Automobili Lamborghini, President and CEO Stephan Winkelmann. Image: Supplied

Recessions and a Pandemic Couldn’t Slow the Luxury Car Market Down

Despite challenging conditions around the globe, luxury car manufacturers have posted impressive, and in some cases record-breaking, Q1 2021 results.

“I was confident that Rolls-Royce Motor Cars had made a very strong start to 2021. It was only when the final figures came in that I knew just how strong,” Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös said.

Their first-quarter sales were the highest in the company’s 116-year history, up 62 per cent on the same period in 2020 and surpassing the previous record set in 2019.

According to figures released by the British luxury carmaker, 1380 vehicles were sold between January 1 and March 31, 2021.

Joining in on the strong sales was Porsche, with the company delivering 17,368 cars in the US in Q1 2021 – a 44.8 per cent increase from the same time last year.

The result was just shy of a record 17,560 deliveries in the fourth quarter of last year.

In the US, the company sold 2782 911s and 2008 Tycans.

Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended. Image: Supplied

Not to miss out on the fun, the Sant’Agata Bolognese super sports manufacturer Lamborghini also enjoyed record results.

The company delivered 2422 cars from January to March, marking its best results ever. The increase in sales was +25 per cent over the same period of 2020 and is 22 per cent higher than the first quarter of 2019, which now stands as the second-best ever. 

The Urus continues to be the most popular Lamborghini model (1382 units), followed by Huracán (753) and Aventador (287). Among the markets, the United States, China and Germany have shown positive momentum at this early stage of the year.

While they have not posted Q1 2021 results, Audi also had a record quarter at the tail-end of 2020, the company supplied 505,583 cars to its customers – more than half a million in a quarter for the first time ever.

Luxury car market is booming

According to a recent report from CommSec, the measure of luxury vehicles represented a record 12.56 per cent of overall passenger vehicle and SUV sales in Australia for the year to March, with Porsche sales at three-year highs.

“The latest data shows that Aussies remain keen on domestic purchases with the borders closed, with a skew to upmarket purchases,” CommSec Chief Economist Craig James said.

Sales of luxury marques hit peak levels of 106,658 units in the year to December 2016. But in the year to October 2020, rolling annual luxury vehicle sales hit near six-year lows.

Luxury vehicle sales have now risen for the past five months, up 5.8 per cent.

“Aussie consumers continue to treat themselves,” James said.

“Except for New Zealand, the foreign borders are still closed, and that means that consumers are prepared to spend more on cars, domestic travel and other retail purchases in the current environment.”

The best performing marque in the Australian market has been Porsche – rolling annual sales stood at 4457 in the year to March – a three-year high and close to the record high of 4650 in the year to June 2016.

Sales in the March 2021 month (574) were the second-highest on record behind the 581 result in January 2017.

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