Rolls-Royce boss says Covid deaths boosted car sales: ‘People realised life is short’
Covid-19 caused a wave of misery around the world - but one luxury business executive has boasted that it was great for business.
Rolls-Royce is celebrating the highest sales in its 117-year history, and in a slightly unsettling comment, chief executive Torsten Müller-Ötvös says the coronavirus is to thank for it.
He said the pandemic led many people to be reminded of their own mortality and in response, splurge on the fancy cars.
“Many people witnessed people in their community dying from Covid and that made them think life can be short and you’d better live now rather than postpone until a later date,” Müller-Ötvös told the Guardian.
“That has helped Rolls-Royce.”
The carmaker, which is owned by BMW, posted sales of 5,586 vehicles during the year, up 49 percent of 2020.
Sign up to our new free Indy100 weekly newsletter
Müller-Ötvös also credited travel restrictions due to the pandemic that’s forced affluent consumers to stay put, opening up the opportunity to splurge elsewhere.
“It is very much due to Covid that the entire luxury business is booming worldwide,” he said.
“People couldn’t travel a lot, they couldn’t invest a lot into luxury services...and there is quite a lot of money accumulated that is spent on luxury goods.”
Notably, a Rolls-Royce Ghost sedan has a starting price of just over $300,000.
On Twitter, many people were frustrated that Covid-19 has resulted in such a profitable outcome for the luxury brand.
“When I saw what was happening in our communities the first thing I thought was let’s go and spend £200k on a Rolls Royce! Apparently, record numbers did look at what was going on and bought a @RollsRoyce,” wrote one person.
When I saw what was happening in our communities the first thing I thought was let’s go and spend £200k on a Rolls Royce! Apparently record numbers did look at what was going on and bought a @RollsRoyce— Philip Fowler (@philipfowler) January 10, 2022
Finally, the silver lining to Covid…— Janet Johnson (@JJohnsonLaw) January 10, 2022
Rolls-Royce: Covid has spurred record sales of our cars https://t.co/pyTz5FdIV2
Some people have more money than sense. They've not helped people in need and wrecked the environment at the same time. https://t.co/JNgCR0tqdJ— Giada #FBPE #Resist 3.5% 🌊🇪🇺 (@GirlGiada) January 10, 2022
Other people reacted sarcastically to the news.
“Why didn't all y'all tell me that the best way to get through the COVID-19 pandemic was by snagging a Roller?” one tweet read.
Why didn't all y'all tell me that the best way to getting through the COVID-19 pandemic was by snagging a Roller?— John Obeto II (@2Obeto) January 10, 2022
I wonder if it's too late for me to jump on the Rolls-Royce bandwagon.....??😅😅😅😅https://t.co/h6ks0YCH4C
Or how the elites cope with covid whilst awaiting their Rolls Royce. pic.twitter.com/XSwTc2lfeT— WAYLANDER. (@Wayland46518597) January 10, 2022