• Oct 2nd 2008 at 7:29PM
  • 34
Click the image above for a hi-res gallery of the Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe

If you've got it, flaunt it. The super high-end automotive market has been counting on that attitude for years, and it may now be coming back to bite them. It seems that sales of luxury marques such as Bentley, Maybach and Aston Martin have been on a downward trajectory over the last year. Despite the fact that there are a number of people who still have plenty of dough to purchase these expensive toys, public perception is causing some of them to hold back and keep those fat wallets in their pockets.

To combat the problem, some high-end brands are choosing to aim even higher. If ex-customers with a net-worth of less than $5 million find it socially unacceptable to make a purchase, Bentley has said it will begin marketing to those with at least a net worth of $25 million. Let us add that we've driven a few Bentleys and Rollers and can say with certainty that they are definitely conspicuous in a sea of CamCords and Mustangs.

  • A Phantom grille

[Source: Advertising Age]


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  • 34 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago

      I think Warren Buffet drives a Cadillac even though he can afford a Rolls or a Bentley.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yup, the Oracle of Omaha is worth $78 Billion, lives in the same house he paid $31500 in 1958 and recently purchased after deciding to support GM... after years of driving a Lincoln Town Car. Plus he gives away billions to charities yearly.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "If ex-customers with a net-worth of less than $5 million find it socially unacceptable to make a purchase, Bentley has said it will begin marketing to those with at least a net worth of $25 million."

      Yeah! Because those who have that much money haven't heard about Bentley before.

      I agree with the other commenter's here, this has to do more with the economy than what other drivers or whoever may think of these individuals in their super expensive cars.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I dunno, Phantoms to me know seem very gaudy. Thing is, at least in Bentley's case, they never really made cars like the ContiGT, cars that are "affordable" in a sense @ 190K, so every aspiring HELOC champion could obtain one, with a tract home with not grass. I have actually SEEN that in my city of Lancaster, CA. Now, that house is foreclosed.

      If I had money, I would have an E39 M5, heh. THEN I would get the respect from people at work.. wait, why would I want to impress anyone at work? Actually, why would I want to impress anyone with the car I drive?
      • 6 Years Ago
      whenever I see someone in something like this I laugh - and think:
      Why is it worth the gas $, the insurance $, the extreme depreciation $, upkeep$ - all just to sit in some really nice leather and wood some times. - and have people wonder these things about you and stare. I guess the bottom line is that people are probably envious that the person in there has money to burn and they don't - but, really, what are your values if you want to make other people feel bad about themselves. I could not imagine someone looking at another person in one of those and thinking "gee, what an interesting person that must be in that nice car, I wish I could meet them, I wish they were my friend".
        • 6 Years Ago
        I guess I'm neutral on the subject above, yet look at the person in "that" car differently. I doubt their intent is to lower the self-esteem of others sharing the road with them, and more so to enjoy the machines they have worked for and possibly dreamt about since childhood. To me, there may be a slight hint of envy and curiosity just for the new experience to ride around in some of these cars, but more of a feeling of the buyer to enjoy "that" car in good health. And the world keeps on turning...
        • 6 Years Ago
        The thing is, in a relative sense, it's not a lot of money. For example, years ago I heard that Bill Gate's built his house for $40 Million dollars. Sounds like a lot right? But that would make his house worth 1/1000th of his net worth at the time of $40 billion. So let's say your house is worth $250,000 - your equivalent net worth would have to be $250 million. You think people worth 250 mil are buying $250K homes? You think people in $250K homes are worth 250 mil? The point is, there are a ton of people out there where $300K isn't a lot of money - in a relative sense. Where you might not care about spending the extra $1 to biggie size your meal, there are people out there that don't mind spending thousands to get a Bentley instead of a Benz.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Right now- If I was uber rich. I'd still probably own an econobox.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wait, let me try to understand this news item. The US economy is in recession. A panic has spread across American and European financial markets to an extent not seen since the great depression. And high-end luxury car sales are down? Shocking.

      Oh, apparently I'm wrong. Bentley and Maybach sales are down because ultra-rich people are just now starting to worry about their image. It has nothing to do with rich people losing money and getting nervous.

      Got it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @garland:

        not even slightly true, please present references, as I won't.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It has nothing to do with rich people losing money. The people that buy a Bentley or a Rolls don't need to worry about the economic situation. This summer, with gas prices higher than they've ever been, I saw more people in Cigarette boats nearly every day than any other summer I can remember. If you think premium gas for a Rolls is expensive, just imagine the kind of money it takes to fill up one of those boats, on top paying for the boat itself and insurance. People with that kind of money are doing just fine.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @garland.

        actually the super rich are super rich because they do care about their money and they are more than likely very actively involved in the stock market and investments. losing 30% of your net worth still hurts no matter if you are worth $250,000 or $25,000,000
      • 6 Years Ago
      Thank you Rafael.
      • 6 Years Ago
      As the day of Obamas rising nears and the actions to kill the americans where they breath and sleep and work becomes the accepted politik, it is with deepest satisfaction that Obama has succeeded in the great split of american pride, will and determination, as americas final breath is, ironically, Obamas first.

      OBAMA 08 - the year america finally dies



      • 6 Years Ago
      If I had that kind of money, I would drive a Geo Metro. (Well the GSi version cause I would would want air con).
      • 6 Years Ago
      With $5 million dollars I'd still probably drive what I would if i had $100,000 dollars. It's just not that much money anymore to spend frivolously, especially now.
      • 6 Years Ago
      If I had the money I'd retrofit a 1970 Camaro (split nose bumper) with an electric plug in motor. I'd redo the interior to match today's Cadillac CTS stylings. Exterior color Indigo blue with dual white racing stripes, interior beige leather with wood accents.
      • 6 Years Ago
      GO GM, I completely agree with you.
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