2022 may have been a tumultuous year for global economies, but for luxury car brands, it was a different reality. The reports are in, and from Lamborghini to Rolls Royce to Bentley, last year might as well be ‘the year of the luxury car’ as almost all auto brands recorded increased sales and deliveries.
The British brand, according to an official press release, had its highest-ever annual sales in 2022. It sent out a total of 6,021 cars, the first time in its 118-year history it has exceeded 6000 deliveries in a 12-month period.
This increase is not limited to just one model, although the Cullinan topped the list of the ‘most in-demand Rolls Royce.’ Its Bespoke commission has also received increased patronage, mostly from the Middle East.
Bentley’s growth started in 2021 when it delivered 14,659 cars, up from 11,206 cars the previous year. And it did not stop in 2022. With a total of 15,174 deliveries, not only did it smash its 2021 records, but it also created a new a new one: it would be the first time the luxury automaker would surpass 15,000 deliveries in a single year.
Like Rolls Royce, Bentley’s success can be attributed to the Bentayga, its luxury SUV. The highly celebrated model accounted for a whopping 42% of sales, while the bespoke Mulliner programme also contributed to the high numbers.
A 10% increase in deliveries meant that Lamborghini successfully got 9,233 of its cars to their owners, up from 8,405 the previous year.
In what is now a clear denominator across all luxury auto brands, increased demand for the Urus Super SUV is the major reason for this number.
The German luxury brand managed to deliver a total of 309,884 vehicles in 2022 to its customers worldwide, representing a 3% increase from the previous year.
Again, the brand’s SUVs are primarily to thank for this success story: the Porsche Cayenne went out to 95,604 customers, while 86,724 buyers took delivery of their Macans in the same year.
How were luxury auto brands able to record such high sales in 2022?
According to industry experts, recessions or periods of economic volatility cause the rich to store their wealth in alternative assets like autos, jewellery and high-end timepieces to safeguard it against fluctuations. Since these assets tend to hold and even surpass their value over the years, it comes as no surprise that luxury cars enjoyed unprecedented sales in 2022.
Another reason proposed is that an increase in disposable income from the 2020 wealth surge means that the affluent have more than enough money to get themselves whatever they desire, hence the increase in the purchase of luxury items, including cars, which is considered a ‘wise’ way to dispose of extra funds.
In the end, however, it appears that the answer is the principle behind every successful business: give people what they want while communicating your product’s unique and life-changing value, and they would pay you whatever you ask for. In other words, when people can connect real, tangible value to a product, they go all out to get it.
Nearly all the luxury car brands that experienced an uptick in sales/deliveries in 2022 have an SUV in their lineup. Clearly, luxury auto enthusiasts want utility vehicles that marry performance with high-end features, and these brands have successfully delivered.
2022 was clearly the year for luxury car brands and you might be wondering if their winning streak will continue into 2023. It is still too early to tell, but with the demand for luxury EVs rising, and with these auto brands rushing to deliver what is for some their first electric marques, the answer might very well be ‘yes.’