Sales of premium and luxury cars have been impacted to an extent by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is largely a result of the shutdown of non-essential business at the beginning of the year, international and domestic travel bans and consumers in lockdown; these factors greatly reduced demand for replacement vehicles, notably among corporate fleet buyers and individuals needing to drive for work.
The pandemic appears to have had an interesting effect on the type of premium/luxury car sold in Romania in 2020. Although most consumers are still very much brand focussed, there has been a marked increase in demand for SUVs.
Over the review period, sales of premium and luxury cars have been boosted by the growth in number of high net worth individuals, but strong growth in aspirational consumption from less wealthy consumers has also been a factor. This trend has been supported by the rapid evolution of credit plans offered by financial institutions, allowing these consumers to finance the purchase of premium brands.
Value sales of premium and luxury cars are set to see solid recovery in 2021, with respectable growth in both current and constant terms. However, unit sales are not set to hit pre-pandemic levels over the forecast period, with volume development impacted by a number of factors.
The Romanian economy has performed exceptionally well over the forecast period, driving up incomes and numbers of high wealth individuals. These consumers are becoming increasingly more sophisticated, and the days of shopping for a luxury car solely on its brand are long past.
Despite demand for differentiation and a more discerning consumer base, Mercedes-Benz, owned by Daimler AG, is set to retain its convincing leadership of premium and luxury cars in Romania over the forecast period. The producer has lost some ground to its nearest competitors in 2020, but the Mercedes brand continues to be perceived as delivering very high quality, innovative perfectionism.
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This report originates from Passport, our Luxury Cars research and analysis database.
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