Rolls Royce & BMW: Luxury brands benefit from Covid as drivers ‘invest in nice things’

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The BMW-owned car manufacturer saw their sales rise a whopping 49 percent in 2021 as part of a worldwide rise in luxury car buying. Some 5,586 Rollers were sold in 50 countries around the world, the highest ever number in the brand’s 117-year history.

Luxury car sales have been soaring in markets like the US and China as travel restrictions handed the rich more disposable income.

Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös said: “In the luxury sector as a whole, the struggle was not so much focused on attempting to find customers, but rather producing enough product to satisfy huge customer demand.

“Covid forced many people to ground, not to travel anymore and for that reason there is quite a lot of wealth accumulated and that is spent on luxury goods.

“We profited from that development.”

Rolls Royce’s plant in Goodwood is running at full capacity and the order books are full deep into 2022.

That means hopeful customers will have to wait some time for a new car.

Müller-Ötvös said: “If you order a Rolls-Royce today, you will expect to take delivery of it about a year from now.”

The luxury marque’s cars are priced from £233,000 to £432,00 for models including the Wraith, the Ghost limousine and the Cullinan SUV.

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Muller-Otvos added: “Many people witnessed people in their community dying from Covid and that made them think life can be short and you’d better live now rather than postpone until a later date.

“That also has helped quite massively to [encourage people to] invest into what I would call the nice, lovely things in the world.

“It is very much due to Covid that the entire luxury business is booming worldwide.

“People couldn’t travel a lot, they couldn’t invest a lot into luxury services…and there is quite a lot of money accumulated that is spent on luxury goods.”

Rolls Royce’s British rival Bentley, which is owned by Volkswagen Group, also announced record sales as their cars sold jumped 31 percent in 2021.

And perennial Bond-favourite Aston Martin also announced it had achieved its target to sell around 6,000 vehicles to wholesalers in 2021.

BMW also said its main brand had achieved record sales of 2.2 million units in 2021 despite the worldwide shortage of semiconductor chips hitting car manufacturers.

Müller-Ötvös said that while the chip shortage was cause for concern, Rolls-Royce’s parent BMW had “assured that we could take delivery of all the chips we need to build our cars, so we haven’t seen any shortages”.

The 62 year-old German boasted: “2021 was a phenomenal year for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.

“In the past 12 months, we have recorded our highest-ever annual sales, launched the latest addition to our Black Badge family, stunned the world with our coachbuilding capabilities and made huge strides into our all-electric future.

“This is hugely encouraging as we prepare for the historic launch of Spectre, our first all-electric car. Building on this year’s success, we will continue to evolve as a true luxury brand, beyond the realms of automotive manufacturing.”

He paid tribute to “the dedication and commitment of the extraordinary people’ at Rolls-Royce saying: “It is my privilege and pleasure to work alongside them every day.”

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