Rolls-Royce sets sales record in 2022

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Rolls-Royce delivered more than 6000 cars in 2022 and has an order bank that stretches well into 2023.

Rolls-Royce set another new annual sales record in 2022 as 6021 cars left its Goodwood factory – an 8 per cent improvement on the previous record of 5586 cars, set in 2021.

It was the first time the luxury marque’s sales exceeded 6000 cars in any one year, with the majority (around 35 per cent) shipped to the Americas.

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China remained Rolls-Royce’s second-largest market, with a 20 per cent share of total sales, despite a single-digit drop in volume compared with 2021. This slump is “definitely not a concern at all”, CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös said in a press briefing, because it was offset by growth in Europe and Asia-Pacific.

Exiting the Russian market due to sanctions (following the state’s invasion of Ukraine) meant Rolls-Royce lost roughly 250 to 300 sales, added Müller-Ötvös, but this too was compensated for by volume increases elsewhere.

The company also set a new record for profitability thanks to customisation: commissions from its Bespoke programme reached their highest average value at more than €500,000 (AUD$776,000) per car.

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“Every car that leaves Goodwood now is bespoke”, Müller-Ötvös said, adding that some examples of the Rolls-Royce Phantom went “beyond €2 million” (AUD$3.1m).

The Middle East championed the growth in average values as the leading region for demand of Bespoke cars. It is for this reason that Dubai was chosen to host the first regional ‘private office’ for the Bespoke programme, said Müller-Ötvös.

A new location is planned to open in China later this year, to meet growing appetite from young Chinese clients for extensively customised cars.

Müller-Ötvös said the Bespoke and Coachbuild businesses – the latter of which is responsible for the $35 million Rolls-Royce Boat Tail – will be key tenets of the company’s operations going forward.

A new coachbuilt model will be shown this year, he confirmed, although “our approach here is to be in absolute minimum numbers”. “The intention is to keep [the Coachbuild programme’s inner workings] secret”.

Rolls-Royce’s existing order bank stretches “far into 2023”, confirmed Müller-Ötvös, with the Cullinan SUV accounting for the majority of demand.

The Rolls-Royce Ghost was the next-most popular model with 30 per cent of sales, while the Phantom took 10 per cent. The Dawn and Wraith models, discontinued last year, accounted for the remaining 10 per cent.

Pre-orders for the Rolls-Royce Spectre – the marque’s first battery-electric car – have exceeded the company’s “most ambitious expectations”, it said in a statement. Deliveries of the new model will begin in the fourth quarter of this year.

Record profitability and sales volumes position Rolls-Royce well for another bumper year in 2023, despite the threat of a global economic downturn.

Müller-Ötvös said in a statement: “Our business is built on extremely strong foundations, and we have secured advance orders stretching far into 2023.

“And while we are not immune to global challenges and economic headwinds, thanks to our balanced worldwide sales strategy we are cautiously optimistic that 2023 will be a strong year for Rolls-Royce.”

Nonetheless, the company has “no appetite” to go public on the stock market – such as through an initial public offering, as Porsche did late last year – and generate more income. It is “absolutely happy” with the money it has, Müller-Ötvös said.

The company also expanded its Goodwood workforce in 2023, adding some 150 employees to its ranks including more than 100 apprentices and trainees.

“Their contribution extends beyond their exceptional skills, talents, knowledge and experience; it is their individual personalities and perspectives that give the marque its strength and character,” added Müller-Ötvös.

Rolls-Royce is currently seeking approval to expand its Goodwood facility, with a new paint shop required to meet increased demand from the Bespoke programme.

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