Remember last year when a member of this forum took great delight in the fact that Maybach had out-ranked Rolls-Royce as the top luxury vehicle in a survey carried out by the "luxury Institute" (which I personally find most amusing that such an institute even exists).....there was much gloating and snide comments about the "truck-like" grille of the Phantom and how old fashioned it was etc. Well those Maybach fans have gone very quiet all of a sudden -- their silence is deafening as this year the Phantom has proved itself to be the true winner in this class ...as I knew it always really was -- finally people have woken up to the fact that you can't just pluck a name out of history, regardless how prestigious it is, and expect the world's wealthiest people to go nuts over it. Currently, I note that some Russian business people are hoping to revive the once great Russian House of Fabergé, Jeweler to the Czar -- somehow I doubt Cartier, Tiffany, or Harry Winston, are too concerned. 13.07.2006. Luxury Institute Survey: Ultra-High Net Worth Consumers Rate Rolls Royce, Maybach and Bentley Top Ultra-Luxury Autos in 2006 When you spend over $100K on a car, it better deliver a great deal more than luxurious transportation. In the latest Luxury Brand Status Index survey from the Luxury Institute (www.LuxuryInstitute.com), Rolls Royce turned the tables on Maybach in 2006 to become the top-rated ultra-luxury automobile. Ultra-high net worth consumers rated Rolls Royce highest in consistently superior quality, uniqueness and exclusivity, and making the buyer feel special across the full customer experience. Social status is the only key metric in which Maybach outranked Rolls. There are significant gender differences, however, with women rating some brands much lower than did men. Overall, Rolls Royce was the brand that ultra-wealthy consumers would recommend to people they care about, followed by Bentley. Brands rated (alphabetical order) are: Aston Martin, Bentley, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Maybach, Mercedes, Porsche, and Rolls Royce. A national sample of 500 wealthy consumers was surveyed online. Respondents must have a minimum gross annual household income of $200,000 and net worth (incl. equity in home) of $5,000,000. Survey results are weighted to match the demographic and net worth profile of the same audience according to the latest Survey of Consumer Finances from the Federal Reserve. Ultra-high net worth consumer survey comments on Rolls Royce include: -- "Historically, the Rolls is probably at, or near, the top of the luxury automobiles, making the statement that "I have arrived!" -- "I feel the Rolls Royce is the most well built and prestigious vehicle in the world today." -- "I have NEVER heard a complaint from the MANY owners I know. That is not true of ANY of the other brands." "There is absolutely no better marketing tool for companies and consumers than objective and independent, empirical, peer-based reviews of luxury goods and services brands," said Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute. "In our best practices surveys, the wealthy tell us that what they want most is for luxury firms to 'Wow' them with the fundamentals of a great experience in areas such as problem resolution policies that favor the customer, allowing calling customers to speak to a person, and empowering front-line employees to make decisions that help serve their customers." "Too many luxury firms are looking to 'Wow' the client with extraordinary, but fleeting, gimmicks. First and foremost, the wealthy want these firms to simply execute the fundamentals of each customer experience extraordinarily well. Consumers have spoken and Rolls Royce is the ultra-luxury brand they recommend to their peers most often. No amount of advertising or marketing can compete with the voice of the independent ratings of high net worth consumers," said Pedraza. About the Luxury Institute The Luxury Institute is the uniquely independent and objective research institution that is the trusted and respected voice of the high net worth consumer. The Institute provides a portfolio of proprietary publications and research that guides and educates high net-worth individuals and the companies that cater to them on leading edge trends, high net worth consumer rankings and ratings of luxury brands, and best practices. Publications include the monthly Wealth Report, the Luxury Brand Status Index surveys, the Luxury Best Practices surveys and the Luxury Consumer Experience Index surveys. www.luxuryinstitute.com.