Rolls-Royce achieved record sales success in 2021. The British company delivered 5,586 new cars worldwide – up 49 percent on 2020 and the highest total in its 117-year history.
Despite the ongoing pandemic, record numbers of Rolls-Royces were sold in China, along with the Americas and Asia-Pacific regions.
Sales growth was driven by the new Ghost and Ghost Black Badge, with ‘high demand’ also reported for the Cullinan SUV. Rolls-Royce’s Goodwood factory is running a two-shift pattern at ‘near-maximum capacity’, with order books full until the autumn.
First EV due next year
CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös described the 2021 results as “hugely encouraging as we prepare for the historic launch of Spectre, our first all-electric car”.
Due in late 2023, the electric Rolls-Royce will be a sleek four-seat coupe in the style of the current Wraith. Goodwood is being readied for the switch to EV production, with some 37 new apprentices joining the team later this year.
Müller-Ötvös also hinted that Rolls-Royce will “continue to evolve as a true luxury brand, beyond the realms of automotive manufacturing”. What form this may take isn’t yet clear, but the brand could follow the lead of Bentley, which markets its own home furnishings, jewellery, ski and golf equipment, fragrances and more.
Rolls-Royce’s financial results should also be boosted by a renewed focus on bespoke cars such as the one-off £20 million Boat Tail (pictured above) – the most expensive new car ever, and rumoured to be owned by Jay-Z and Beyonce.
A new Coachbuild division was established last year to handle these projects, which have included the Phantom Oribe (co-created with French fashion house, Hermès), Phantom Tempus and the Wraith and Dawn Landspeed Collection cars.
It all adds up to being the ‘undisputed leader in the +€250k segment’, says Rolls-Royce.
Tim Pitt writes for Motoring Research