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

In 2021, the two British brands set sales records. Excellent results registered 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 its 117-year 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% compared to 2020. This is above all 460 cars more than in 2019, the last year before the pandemic. And with a minimum of almost 300,000 euros per unit makes every vehicle the difference.

Covid? “It helped”

At the enemy’s brother Bentley, it is also time 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 all-time record). It’s also much better than in 2019, when the brand had “only” 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 customization pushed to the limit by the two manufacturers who can still raise the bill.

Because wealthy buyers didn’t hesitate to open their portfolios wide last year.

“A lot of customers have seen people in their community die from Covid and it made them believe that life can be short and you better live now rather than put it off until a later date. That helped Rolls-Royce “, explained i The Guardian Thorsten Müller-Ötvös, the day-to-day manager of the brand.

“It is largely thanks to Covid that the whole 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 that has been spent on luxury”.

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

Finally, Aston Martin, another renowned English brand, also recorded a strong increase in its sales with 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 whole of 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 Lamborghini for the year 2021. But the Italian bull brand, which unveiled its results this Wednesday morning, also had a record year. “The best ever on a commercial level,” its owner, the Volkswagen Group, wrote in a press release. Lamborghini delivered 8,405 cars last year, the vast majority of which are SUVs, the Urus model.

Financing the energy transition

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

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

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

More than 300,000 Porsches sold in 2021
Record also on the side of the German brand Porsche. The manufacturer announced on Wednesday that it had passed the bar of 300,000 cars sold in 2021 (301,915 to be exact). In 2019, Porsche had sold only 280,800 cars. Like the entire luxury sector, the manufacturer was supported by the abundance of liquidity of the wealthiest consumers and a certain reorientation of their purchases on pleasure products.
In detail, and unsurprisingly, it was the SUVs that drove sales, with the 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 the 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 the Taycan, with 38,464 coupes and convertibles delivered. Here, too, a record.

Pauline Ducamp with Simon Tenenbaum

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