Today Rolls-Royce announced its highest-ever annual sales, delivering 3,630 cars in 2013 in its fourth consecutive record-breaking year. That makes Rolls-Royce the best-selling automaker in the world of cars that cost more than $250,000 and a major economic player in Britain, where auto exports generated more than $49 billion last year, up 7% over 2012.
Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO of the 110-year-old brand, said he was pleased but not surprised about the success. Indeed, he predicted it a year ago at the Detroit auto show, describing himself then as “highly excited” and optimistic after selling 3,575 cars in 2012.
“It reaffirms our leadership of the super-luxury segment,” Müller-Ötvös said today, noting that a balance of growth in new markets like Istanbul, Beirut and Perth makes the news especially sweet. “I am particularly satisfied to report that this result is based on a balanced global sales picture, with continued success in emerging markets paving the way for future sustainable growth.”
The company reported strong sales growth across the globe with notably improved results in the Middle East (up 17%) and China (up 11%). China and the United States remain the most significant individual markets for Rolls-Royce, but Germany, Japan, Qatar and Canada showed strong growth in 2013 as well.
Expansion and integration of Rolls’ bespoke program also directly influenced profits, according to the report. Nearly every Phantom family model, and 75% of Rolls-Royce Ghosts, sold last year complete with bespoke personalization. (The company portfolio includes two Ghost variants and the Phantom, Phantom Extended Wheelbase, Phantom Drophead Coupé and Phantom Coupé. A new model, the two-door Wraith, began deliveries late last year.)
Müller-Ötvös also credited 15 new Rolls-Royce dealerships that opened across the world last year with boosting the brand. They brought its dealership total to 120 for the first time in the company’s history and contributed to some 100 new positions added to its ranks.
The push will continue: In 2014 Rolls will open a handful of more dealerships worldwide and begin a recruitment program for 100 new permanent jobs based at Rolls-Royce headquarters in Goodwood, England. The company currently employs a total of 1,300 people.
Follow me on Twitter: @HannahElliott
Follow me on Facebook: Hannah Elliott