The makers of the world’s most expensive cars are reporting record sales in 2018, proving luxury vehicles remain a white-hot segment in an otherwise depressed market.

By Stephen Corby


Posted on January 18, 2019

Boring, ordinary old cars might be on the nose with younger generations, who’d prefer to drive PlayStations or imbibe Instagram on their phones but at the higher, richer end of the market, properly super car sales are booming.

Lamborghini is one of the most exclusively expensive brands on Earth, and in a world that’s supposed to be worrying about carbon emissions, its range is almost vehemently anti-green, with no hybrid or even turbocharged engines helping to save on fuel use. And yet its sales aren’t merely increasing – they’re soaring, with a staggering 51% jump in 2018. The company shifted 5,750 vehicles in 2018 – a sales record for the company. Even more impressively, it was the eighth consecutive year of growth for the brand, which achieved those sales with, effectively, just three models on offer.

And there’s plenty more to come, because much of that sales growth can be attributed to the Urus, Lamborghini’s down-and-dirty super SUV, which only went on sale halfway through the year. You can bet it will help the company smash records again in 2019, as more people get used to the fact that it looks like a super-fast version of a Mardi Gras float, and buy it anyway.

The brand that’s barking at the angry heels of the raging bull (Lamborghini has one on its badge, and its cars are often named after famous fighting bulls) is the British bulldog known as McLaren.

Global sales for the great, British super car also soared around the world in 2018, with growth of 43.% over 2017. In total, McLaren – which produces some of the most frighteningly speedy vehicles money can buy – shifted 4,806 cars in the year, all of them fast enough to make your eyes hurt.

At the slightly more mass-market end of the super-car strata, Porsche also had a hugely successful year, largely thanks to booming sales growth in China. The German giant shifted a whopping 256,255 cars in 2018, which smashed its previous sales record set in 2017.

When it comes to spending big, big bucks on cars, with most of that money being splashed by older, more CEO-level buyers of course, no one can touch Rolls-Royce. The luxury-focused brand is expecting a huge jump in sales this year, with its just-launched Cullinan SUV set to become its biggest seller by far, and that comes on the back of a stellar year in 2018. Rolls-Royce sales leapt from 3,362 in 2017 to a new-record 4,107 in 2018, with the American market driving most of that growth, and the eye-wateringly expensive Phantom its biggest seller.