The head of luxury automaker Rolls-Royce said Covid deaths drove record sales last year as the super-rich adopted a “life can be short” mentality and dumped expensive goods.
Since the rich couldn’t travel as much as they wanted, there was more money for “the beautiful, beautiful things in the world” during the pandemic, the company’s CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos told the FT.
He added, “Many people in their community have also seen people die from Covid and that made them think that life can be short and that it is better to live now than to postpone it for a later date.”
It has meant “a phenomenal year” for Rolls-Royce, he said.
The BMW-owned company delivered 5,586 cars last year, 49 percent more than in 2020 and more than ever before in the 117-year history of the brand.
Mr. Müller-Otvos said at a virtual press conference that it was “thanks to Covid that the entire luxury business is booming worldwide”.
The pandemic limited how much wealthy people could spend on quality services and travel abroad.
“For this reason,” said Müller-Otvos, “a lot of money has been accumulated around the world that has been spent on luxury goods. We also benefited from that. “
Rolls-Royce said all of its models would be in high demand in 2021, particularly the Ghost and Cullinan. Contract manufacturing was also at a record level.
The Goodwood, West Sussex-based company is developing its first all-electric car, Specter, which is slated to hit the market towards the end of next year.
Mr. Muller-Otvos welcomed the “unprecedented demand for all products in every world market” and said the company plans to build on its success and “develop beyond automobile manufacturing as a true luxury brand”.