times, you have to be wearing the world’s most expensive jewelry. These are pieces of jewelry that cost so much they should be just looked at, not worn. However, the rich do not care.

They wear it out anyway to show off to all their friends just how “rich” they are. You can see these kinds of trends being worn by a lot of the big name rappers of today. They go out and they spend thousands of dollars on necklaces to hang around their necks.

These necklaces are usually so big that they hangs well below their belt line. Not only that, they also spend a lot of money to get grills made, which is another type of jewelry. These grills are made out of diamonds and gold, and they are fitted to fit your teeth so you can wear them in your mouth. Now that is the meaning of expensive taste! These grills are suppose to be a sign that this person is so rich that they can afford to put jewelry in their mouth.

However, a lot of people nowadays want to be just like the rappers they see on TV. The only problem is that most of us can not go out and get the world’s most expensive jewelry to hang on our necks or put in our mouth. So where does that leave us. Well this is where you start to see the fakes and the knock offs come out. These are brands that people go out and get that are not real gold or not real diamonds. They are modeled after a famous rappers jewelry, but they cost millions less.

Most of the time you can not tell the difference between the fakes and the reals from far away. However, as you get closer it is easy to pick out flaws. So the next time you see a kid walking down the street with a grill or something like that, you know it is fake, because there is no way in the world they could ever buy something like that.

The world’s most expensive jewelry is not something that everyone can just save up and by. In fact, a lot of these pieces cost more than what you will make in your whole life time. That is why this is a trend or a style that not everyone can try and do. Some people go with the fake stuff, but when people find out it is fake, a lot of time they just make fun of you. It is always better to not be something that you are not. If you can not afford the world’s most expensive jewelry, you should not try and play it off like you can.
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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Emirates Palace Hotel To Offer Worlds Most Expensive Holiday

If you have spare $1 million in your account and heart to spill over the fat sum for recreational purpose then here is your bait. News is the Emirates Palace Hotel has plans to set a record by offering world’s most expensive holiday package priced at $1 million.

This �once-in-a-lifetime” seven-night trip for a duo details at offering a deep-sea fishing trip, Emirates Palace Sunset and Desert Island Tour, gifts counting Emirates Palace Gold Champagne, the unique pearls in the world from Robert Wang and an assortment of sporting guns from Holland.

The guests are housed in a 680-square meter grand suite. The package counts the transportation facility for the first-class return from any international target serviced by a designated airline to Abu Dhabi followed by chauffeur-driven Maybach at pick you and all through your stay in Abu Dhabi followed by a daily spa healing in the Anantara Spa.

The sales generated via this holiday package are anticipated to be donated to social and charitable organizations based in the UAE. The prospective clientele for this neat deal eyes only “celebrities, industry moguls, top names and businessmen”.
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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Big, Bold Rock Jewelry

Big is beautiful, especially when it comes to rocks, aka gemstone jewelry. Forbes.com shows off 10 of the world's most expensive jewels in a slide show and article entitled "Million Dollar Rocks 2006."

"Color continues to play a strong creative role in high-end collections through semi-precious stones such as topaz, tourmaline and lemon citrine, precious stones such as sapphires, rubies or emeralds, or naturally colored diamonds in rare blues and fancy pinks or yellows.

Nature-oriented designs, such as flower brooches and star fish shapes, are quite popular at the moment, says Robey, and designers also have been picking up on a lot of feminine inspirations and turning them into art deco and Renaissance styles." If you want to read the rest of the Forbes article and see all 10 pieces of jewelry, scroll down to the subtitle "In Pictures: Ten Of The World's Most Expensive Jewels" to start the slide show.
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Monday, October 12, 2009

2009 Mercedes-Benz S-class

Generally speaking, now's a lousy time to buy a new car. Coming after months of slow sales that had caused carmakers to scale back -- and even shut down -- production, Cash for Clunkers drained inventories at the end of the summer. That's left most car dealers with fewer cars on their lots to sell and, so, no need for big rebates or serious haggling.

But none of that is true for luxury car dealers. There were no Cash for Clunkers rebates for cars costing more than $45,000, so those buyers weren't looking for deals on BMW or Jaguar lots. If you're in the market for a high-end car, there are, ironically, still some nice deals to be had.

Dollar savings are biggest on the most expensive cars, too. For instance,analysts at TrueCar.com point out that you can get $18,500 off on an all-wheel-drive Mercedes-Benz S550, a genuinely top-flight large luxury car. While $73,000 might still sound like a lot, for a car like this, think of it as a corporate jet minus the wings, it's a steal.
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Thursday, October 8, 2009

America's Most Expensive Cities

In the midst of the recession, New Yorkers are cutting back on everything from dining to luxury shopping. Café des Artistes, one of the Big Apple's most storied restaurants, closed in August, in part because of poor business. Chanterelle followed this month. In July, J.C. Penney opened its first Manhattan location, citing local demand for discount merchandise.

These changes makes sense. New York tops a recent list of America's most expensive cities, with a measured cost of living surpassing that of Houston, Boston and Washington, D.C. The culprit? High rent: $4,300 a month on average for a two-bedroom, unfurnished luxury apartment. The silver lining: That's down $200 from when the survey was taken in 2008.

Los Angeles comes in at second place. Its residents, who also endure high housing costs, can partly blame a long, expensive commute. The sprawling city is home to some of the nation's worst traffic, and unleaded gas at a relatively high 63 cents a liter helps raise transportation costs.

Behind the Numbers
To determine the U.S. cities where the cost of living is highest, the London office of Mercer, an American human resources consulting company, earlier this year measured the prices of the same basket of goods in 253 of the world's cities. The basket is composed of over 200 products, representative of executive spending patterns and including everything from rent for a luxury apartment to the cost of a fast-food hamburger. Mercer chose a sampling of U.S. cities to measure, the ten most expensive of which are listed here.

Location has a lot to do with why New York and Los Angeles top the list.
Before the 1970s, New Yorkers were in a sense paid a premium to live in the Big Apple, due to its reputation for crime and filth. But when the city began to experience robust economic growth, demand outweighed supply, and housing prices grew. Though prices are now dropping, and are largely believed to have yet to hit bottom, the area's cost of living, according to Mercer, remains the nation's highest. Its housing cost, according to Mercer, is almost double that of second-place Los Angeles.
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