Illustrating the fickle nature of the ultra wealthy, a new survey of 500 bona fide rich people conducted by the Luxury Institute reveals that Rolls Royce is the most luxurious brand of 2006, a position that was held by Maybach last year.

"Too many luxury firms are looking to 'Wow' the client with extraordinary, but fleeting, gimmicks," says Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute, who performed the survey. "First and foremost, the wealthy want these firms to simply execute the fundamentals of each customer experience extraordinarily well. Consumers have spoken and Rolls Royce is the ultra-luxury brand they recommend to their peers most often."

Brands in the survey included Aston Martin, Bentley, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Maybach, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and Rolls Royce. The participants, who were required to have a gross annual income of at least $200,000 and a net worth of $5,000,000, said only Rolls consistently provided superior quality, reputation, and service. Only in social status did Maybach beat Rolls Royce.

Of course, what's the point of ranking these brands when you can afford to buy one of each?

[Source: Luxury Institute via The Auto Channel]