When autos are described as a "cyclical business," it means more than the normal waves of rising and falling sales that follow the rhythms of the economy. The industry tends to repeat itself. Some of this comes from the predictable pattern of every-four-year redesigns. Another part comes from proven solutions to recurring problems, such as cutting prices during slow sales. But a surprisingly sizeable slice comes from doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result -- the classic definition of insanity.
Upscale carmakers rely on these dozen autos to carry prestige as well as passengers.