All around the world, sales are down for many manufacturers and dealerships. But what about in Monaco? How is the Principality’s luxury car market faring? We went to find out.

With nearly 1.5 million redundant vehicles and a turnover drop nearing 25%, 2020 has been an annus horribilis for the European car market, which has suffered its biggest recession on record.

We saw no sales between April and May

A breath of fresh air

However, matters are not as dreary for Monaco’s luxury car industry, as Stéphane Colmart, Managing Director of the Group Segond Automobiles tells us: “Covid-19 had without a doubt an impact because we had to close everything down for two months and saw no sales between April and May. However, the recovery was stronger than we had expected. As soon as lockdown ended, it seemed that our customers needed a breath of fresh air more than ever and really wanted to treat themselves. We are lucky because we work mainly with living in Monaco, so the border closures had no major impact on our sales.”

The luxury car sector is holding up

The industry goes digital

For those working in cars shows, optimism is however a little harder to come by. Salim Zeghdar, the organiser of Top Marques Monaco, tries to find the silver lining: “In the luxury car sector, manufacturers have found other ways to sell without having to go through shows. However, we hope to maintain the next edition of Top Marques, which will be held from 9 to 14 June 2021. The good news is that the 80 exhibitors who were supposed to come to the 2020 edition will be there next year. Despite the absence of shows in 2020, the luxury car sector is holding up. Manufacturers have been able to find alternatives to shows in order to continue promoting their new models. These alternatives, have successfully generated new sales and as well as new consumption habits, particularly through targeted communication on social networks.”

We are reaching younger people and women

A chance to reinvent oneself

Stéphane Colmart thinks that behind the Covid-19 crisis hides an opportunity to rethink the industry. “Covid has brought about a newfound sense of awareness on our part. We are trying to renew ourselves, to better our ways, for instance by embracing digital outlets. This new form of digital communication, on social networks, for instance, has also allowed us to broaden our usual clientele and to reach younger people and women,” he says. We now have to see whether the shift is temporary, or whether the industry will reinvent itself for good.