Rolls Royce achieves record worldwide sales
Search Driven for vehicles for sale
Rolls-Royce has glided to record sales of 4,107 super-luxury cars - the highest in the marque's 115-year history – boosted by super-rich customers commissioning bespoke personalised limousines like works of art.
And bosses at the iconic British car maker are optimistic the sales record for 2018 can be broken again in 2019 – spearheaded by the firm's new first ever Cullinan luxury off-roader - if the threat of potential major disruptions and chaos from a no-deal Brexit can be avoided.
The manufacturer urged the Government to secure a deal that will keep free and frictionless trade flowing but insisted that the brand would retain its British roots.
Rolls-Royce boss Torsten Müller-Ötvös says he expects record sales to increase in 2019 with the arrival of the new Cullinan SUV. Picture/Supplied.
BMW-owned Rolls-Royce is stepping up contingency measures and 'preparing quite intensively' to mitigate potential disruptive effects of a no-deal Brexit and keep supplies flowing, including storing extra parts, and even flying in key components to Britain by plane.
However, chief executive Torsten Muller-Otvos insisted the brand belongs to Britain and will not move manufacturing elsewhere after Brexit.
He said the idea of moving the car maker abroad was a "complete no-go for me".
"Rolls-Royce belongs to Britain,' he added. 'We are committed to Britain. Rolls-Royce is part of what I would call the British industrial crown jewels.
"It is an in-built brand promise even for our customers worldwide to be proudly built in Goodwood."
When asked about the impact Brexit has already had on the business, he said: 'We haven't seen any downturn. I can't promise what will happen this year.
"If it's a hard Brexit then probably the mood here in the UK tanks and probably also our sales might be affected."
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars based at Goodwood in Chichester, West Sussex reported year-on-year sales growth in all global regions with nine out of 10 Rolls-Royces in 2018 exported to 50 countries amid 'buoyant customer demand across the model range'.
North America is the largest market accounting for 30 per cent of sales and helped by President Trump's tax reforms, followed by Europe (20 per cent), China (20 per cent ), Asia (15 per cent) and the Middle East (15 per cent).
The UK market, within the figure for Europe, is 'very strong' and up by 10 per cent, with sales outside of London doing particularly well following expansion in Manchester and a new dealership being built in Leeds.
Mr Müller-Ötvös said China had continued to go from strength to strength but uncertainty created by threats of a US-China trade war was also concerning.
The 2018 record sales for the brand beat the previous record of 4,063 recorded in 2014. It was also significantly up on last year's 3,362 total. Picture/Supplied.
Topping sales charts was the short wheelbase Ghost limousine, closely followed by the Dawn cabriolet and Wraith fast-back, with the latest flagship Phantom described as "a major growth driver".
But Mr Müller-Ötvös said he expected this year's best seller to be the luxurious new £250,000 Cullinan off-roader – its first ever 4X4 – particularly in the USA and Canada.
The first few delivered to customers were made just in time for Christmas following its international launch in the exclusive US enclave of Jackson Hole amid wilds of Wyoming in the Autumn.
Advance orders for Cullinan are already 'running well into the second half of 2019', he said.
The 2018 record sales for the brand beat the previous record of 4,063 recorded in 2014. It was also significantly up on last year's 3,362 total.
Significantly, the firm also celebrated 'unprecedented demand' and record levels of expensive bespoke commissions from customers who want to make their precious car unique – by adding personalised extras and features which significantly swell coffers for the firm.
Well-heeled owners typically spend double and sometimes three-times the value of the standard car when the spec it to their individual requirements including trim with real diamonds, said Mr Müller-Ötvös.
He added that the Rolls-Royce operation was " comfortably profitable" and "continues to generate a positive contribution" to its parent BMW Group, but declined to put a figure on it.
- Daily Mail