Bentley, Porsche, Rolls-Royce … Luxury brands have never sold as many cars as in 2021

In 2021, the two UK brands set sales records. Excellent results recorded paradoxically thanks to Covid, as in the rest of the luxury sector, explains the head of Rolls-Royce.

Like the rest of the sector, luxury car brands are seeing their sales explode despite Covid-19. In 117 years of history, Rolls-Royce had never sold as many cars as last year.

The British manufacturer, owned by the BMW Group, delivered 5,586 vehicles in 2021, an increase of 50% over 2020. That is, above all, 460 cars more than in 2019, the last year before the pandemic. And with almost 300,000 euros minimum per. unit makes every vehicle the difference.

Covid? “It helped”

With the enemy’s brother Bentley, the hour is also for the party. The brand also recorded record sales last year, the best in its history. Bentley sold 14,659 vehicles, an increase of 31% compared to 2020 (11,206 cars then marketed, its previous historical record). It is also much better than in 2019, when the brand “only” had marketed 11,006 vehicles. And with prices (French) from around 180,000 euros at Bentley for the Bentayga SUV (40% of annual sales), the final bill therefore looks interesting for both brands. Not to mention the adjustment pushed to the extreme by the two producers, who can still raise the bill.

Because wealthy buyers did not hesitate to open their portfolios wide last year.

“Many customers have seen people in their community die of Covid, and it made them believe that life can be short and that you should rather live now instead of postponing it to a later date. It helped Rolls-Royce “, explained in The Guardian Thorsten Müller-Ötvös, the daily manager of the brand.

“It’s largely thanks to Covid that the entire luxury sector is booming around the world, he continued. People could not travel much, they could not invest much in services. Luxury … and there is a lot of accumulated money spent on luxury “.

The Cullinan SUV, a third of last year’s sales for Rolls-Royce, thus shows catalog prices of almost… 400,000 euros for the exclusive Black Badge version.

Finally, Aston Martin, another reputable English brand, also recorded a sharp increase in its sales of 4,250 vehicles sold in the first nine months of 2021 (+ 173% compared to the same period in 2020), according to its latest quarterly results.

If they have not yet revealed their commercial results for the entire 2021, the Italians from Ferrari should follow the same path. According to their latest quarterly results, Ferrari recorded 8,206 sales in the first nine months of the year, 27% more than in 2020.

That’s twice as much as the Lamborghini for the year 2021. But the Italian brand with the bull, which unveiled its results this Wednesday morning, also recorded a record year. “The best ever on a commercial level,” its owner, Volkswagen Group, wrote in a press release. Last year, Lamborghini delivered 8,405 cars, the vast majority of which are SUVs, the Urus model.

Financing of the energy conversion

Enough to fund the transition to electricity for all these brands. “We want our first fully electric car in 2025”, emphasizes Benedetto Vigna, the new CEO of Ferrari, which aims to “achieve CO2 neutrality by 2030”.

For its part, Rolls-Royce will launch its first electric vehicle, the Specter, at the end of next year. At Lamborghini, electrification is also gradually gaining ground. “In 2022, we will make every effort to consolidate our results and prepare for the arrival of our future hybrid series from 2023,” Lamborghini CEO German Stephan Winkelmann was quoted as saying in the press release.

The prestigious brand had in May presented “its roadmap against the electrification” of its models, an ambitious plan involving an investment of more than 1.5 billion euros over four years. In 2023, Lamborghini launches its first production hybrid model, and “by the end of 2024, the entire series will be electrified,” the manufacturer confirmed on Wednesday. The first all-electric Lamborghini is scheduled for “the second half of the decade.”

More than 300,000 Porsche sold in 2021
Record also on the side of the German brand Porsche. The manufacturer announced on Wednesday that it had passed the crossbar of 300,000 cars sold by 2021 (301,915 to be exact). By 2019, Porsche had only sold 280,800 cars. Like the entire luxury sector, the producer was driven by the abundance of liquidity among the richest consumers and some diversion of their purchases on pleasure products.
In detail, and not surprisingly, it was the SUVs that drove sales, Macan in the lead (88,362 vehicles), ahead of the Cayenne (83,071 units), or 56% of total Porsche sales. Note the very good breakthrough of Taycan electric sports car, which doubled its sales compared to 2020, with 41,296 cars sold.
Finally, the iconic 911 also had a good year, although sales remain below Taycan, with 38,464 coupes and convertibles delivered. Here too a record.

Pauline Ducamp with Simon Tenenbaum

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