Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has delivered an historic annual sales record in 2019, with a global performance unequalled in the company’s 116-year history.
A total of 5,152 cars were delivered to customers in over 50 countries around the world, an increase of 25% on the previous high set in 2018.
Commenting on the results, Torsten Muller-Otvos, CEO, said: “This performance is of an altogether different magnitude to any previous year’s sales success. While we celebrate these remarkable results, we are conscious of our key promise to our customers, to keep our brand rare and exclusive. We are pleased and proud to have delivered growth of 25% in 2019. Worldwide demand last year for our Cullinan SUV has driven this success and is expected to stabilise in 2020.
“It is a ringing testament to the quality and integrity of our products, the faith and passion of our customers and, above all, the skill, dedication and determination of our exceptional team at the home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood and around the world and our dedicated global dealer network.”
Sales grew across all regions during the year, driven by strong customer demand for all models. North America retained top status (around a third of global sales) followed by China and Europe (including the UK). Individual countries that achieved record sales included Russia, Singapore, Japan, Australia, Qatar and Korea.
The Phantom retained its place as the company’s pinnacle product, with the Dawn and Wraith continuing to dominate their respective sectors. Cullinan, the marque’s new SUV, successfully translated the media plaudits and public acclaim into the largest advance order book and fastest post launch sales growth of any Rolls-Royce model in history.
In November 2019, the marque completed its Black Badge family with the addition of the Cullinan Black Badge alongside Ghost, Dawn and Wraith variants, all of which were “highly sought-after by customers seeking a more individual, rebellious expression of the brand”.
In its first full year of availability, the Cullinan exceeded even the highest expectations to become the fastest-selling new Rolls-Royce model in history.
2019 marked the end of Ghost production after 11 years. Since its launch at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2009, the Ghost established itself as the most popular Rolls-Royce model of the Goodwood era, attracting a new audience of younger, entrepreneurial customers to the brand.
An extended wheelbase version was introduced in 2011 and an updated Ghost Series II was unveiled in Geneva in 2014. The last Ghost of the current generation left the Goodwood production line at the end of 2019.
The Ghost has been a vitally important car for Rolls-Royce. Over its 11-year lifecycle it became the biggest-selling Rolls-Royce not just of the Goodwood era, but in the entire history of the marque.
Ghost’s successor is due for launch in mid-2020 after five years in development. “With market availability from the fourth quarter, the successor will elevate the Ghost name, and the company itself, to new heights of excellence and ambition in design, engineering, materials and driving dynamics” says the manufacturer.
Global demand for Rolls-Royce Bespoke also reached a new peak in 2019. The Bespoke Collective comprises several hundred designers, engineers and craftspeople who take enormous pride in “fulfilling unprecedented levels of customer requests for Bespoke personalisation and delivering on beautiful individual commissions such as the Rose Phantom”.
Among the year’s Bespoke highlights was the Zenith Collector’s Edition of the Rolls-Royce Ghost. Limited to just 50 examples, they were created to mark the end of the Ghost’s 11-year reign.
Additionally, the Wraith Eagle VIII celebrated the centenary of Alcock and Brown’s first non-stop transatlantic flight (powered by twin Rolls-Royce Eagle engines). The Tranquillity Phantom, inspired by space exploration, features a unique Gallery inspired by the X-Ray coded aperture masks used on the British Skylark space rocket and, for the first time in a Rolls-Royce, incorporates meteorite as an aesthetic embellishment.
New accessories added to the existing Bespoke offering include the Rolls-Royce Champagne Chest.
Last year saw significant new investment in the manufacturing plant at Goodwood, on Britain’s south coast, reaffirming both the company’s commitment to its UK operations and its buoyant outlook for the years ahead. Projects included refinements to the manufacturing facilities, equipment and processes, which aim “to maximise efficiency and ensure the highest levels of quality as demanded by Rolls-Royce customers”.
In closing, Muller-Otvos said “There is no other company like Rolls-Royce Motor Cars: we are all conscious of what a privilege it is to design, build and deliver the best car the world for our customers. PersonalIy, I continue to feel honoured and humbled to have led this great company for the past decade.”