Nissan Qashqai and Rolls Royce PhantomOnce upon a time, car sales in Ireland and Europe were thriving. 

In recent years, they have been rising and dropping.  The first half of 2014 showed 65,704 car sales in Ireland with the VW Golf and Nissan Qashqai being the two best selling models and diesel being the best selling engine type by far (73.29%).  2013 showed 53,225 cars sold in the same period.  That is a 23.4% increase for 2014.

The same period in 2012 had 66,718 cars sold.
2011 had 77,107.
2010 had 67,597. 
2009 had 46,523. 
2008 was a good year with 123,881 cars sold and
2007 was even better with 152,830.

So you can see that 2007 and 2008 were great years.  2009 had a 70% drop in sales.  2010 to date has been up and down slightly.

2013 was the first year Ireland introduced the dual registration period with 131 and 132 and now this year 141 and 142.  This resulted in a peak in sales for July 2013 of around 10,000 cars. Then it dropped off for the rest of the year.

However, that is for the normal joe like you and me.  Then there are the 1% elite in the world. 

Rolls Royce is showing a global increase in sales of 33% for the first half of 2014 at 1968 cars sold.  The greatest increase is in Europe at 60% and Asia at 40%.  Germany showed a huge increase in sales with sales doubling.

You may remember, I wrote a recent article on Rolls Royce developing a drone ship.  You can read it here.

Is the global economy improving or is it just improving for the elite few?  I looked at the RR website and Ireland doesn’t have any dealers, whereas the UK has six.  Germany has four.

There are three models, the Phantom, Ghost and Wraith.  Prices start at around €350k for the Phantom, €230k for the Ghost and €245 for the Wraith.  The Wraith is the new model.

Driving a Roller is like driving a land yacht.  It just floats along.  I drove one a few years ago when I borrowed one for a weekend.

Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said, “This is an excellent half-year result and demonstrates the continued confidence that our customers have in our company and our fine cars. The new Rolls-Royce Wraith has been a stunning success in the super-luxury segment, setting new modern style and technology leadership benchmarks. Wraith complements the pinnacle performance of the incomparable Rolls-Royce Phantom and the new Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II, the latter first arriving in markets in autumn this year. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars continues to deliver as the world’s foremost super‑luxury car manufacturer and we are on target for another record year in 2014.”

Bentley by VW, also showed a 17% increase at over 3500 cars.

Lamborghini VenenoJust to make you completely sick, the most expensive car in the world is the Lamborghini Veneno.  It starts at around $4.5 million and its 6500cc 750hp engine brings it from zero to 100kph in 2.9 seconds. There are only 9 of them being built this year so if you want one, you had better move fast (no pun intended).  I know that if you own one of these you are not going to worry about fuel consumption, but it does 24.7 litres per 100km or 11 mpg.  A full tank won’t bring you from Dublin to Galway and back and it will cost you about €200.  If you own one of these, I suppose you already own a yacht and a plane and maybe a Mercedes S-Class Pullman or Maybach to get you to the shops for milk!

Next is the W Motors Lykan Hypersport at $3.4m.  I have to say I never heard of that car.  It comes from Lebanon. And the Bugatti Veyron also comes in at $3.4m.

1963 Ferrari 250 GTOCan you imagine going down the M50 at over 400 kph?  There is nothing on the road to catch you.  Even a helicopter would find it hard to keep up.  I bet the Batmobile would catch it!  Fuel consumption is less that 10 mpg at 'average' speed.  Compare that to my Nissan Qashqai where I get 60 mpg. At top speed, these cars will only do about 3mpg. The tanks will run dry in about 15 minutes. So maybe they will be caught!

One of the more expensive cars in the world is the secondhand 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO.  There were only 39 of them built and each one was hand crafted.  While you can’t get one, because no one is selling, its reckoned they have a price tag of over $52 million.

If Ireland had all 39 of them, it would wipe out the €2 billion deficit for this years budget.

The elite are all going to live happily ever after.