THE spirit of ecstasy must be palpable at Goodwood and at BMW, in Munich.
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars sold a record-breaking 4,107 cars in over 50 countries in 2018. This is a jump from 3,362 units sold in 2017.
And it’s going to get better for the 115-year-old brand, reckons CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös.
On the phone from London, he said the brand sold well across the entire model range, but, in particular, the flagship Phantom VIII was instrumental in the record-breaking feat.
News of the Cullinan, deemed “the Rolls-Royce of SUVs” would have spiked interest in the brand, and orders for the new entrant are already on the books to 3Q 2019.
“Over 50% of the Cullinan buyers are new customers for Rolls-Royce. And while waiting for their Cullinan, some bought another Rolls-Royce,” Müller-Ötvös added.
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Rolls-Royce Motor Cars’ successful year, contributed to parent company BMW’s bottom line. BMW Group sold 2.49 million vehicles — BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce — worldwide last year, and must be well pleased at having acquired the English brand in 1998 after a bidding war with Volkswagen.
Rolls-Royce has enjoyed a new lease on life under new owners, with the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy spreading its wings as the brand expanded its range and appealed to new audiences with models like the Ghost, Wraith and Dawn, and the Black Badge range.
The Cullinan will have immediate appeal since SUVs have swept the market in the last decade.
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More Good Years Ahead
The Cullinan will be on Singapore roads in 1Q 2019.
Last year, Singapore sold 25 Rolls-Royce cars, up from 16 units in 2017. While Singapore may be a small market, it’s part of the Asian market that commands 15% of the global sales of Rolls-Royce cars. The leading market is still America with 30% of the pie, followed by China and Europe with 20% share each.
Rolls-Royce remains relevant to the top-tier of the high net worth individuals, which is growing at a rate of 3-5% annually. Their appetite for luxury products that appeal in terms of pedigree, quality and relevance to current needs, has kept Rolls-Royce young and plugged into their needs.
Müller-Ötvös is confident that there are more good years ahead as the growing number of HNWIs continue to stamp their presence.
“We see this growth worldwide. It’s not limited to certain markets. One reason for this — it is much easier for younger people to accumulate a fortune. They build their platforms around smart business ideas, using information technology,” he explained.
“And as long as luxury brands continue to produce compelling products, there will always be demand.”