Luxury car segment doesn’t suffer from corona crisis
The luxury car segment in Belgium hasn’t suffered severely from the corona crisis. The market of real luxury cars only decreased by 3,2%, while the total car market shrunk by 26,6%.
When we say luxury market, we think of brands like Porsche, Ferrari, Maserati, Bentley, Aston Martin, Lamborghini, McLaren, and Rolls-Royce. This choice is a little biased because it doesn’t take into account the high-end models of manufacturers like Audi, BMW, Mercedes, or Tesla.
Nevertheless, they are an indication that people continue to buy exotic and/or luxury cars. Behind the screens, we hear that not everybody has been suffering from the pandemic situation. Some have taken their benefits on the stock market and have treated themselves to something nice. The corona crisis has shown them that nothing is everlasting, and you only live once.
Do yourself a favor
“People are coming back to the idea of liberty, of doing themselves a favor, of the importance of the actual present,” says Stéphane Sertang, CEO of the Ginion Group selling Ferrari, McLaren, and Rolls-Royce, among others.
Also, convertibles and motorbikes are very popular, stressing that idea of liberty in these more or less confined times. In the first seven months of this year, the motorbike market has regressed only 4,45%, thanks to a 38,48% increase in registrations in July.
Porsche and Ferrari in the lead
Inside this niche market, there can be big differences. As always, Porsche and Ferrari are doing (very) well. The latter has registered 87 cars in the first seven months (+2,35%), while Porsche – a much bigger seller – has only lost 3% compared to an excellent seven months in 2019.
One of the explanations, in this case, is, of course, the venue of the electric Taycan, where 250 units have already been delivered this year. But other Porsches are holding ground too: “the Macan stays bestseller, the 911 sells very well too,” says PR manager Bernard Van Bellingen, also responsible for the other luxury brands imported by VW Group specialist D’ieteren.
Also, Bentley (-12%) and Lamborghini (+50%) are doing well or very well, considering the circumstances. “The Urus, the big sports SUV from Lamborghini, continues to sell well,” says Van Bellingen. “We decided to go for a stock recuperation strategy, and clients were delighted with it.”
Of course, there are brands where things aren’t going quite as well, but usually, there are other reasons involved. McLaren and Rolls-Royce, for example, are registering -53,3% and -78,26% respectively, but that doesn’t worry Sertang.
First of all, a fair part of these clients doesn’t register their car in Belgium. Secondly, it all depends on what you can offer. “We are already anticipating that our biggest sales for these brands will be at the end of the year,” explains Sertang.
Also, some new models have been postponed because of the corona, and that has retarded sales. Maserati, for example, noted -45,16% with 68 registrations, but everybody is waiting for the new products like the first hybrid, the Ghibli.
Sign of the times?
The big question in this small but well-earning market is, of course, if it will last. “For the moment, it’s impossible to say if this has been a temporary peak or if it will continue,” says Bernard Van Bellingen.
One thing is obvious: there are still enough people who have enough money to afford themselves a favor. Some of them have even thrived very well financially during the first wave of the pandemic. As usual, it’s not in this high end of the market that the crisis has hit the most.