Slump – what slump? Rolls sales rocket as super-rich drive in style
A record number of Rolls-Royces was sold worldwide last year, the latest indicator that the super-rich remain insulated from global economic strife.
China leapfrogged the US to become the biggest buyer of Rolls-Royces for the first time in the group's 107-year history as sales to the country soared by 67 per cent to more than 1,000. Americans were the next biggest buyer of the emblem of luxury, with sales in the US rising 17 per cent to a record of about 990 vehicles.
The UK remained in third place, reporting a 30 per cent jump in sales, to about 350 cars, an increase that contrasts sharply with the 4.4 per cent decline in total car registrations made across Britain last year.
"Brits love their Rolls-Royces. It is extraordinary, it's an amazing figure, but it's a fact," said a spokesman for the group.
Rolls-Royce sold a total of 3,538 cars worldwide last year, a 31 per cent jump from 2010 and eclipsing the previous record of 3,347 vehicles, set in 1978.
The strong performance provides a small but much-needed boost to British manufacturing, since all the vehicles are made at its headquarters in Goodwood, near Chichester in West Sussex.
The plant employs about 1,000 staff and the company expects to add to its numbers later this year as it prepares to hit a new sales record in 2012. The company has been a subsidiary of BMW since 2003.
China accounted for about 30 per cent of global sales in 2011, followed by the US at 28 per cent and the UK at arounda tenth.
The company said it has benefited from the growth of emerging markets such as Russia, China, India, Brazil, Chile and South Korea. But it has also received a substantial boost to sales from the launch of a new model – the Ghost – two years ago.
Prices for the Ghost start at about £250,000 – asopposed to the traditional Phantom range, where the bidding starts atabout £350,000.
The Phantom is bought by a man in 99.5 per cent of cases, usually driven by a chauffeur, and its customers are typically heads of state, monarchs, sheikhs, pop, film and sports stars and rich bankers.
By contrast, about 15 per cent of Ghost sales are to women, and the main buyers tend to be very successful business people – the kind of consumer benefiting from the huge growth being seen in some emerging markets.
- 1 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response from Ellen DeGeneres
- 2 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 3 Greek debt crisis: Yanis Varoufakis's funniest (and most memorable) quotes
- 4 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response from Ellen DeGeneres
Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
Man dies instantly after shooting firework from top of his head
Isis schoolgirl Amira Abase who fled London to join terrorists in Syria mocks victims of Tunisia massacre
Father faces deportation to Thailand after 27 years in Britain for two 'stupid crimes'
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
iJobs Money & Business
competitive: SThree: Are you passionate about sales?Do you have a keen interes...
£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...
£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...