Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has today announced its second highest ever annual sales result in the marque’s 113-year history, up 6% on its 2015 results. A total of 4,011 cars were delivered to customers in more than 50 countries, affirming the brand’s strength and resilience in a year of challenging market conditions for luxury goods worldwide.
Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO, said, “This remarkable result emphatically affirms the global appeal of the very finest British luxury goods to the world’s most discerning patrons. Rolls-Royce is a true Great British manufacturing success story, one driven by the hard work and ingenuity of the men and women employed at our Centre of Luxury Excellence in Goodwood, West Sussex. We are deeply committed to a long term, sustainable, successful growth strategy and this result, amidst a backdrop of global uncertainty, affirms this approach. 2016 has proven the perfect year to sign off the successful first chapter of the renaissance of Rolls-Royce. Success for Rolls-Royce is success for Great Britain and we reaffirm our commitment to maintaining the Home of Rolls-Royce in the UK.”
The company recorded its highest-ever sales in key global markets including the Americas (up 12%), Europe (up 28%) and Asia Pacific (up 5%). A number of individual markets also exceeded previous records, notably Japan (up 51%), Germany (up 30%), the UK - the marque’s home market - (up 26%), China (up 23%) and the USA (up 10%).
The only major region where conditions remained difficult was the Middle East where consumer demand for all luxury goods was dampened by economic and political uncertainty. However, despite these challenging market conditions, the Middle East ended the year as the third largest market in 2016, while Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Dubai earned the accolade of the highest selling dealership globally.
As part of its commitment to long-term sustainable growth, Rolls-Royce announced six new dealerships during 2016, bringing the global dealership network to 136. New launches included the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Studio in South Korea and an innovative boutique-style concept in Dubai.
Sustained global demand for Rolls-Royce’s fine products was driven by the continued success of the Wraith and Ghost families, which were further enhanced in 2016 with the introduction of their new Black Badge variants. Another major contributor was Dawn drophead which entered full production with the strongest pre-order book ever achieved by a new Rolls-Royce model.
2016 was also the final year of production for the seventh-generation Phantom, with its successor due in late 2018. Phantom retained its status as both the company’s pinnacle flagship product and the “best car in the world”, with customers eager to secure final Bespoke commissions to complete their collections, and own a landmark piece of Rolls-Royce history.
A highlight of the year was the successful completion of the largest single commission ever undertaken by Rolls-Royce: a fleet of 30 Extended Wheelbase Phantoms exclusively designed and handcrafted for THE 13 hotel in Macau. The first car was handed over to luxury entrepreneur Stephen Hung, Joint Chairman of THE 13 Holdings Limited, at the 2016 Geneva International Motor Show. Commissions like this reaffirm Rolls‑Royce’s status as the only truly Bespoke house in the automotive world.
Indeed, almost as significant as the sales figures themselves is the continued growth and strength of Rolls‑Royce’s Bespoke offering. One of the marque’s founding beliefs is that true luxury is deeply personal, and accordingly Rolls-Royce continues to invest heavily in its Bespoke capabilities and craftsmanship.
Virtually every Phantom, Ghost, Wraith and Dawn produced in 2016 contained specially-commissioned and unique Bespoke design elements, reaffirming Rolls-Royce as the world’s only truly handcrafted luxury motor car. This position was further reinforced through its latest Bespoke Collections, which in 2016 included the Phantom Zenith Collection and ‘Dawn – Inspired by Fashion’, as well as unique creations such as Ghost Eternal Love, Nautical Dawn, ‘Dusk to Dawn’ and Phantom Wisdom. The Bespoke Wraith Luggage Collection and Picnic Hamper for the Phantom Zenith Collection also garnered critical acclaim and strong commissions worldwide.
The new Rolls-Royce Technology and Logistics Centre (TLC) at Bognor Regis opened, on schedule, in January 2016. This purpose-built 30,000m2 facility, close to the manufacturing plant at Goodwood, was built from the outset with the potential for future expansion and the buildings will be extended in 2017 by almost 10,000m2 to meet growing demand and in readiness for future models. The expansion will give the TLC the same overall footprint as the Home of Rolls-Royce, more than doubling the scale of the company’s facilities since its launch in 2003.
Throughout 2016, significant building and expansion work also continued at the Home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood. The company invested heavily in a new single-line manufacturing system that is central to its long-term production strategy. Testing of an all-new proprietary aluminium space-frame architecture, which will underpin every new Rolls-Royce model built on the new single line from early 2018, is now approaching completion.
The growth in production facilities was matched by the creation of over 100 new jobs at the Home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood in 2016. The company now employs over 1,700 people, representing a remarkable increase approaching 500% on the original team of 350 who worked to create the first Phantom in 2003.
Rolls-Royce also demonstrated its long-term commitment to supporting future talent with a record intake on its industry-leading Apprenticeship Programme, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2016. More than 50 young people are currently learning skilled trades at the Home of Rolls-Royce, with similar recruitment levels planned for 2017. Record numbers of graduates and interns also joined the company during 2016.
The success of Rolls-Royce is based upon an intimate understanding of luxury customers’ requirements. This was echoed in the success of the marque’s Provenance (pre-owned) and Financial Services programmes which both enjoyed exceptional results in 2016. These tailored solutions reflect the way in which many of today’s patrons of luxury seek to invest in fine objects.
In closing, Müller-Ötvös said, “We are deeply proud of the achievements of our historic brand over the past years. Rolls-Royce continues to surge forward in a confident and sustainable manner. Our business model, which is rooted in our unique and detailed understanding of the multifaceted world of luxury, is producing growth at just the right pace for a truly rare and exclusive brand. This is what our customers demand of us and this is what we will continue to deliver.”