Rolls-Royce announced its second authorized dealer in Moscow
Bentley Motors announces “Bentley Russia”
- Why is Russia an important market for high-end automakers?
- What is Russia to the auto industry in comparison to the other BRICS markets?
- How will these moves by Rolls-Royce add Bentley value to these brands?
- What trends in Russia might explain these decisions?
- What can high-end automakers do in their marketing efforts to reach the affluent consumers in Russia?
“In my opinion . . .”
In 2011, despite the growing economic gloom, worldwide car sales increased over five percent from the previous year. While automotive sales in 2011 have slowed in the developed world, emerging markets continue to grow quickly, such as in Russia, where sales jumped 27 percent jump over the previous year. In comparison to other BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China & South Africa) markets in 2011, Russia was eighth largest in worldwide auto sales, India was sixth, Brazil was fourth, and China first. However Russia has the largest estimated growth by far—well into double-digits. That’s hard to ignore.
Why is Russia an important market for high-end automakers? What trends in Russia might explain these decisions? Well, according to a recent study by the Digital Luxury Group, Russia is slated to become Europe’s largest car market by 2014.
The number of affluent, discerning buyers in Russia are obviously increasing, and the 45 percent jump in Russian Bentley sales last year cannot be ignored. If I lived in Moscow, and was in the market for this class of automobile, the all-wheel-drive Bentley Continental GT would be one of my top choices for winter driving.
As a relatively new luxury market, Russian consumers are not shy about flaunting their wealth, probably more than just about any other culture. Russia has a large number of billionaires and millionaires relative to its size so there is little doubt ultra-luxury car manufacturers such as Rolls-Royce and Bentley will do well there.
Russian consumers are already in-the-know when it comes to the top luxury automakers. To reach these consumers, luxury automakers should present events and one-on-one interactions with the brand.
Marketing efforts that build relationships will be beneficial for luxury automakers breaking into the emerging market.
How will these moves by Bentley and Rolls-Royce add value to these brands? It adds value in the fact that Bentley and Rolls-Royce can better serve its existing customer base, and also make it easier for prospective Bentley owners to buy and service their new acquisition . . . and to be pampered while doing so.
What can high-end automakers do in their marketing efforts to reach the affluent consumers in Russia? As in any affluent market, make sure Bentley is always perceived as a status . . . a symbol of power, luxury, wealth, and style.
Image credit: Bentley Russia, Rolls-Royce Moscow