- Gross sales of ultra-luxury automobiles thrived in 2021 because the auto trade struggled to construct sufficient automobiles.
- Rolls-Royce, for instance, grew gross sales by a whopping 49% in 2021.
- Tremendous-premium manufacturers noticed massive demand and weren’t affected by the chip disaster.
Carmakers bought thousands and thousands fewer automobiles than common in 2021 as a computer-chip scarcity and different pandemic-related disruptions forged wrench after wrench into the cogs of auto manufacturing.
However ultra-high-end manufacturers like Bentley and Rolls-Royce thrived amidst the chaos. A surging inventory market made rich shoppers even richer, whereas the pandemic drove them to open their wallets for bodily items as an alternative of journey and holidays. Plus, super-premium manufacturers weren’t hit by the semiconductor scarcity like mass-market producers.
Rolls-Royce, whose flagship Phantom begins at round $460,000, bought a file 5,586 automobiles in 2021, up 49% from 2020. Bentley moved 14,659 automobiles, a 31% improve over the earlier 12 months. Lamborghini had a record-breaking 12 months, too.
Partially, gross sales boomed for the easy cause that rich folks received even richer during the last couple of years. Gross sales of luxurious automobiles are immediately correlated with the inventory market, stated Michelle Krebs, government analyst at Cox Automotive.
A powerful market through the pandemic — one which has doubled the wealth of the ten richest folks in two years — might have pushed a sure section of patrons to tug the set off on that tailored, $400,000 Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUV or $200,000 Bentley Continental they’ve lusted after.
Individuals had extra time on their palms and fewer alternatives to splurge on journey and consuming out, in order that they directed their spending towards unique and particular merchandise they may get pleasure from from house, Martin Fritsches, CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Automobiles Americas, instructed Insider.
Each Rolls-Royce and Bentley additionally chalk up booming demand in recent times to new product choices which have lured in first-time patrons. Since late 2019, Bentley has launched new fashions, paint schemes, and a darkish, Blackline accent bundle, all of which have attracted a youthful buyer base, stated Michael Rocco, vice chairman of gross sales and operations for Bentley Americas.
Equally, Rolls-Royce’s Cullinan — its first SUV and its first all-wheel-drive car — has been “a serious recreation changer,” Fritsches stated. Due to it and different fashions, Rolls-Royce’s common buyer age has dropped to 43.
However demand is simply half of the equation. The larger query could also be how these firms have been in a position to fulfill rising urge for food in an auto-manufacturing atmosphere that is been ravaged by components shortages, transport crises, and different disruptions.
Area of interest producers are likely to have smaller, extra secure provide chains, which means there’s much less threat of working out of components or supplies, stated Kevin Tynan, a senior automotive analyst at Bloomberg intelligence. Rolls-Royce, for instance, builds all its automobiles in a single manufacturing facility in England. A behemoth like Toyota churns out thousands and thousands of automobiles at crops across the globe.
One other piece of the puzzle is that Bentley and Rolls-Royce are owned by massive father or mother firms — the Volkswagen Group and BMW Group, respectively — which are strongly incentivized to allocate as many pc chips as essential to their most worthwhile merchandise and types. Neither Rolls-Royce nor Bentley skilled points acquiring the chips they wanted, the businesses instructed Insider. Prioritizing high-margin automobiles when provides are working skinny is “enterprise 101,” stated Tynan.
The surge in super-high-end gross sales comes amid a wider increase within the luxury-vehicle house. In 2021, each Porsche and BMW noticed big progress whereas mass-market manufacturers struggled. In 2012, solely 6% of automobiles purchased within the US value $50,000 or extra, in line with Cox Automotive. In 2021, that determine grew to 30%.
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