Rolls-Royce CEO Says COVID Was Surprisingly Great For Business

Torsten Müller-Otvös

The Rolls-Royce CEO claimed that the pandemic actually assisted the luxury carmaker achieve their biggest sales year yet.

Torsten Müller-Otvös, the Rolls-Royce CEO, claimed that the company’s cars are flying out of the factory in large part because of the pandemic, not despite it. This is because Müller-Otvös believes the pandemic has caused a shift in perspective.

As Müller-Otvös told the Financial Times,

“Quite a lot of people witnessed people in their community dying from COVID, that makes them think life can be short, and you'd better live now than postpone it to a later date… That also has helped [Rolls-Royce sales] quite massively.”

Rolls-Royce had its biggest sale year yet with 5,586 cars sold in 2021, which is up 49% from 2020. This phenomenon isn’t isolated to just Rolls-Royce but to the luxury market in general as most luxury brands had surprisingly strong sales during the pandemic.

Rolls-Royce Ghost | Credit: Rolls-Royce

In 2019, the personal luxury goods market reported a record year for sales at €281 billion (approx. $441 billion AUD). 2020 obviously saw a dip in sales with Bain & Company reporting sales of €220 billion. But 2021 has already seen the market recover and estimates expect the market to exceed the record set by 2019 with sales of €283 billion!

Credit: Bain & Company

Rolls-Royce say that the bulk of their sales were from the 2021 Ghost and Cullinan which start at $314,000 USD and $336,000 USD respectively, according to the Financial Times.

The people buying these cars are on average 43 years old with 30% of sales coming from the Americas and China. 20% came from Europe and 10% from the Middle East.

“All markets were booming worldwide. That is something I’ve never seen before,” said Müller-Otvös.

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