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Summary: 2011 ultra luxury and sports car sales in China

Luxury and sports cars have found an adoring audience among China's middle class, with Porsche, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Ferrari, Maserati and Aston Martin among the brands who have seen success in the country.

One of the most notable successes has been Wolfsburg-based Porsche, 20.5 percent of whose sales in 2011 came from China (including Hong Kong and Macau), now its second largest market. The manufacturer sold a record 118,867 vehicles worldwide last year, topping its previous high of 103,000 vehicles sold in 2007. Its year-on-year global sales growth was 22.2 percent. Breaking down its key markets, China remains one of the top performing, with 64.6 percent more Porsches sold in the country in 2011 than the previous year. That figure is far above the 14.6 percent growth in its largest market, the US, and 13.6 percent growth in home country Germany.

Volkswagen-owned Bentley has been another example. In 2011, Bentley sold 7,003 vehicles worldwide, 37 percent more than in the previous year. Once again, the majority of those sales, 2,021 units, came from the US, with sales growth around 30 percent. That figure is far less than the astounding 94.9 percent growth rate the manufacturer achieved in China, where its sales increased from 945 units in 2010 to 1,839 units in 2011. China now accounts for 26.3 percent of the manufacturer's global sales, with 1,664 vehicles sold in the mainland alone.

According to Bentley CEO and Chairman Wolfgang Dürheimer's predictions, China will surpass the US this year to become the manufacturer's largest market.

Meanwhile, China is already the largest market for fellow British luxury manufacturer Rolls-Royces, surpassing the US last year by over 1,000 sales. Like Porsche, a record 3,538 Rolls-Royce cars were sold last year (the previous record being 3,347 sales in 1978). The Asia-Pacific region was Rolls-Royce fastest expanding in 2011, with a growth rate of 47 percent, followed by the Middle East and North America, whose respective rates were 23 percent and 17 percent. The manufacturer's sales in China grew 67 percent from 2010 to 2011, compared with a 30 percent growth rate in its home country of the UK.

Italian sports car maker Ferrari sold a total of 777 vehicles in China in 2011, with 500 of those sales made in the mainland alone. The amount is 62.6 percent greater than that sold the previous year. China was Ferrari's second largest market last year, accounting for 10.8 percent of its 7,195 global sales. The US remained the manufacturer's largest market, while Germany was ranked number three. Combined numbers from Europe's top five markets accounted for 35.7 percent of its sales last year.

Fellow Fiat-owned brand, Maserati, also saw success in China last year, with its sales of over 780 vehicles in the mainland almost doubling from 2010. The Chinese region accounted for 13.7 percent of Maserati's 6,159 sales in the year, second only to the US' 39.6 percent. Europe's top five markets made up 22.6 percent of its global sales volume.

Meanwhile, Aston Martin saw its global sales drop 1.2 percent last year, with a total of only 4,200 vehicles sold (compared to 4,250 vehicles in 2010). The amount was over 3,000 sales short of Aston Martin's record year of 2007.

However, growth in China was still astounding. 190 Aston Martins were sold in the country last year, 72.7 percent greater than the amount from 2010. Aston Martin's Asia-Pacific Regional Director Matthew Bennett previously announced that the manufacturer aims to sell 500 vehicles in China this year.