Luxury cars have never sold as well as in 2021


US ‘is a part of the economy not affected by the crisis, on the contrary. Rolls-Royce, the BMW Group’s prestige brand, thus improved its historic record in 2019 by selling 5,586 cars. Wealthy customers flocked to the new “Ghost” coupe and the Cullinan SUV, sold from 300,000 euros (in France). Bentley and Lamborghini (Volkswagen Group) also presented their sales records this week with 14,659 and 8,405 cars sold worldwide, respectively, thanks in particular to their Bentayga and Urus SUVs, sold for around € 200,000. On the hyper-luxury side, Bugatti welcomed the “best exercise ever in the company’s history”, with 150 cars ordered, for an entrance ticket of around three million euros.

Lots of money ready to be spent

“It’s the same everywhere: after the crises, the rich are richer and the poor are poorer,” said philosopher Adolfo De Stefani Cosentino, president of the Italian Association of Dealers (Federauto). “Luxury and premium held up much better than the generalist segments. There is a lot of money ready to be spent,” Rolls-Royce boss Torsten Muller-Otvos said in an interview with AFP in May 2021. “I was impressed with the number of customers. , who told us they understood with Covid. that they could die tomorrow and that now is the time to enjoy life. In parallel with the health crisis, the global automotive industry is suffering from a shortage of components, especially electronic chips, which prevent the production of vehicles when the order books are full. The crisis has prevented the production of 9.5 to 11 million vehicles worldwide by 2021, according to the company PwC.

BMW overtakes Mercedes

On the premium side, BMW recorded a record year with 2.2 million cars sold, mainly in China and the United States. Its arch-enemy Mercedes-Benz saw global sales fall by 5% due to chip shortages, but sales of the AMG sports division and luxury brand Maybach rose sharply. “Only the most in-demand vehicles are produced,” said José Bagdad, partner and head of the automotive sector at PwC France and the Maghreb. “Premium manufacturers are also willing to buy the components a little more expensive. “And the luxury pleasures are not only experienced on four wheels: Italian Ducati motorcycles (from 15,000 euros for the most sporty) also improved their sales record in 2021 with almost 60,000 copies sold worldwide.

Some cars are investments

“There is a macroeconomic factor: part of the population has become very wealthy in recent years and has the capacity to buy luxury cars and very large luxury cars,” the analyst emphasizes. In the ultra-luxury micro market, “these cars have also shown in recent years that they do not lose value and even gain value”. SUVs benefit from a global fashion effect, but they are also the most accessible vehicles from these brands. Ferrari, which is due to announce its results in early February, will also present its first SUV this year, the “Purosangue”.

Porsche sells more Taycans than 911s

Another marker for 2020s cars, electrification, also ends up affecting luxury, as “a new breath but a real challenge”, stresses Mr Baghdad at PwC. “One of the interests of these brands was motoring with a special power and sound. By going electric, it becomes harder to distinguish them from each other. At Porsche (which also recorded a record year by exceeding 300,000 vehicles sold, especially in China and America), the legendary sporty 911 was overtaken by the Taycan electric sedan, which saw its sales double in one year.


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