This is the crisis, or rather the polycrisis. Well, not for everyone. One sector fared well in 2022, that of luxury cars, which achieved record sales. Some brands had their best year in their entire history, while the rest of the automotive market is struggling to recover from the pandemic and suffering from a global shortage of semiconductors.
As with the mainstream vehicle, SUVs reign supreme in luxury
In 118 years of existence, the British manufacturer Rolls-Royce has never sold so many cars as in 2022, when a total of 6,021 cars were sold with the famous “Flying lady” on the grille. This figure represents an increase of 8% compared to 2021, with deliveries “to customers in approximately 50 countries“, the brand belonging to the German group BMW said in a press release. Rolls-Royce added that its main markets are the United States, China and Europe.
While the company did not detail the sales volume for each of its models, Rolls-Royce indicated that the car that sold the most in 2022 was the Cullinan, the SUV house, which is sold from €340,000.
Like more common brands, the famous “Sport Utility Vehicle”, in good English, drives sales in the world of rare cars. This trend can also be seen in Bentley or Lamborghini.
Bentley – which was common cause with Rolls-Royce until 1998 when the company was acquired from the German Volkswagen group – also had a historic year. For the first time in its history, the British manufacturer has exceeded the 15,000 car mark, with exactly 15,174 sold in 2022. An increase of 4% compared to the previous year, which had already set a record. Like its former sister company, the main markets are, in order, the United States, China and Europe. And there again, the house SUV, the Bentayga, is in the lead, representing 42% of the total! Entry ticket: €180,000.
Automotive luxury isn’t just about British limousines whose interiors are worthy of London’s best clubs, welcoming you with plenty of Connolly leather and burl walnut, it’s also about fiery Italian sports cars … preferably red.
For once, let’s not start with the racing cars flanked by a galloping horse, but the ones decorated with a bull. At Lamborghini, also part of the Volkswagen group, the year 2022 also ended in a record year with 9,233 annual sales, a first for the Sant’Agata Bolognese brand. In this exercise, which has increased by 10% compared to the previous one, it is still an SUV that, so far, works well. 5,367 copies of the massive Urus, sold from 205,000 euros, have found takers in the past 12 months .
If Maranello’s neighbor, Ferrari, has not yet communicated its numbers for 2022, everything suggests that this year will also be exceptional. Last August, the Italian manufacturer reported that sales for the first six months of last year exceeded sales in the first six months of 2021 by more than 1,250, a very good year with 11,155 vehicles sold out as a whole. . While waiting for Ferrari to announce its sales totals, the company also unveiled its SUV in September, which has already stirred up real enthusiasm. In fact, it is no longer possible to sign an order form to purchase Purosangue. Despite the sales price starting at 390,000 euros, all copies of this four-door car planned for the next two years are, in fact, reserved. The sales curve is unlikely to bend.
Even higher in exclusivity, Bugatti, another brand in the VW galaxy, also had a record-breaking 2022 year. The French manufacturer has actually delivered 80 hyper sports cars that it has never produced. And among these hand-built cars, and sold for more than 2.5 million euros, was delivered the 400th copy of the Chiron, a model produced in the Molsheim workshops since 2016. A significant detail: the brand that founded by Ettore Bugatti at the beginning of the last century does not offer SUVs. So far?
If any luxury car brand can rub its hands in its customers’ interest in SUVs, it’s Porsche. The German manufacturer, which also belongs to the Volkswagen group, is the instigator of these models. When the Stuttgart firm launched its first leggy, four-door model, the Cayenne in 2002, many of the marque’s admirers cried foul. Theyre wrong. Again last year, with at least 95,604 copies, this SUV was the best seller, ahead of its younger brother, the Macan and its 86,724 units. The iconic 911 came third with 40,410 vehicles delivered out of a total of 309,884. An impressive total for a premium car manufacturer.
Need to reinvent
Last October, the European Union ratified the end of the sale of new thermal vehicles in 2035. From this date, the goal is to reduce CO2 emissions to zero by offering only 100% electric vehicles. .
Even though manufacturers producing less than 10,000 vehicles per year, usually luxury brands, were given a derogation to allow them to sell cars equipped with combustion engines for a year, they have to comply with this new deal . and change the paradigm. No more powerful V8 and V12 over 500 horsepower, rejecting more CO2 than usual.
Some brands already offer electric vehicles in their range. Porsche has been selling the Taycan since 2019, selling 34,801 copies by 2022. Rolls-Royce will also offer its first all-electric vehicle, the Spectre, this year. Pre-orders for this big coupé, which sells for more than €420,000, have “Exceeded expectations“, assures the brand adding that the first deliveries are expected in the fourth quarter of 2023.