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The British Effect of Luxury Car Brands

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Famed for style and class, Britain’s effect on the global market has been enormous throughout the years. The likes of designer labels, celebrities and even television shows have created a relationship between the United Kingdom and luxury – a partnership which has become recognised by the on-looking world. This British phenomena has taken recent interest from the Chinese market, which now shows a strong consumer trend for iconic British and American products, rather than the major European luxury brands they used to be in favour of. 

Retail consultants Conlumino believe the Chinese fondness for British luxury will propel the country’s indulgent product market above France and Italy to become Europe’s largest by 2018, mainly thanks to the influence and appeal of London. The world’s number one shopping destination now homes shops and venues for high-end brands ranging from Victoria Beckham to Harrods, as well as having opulent hotels such as The Ritz. The UK is also the birth place of motoring companies like Aston Martin, Jaguar and Roll Royce, which still scream out the style epitomised in their brand’s British reputation. 

There has a been a huge increase in the amount of Chinese tourists visiting London to explore the retail market the city offers and the chance to shop at luxury outlets, something that other nation’s economy will find difficult to match.

The theme of luxury has become synonymous with British culture and society through the way the country is perceived by the rest of the world. The likes of the Royal Family, footballing icon David Beckham and hit television drama Downtown Abbey are all said to be influential when Chinese consumers describe the idea of “Britishness” – all areas associated with class. The elite educational establishments such as Cambridge and Oxford are also highly representative of the country’s luxurious outset.  

But one of the main areas that Britain is renowned for, is its high quality motoring market and the famous cars these companies have produced. Although manufacturers like of Rolls Royce and Jaguar are now owned by European or American brands, they still epitomise the British motoring industry – high performance and an abundance of luxury. 

From the curved lines of the Aston Martin to the bulky design of the Rolls Royce Phantom, the rest of the world partners high end class and Britain together through these models and cars. Aston Martin’s design engineering work is still based in Warwickshire, breathing the influence of British style and luxury, despite the cars being manufactured abroad, and the brand is still a firm favourite with stars of the Formula One circuit, alongside being associated with another icon of the country’s class, James Bond. 

These British cars are seeing huge increases in the sales overseas, with the UK’s motoring market growing 260% in China over the last six years, and Rolls Royce have seen a recent boost in production, selling over 4,000 models over 12 months for the first time in their 111-year history. The Hurun Report Institute’s latest report offers an insight into British motoring brands popularity within China, as the Rolls Royce Phantom, Aston Martin DB9 and Land Rover all won critical acclaim thanks to their luxury. 

Although many industries, and companies within the motoring market, suffered financial issues during the economic downturn, the demand for high-end cars remained strong and the British influenced models of Aston Martin and Bentley performed admirably. Rolls Royce, however, continued on its upwards curve thanks to the desire for the luxury car from the United States and China despite the global recession. 

The British phenomena of luxury – through fashion, motoring, culture and television – proves the country has a strong character and identity, which will only benefit the economy in years to come. And with 2015 expected to be the year of luxury too, “brand Britain” products will become even more synonymous with the overseas market.  



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