Rolls-Royce sells luxury cars at airshows for millionaire window shoppers

  • Car shows aren’t doing too well
  • After the pandemic, several automakers decided to reduce their presence at car shows
  • Rolls-Royce is now only attending airshows

Published on May 30, 2024 at 7:31 PM (UTC+4)
by Alessandro Renesis

Last updated on May 31, 2024 at 7:24 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Amelia Jean Hershman-Jones

Rolls-Royce has been trying out a new strategy to market and sell its cars.

Over the last few years, the British automaker has almost completely shunned car shows to focus on airshows.

The company’s new strategy makes perfect sense, and some might be tempted to wonder why it has never ‘taken off’ before.

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The pandemic was the nail in the coffin for traditional car shows as we know them.

For a variety of reasons, this business model just isn’t working anymore.

For starters, cars today are defined by software and tech more than anything else.

This is why we now have Apple filing automotive-related patents and tech companies such as Xiaomi actually building vehicles.

NAIAS, or Detroit Auto Show as most people know it, is a great example of how car shows just don’t work the way they used to.

The Detroit Auto Show used to take place in January, but the problem is CES, the Consumer Electronic Show, also took place in January.

As the automobile is now more of a tech product, CES began featuring more cars and attracting more attendees.

It was becoming a losing battle for the Detroit Auto Show, so they simply gave up, rebranded to become some sort of lifestyle show, and moved the show to September.

The pandemic also (de facto) killed the Geneva Motor Show, which was canceled four times over the last five years.

And with this demise came the realization, for automakers, that car shows are essentially redundant.

They just don’t need them.

This is especially true for Rolls-Royce because the brand’s typical would-be customer does not coincide with the average car show-goer.

By contrast, people who attend shows where yachts or private aircraft are sold are more likely to be interested in a Rolls-Royce car that costs half a million or more.

The strategy is working.

In the early 2010s, Rolls-Royce was shifting 3,500+ units per year on average.

They’re now delivering cars to 6,000+ customers, (including Supercar Blondie with her new Spectre, by the way) every year.

And that number is likely to go up.


Alessandro Renesis

Experienced content creator with a strong focus on cars and watches. Alessandro penned the first-ever post on the Supercar Blondie website and covers cars, watches, yachts, real estate and crypto. Former DriveTribe writer, fixed gear bike owner, obsessed with ducks for some reason.