What's the status of the world's wealthiest car buyers?
Ever since the coronavirus pandemic struck last spring, the world economy has suffered. Needless to say, sales of new cars and trucks took a hit. Fortunately, there are some signs of recovery. Last week Toyota announced its global sales are recovering faster than expected and this could be the case for other mainstream brands. But what about the luxury car market? At least one ultra-luxury brand is sounding very upbeat.
Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos is feeling very optimistic about next year's outlook as the company's coronavirus recovery appears to be well underway.
"We see a very fruitful business now coming back from Asia, also Europe is coming back on track, the Americas just delivered an excellent July result and August result," Muller-Otvos told Reuters. "I am quite optimistic looking into 2021, particularly on the back of a very strong order bank we have already on our books."
Rolls-Royce was actually the first automaker to resume production in the UK following a multi-week factory shutdown. And speaking of UK production, Muller-Otvos reiterated the marque has zero plans to move production out of the country in the wake of Brexit.
"We are committed to Britain. I would even call us being part of the British industrial crown jewels," he said. "For that reason, Rolls-Royce belongs to Britain."
The brand, which is owned by the BMW Group, had been experiencing remarkable growth thanks to one all-new model: the Rolls-Royce Cullinan. In 2019, the company achieved an impressive 25 percent sales growth largely thanks to unprecedented demand for its first-ever SUV. A grand total of 5,125 vehicles were sold last year and the Cullinan accounted for around 40 percent of that.
2019 was RR's best year in its entire 116-year existence. Muller-Otvos has every reason to be upbeat for 2021. Along with still high Cullinan demand, the all-new Rolls-Royce Ghost has just debuted and is set to go on sale shortly. Not only does it keep its 6.75-liter twin-turbocharged V12 with over 500 horsepower on tap, but it also rides on the same aluminum spaceframe chassis as the Cullinan. Its predecessor shared a platform with the BMW 7 Series, its then corporate distant cousin.
Despite economic uncertainties, the world's wealthiest car buyers continue to fill their garages with superior offerings.