Recession-Proof Cars? Exotics Doing Okay, So Far

January 14, 2009

While most automakers are struggling to keep their heads above water, luxury brands seem to be enjoying something of a surge. Rolls-Royce saw  a 20% jump in sales  in 2008, Jaguar's figures were up a respectable 8%, and Lamborghini sales reached an all-time high. Not too shabby at a time when Japan's manufacturers aren't even sure they can stand to look one another in the face.

Presumably most Jag sales took place in the UK, which is the company's strongest market; US sales, however, bottomed out. Lambo sales drooped in America, too, but Middle Eastern and Asian buyers were there to pick up the slack. Rolls' strongest dealership was in Beverly Hills (if it's gonna be anywhere, it's there, right?), but next on the list came showrooms in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, London, and Beijing. If oil prices remain relatively low, it'll be interesting to see if such trends continue.

Intriguing side note: Jaguar's US sales peaked at 61,204 units back in 2002, when the company was still owned by Ford. In 2008? Only 15,500 sales stateside. Just so you know.

 --Richard Read

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