Rolls-Royce annual sales top 6,000 for first time

Luxury car maker sees strong growth in Middle East, Europe, Asia and US

Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Rolls-Royce sold more than 6,000 cars in 2022, passing the milestone for the first time in the UK-based company's 118-year history.

The luxury car maker said it achieved “particularly strong year-on-year growth” in the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, the US and Europe.

The company delivered 6,021 vehicles to customers, an 8 per cent rise on 2021.

“Not only did we reveal Rolls-Royce Spectre, our marque's first ever fully-electric series model to the world, it was also the first year we ever delivered more than 6,000 cars in a single 12-month period, with strong demand across our entire product portfolio,” said chief executive Torsten Muller-Otvos.

Economic headwinds in China

“Continuing headwinds” caused a slight drop in sales in China, the BMW-owned car manufacturer said. However, demand remained strong, with advanced orders “secured far into 2023".

Bespoke commissions also reached record levels last year, with customers willing to pay £440,000 for a unique and personalised car.

Mr Muller-Otvos said the requests of clients became “ever more imaginative and technically demanding”.

More than 150 jobs were created at the company's headquarters at Goodwood in West Sussex, bringing the total workforce to 2,500.

A marque of success

Rolls-Royce was formed in 1905, a year after Charles Rolls met Sir Henry Royce. By 1907, the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost was promoted as the best car in the world, after it was put through a series of endurance and comfort tests.

By the 1950s Roll-Royce cars had replaced Daimler as the preferred motor car supplier to Britain's royal family. A survey in 1987 showed that the name Rolls-Royce had become synonymous with luxury and that only Coca-Cola was a more widely recognised brand across the world.

To the casual observer, the name, the brand and the Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament have been part of Rolls-Royce for its whole 118-year history.

However, there were some interesting twists in the history.

Rolls-Royce through the years - in pictures

In the early 1970s the original Rolls-Royce company was nationalised and the then British government sold the car marking arm, to allow the main firm to concentrate on making aero engines.

The car maker was bought by the engineering company Vickers in the 1980s, which decided to sell it in 1998. A bid of £340 million by the German automaker, BMW, was trumped by a rival offer from Volkswagen of £430 million.

However, while VW got the production facilities, the vehicle designs, the rights to the Spirit of Ecstasy ornament and the iconic front grille shape, the brand name and logo stayed with the larger engineering company Rolls-Royce plc, which consequently sold those licences to BMW.

The two German car makers came to an agreement and by 2003, BMW was making Rolls-Royce cars at its new facility at Goodwood. VW retained the designs and the old production facility, as well as ownership of Bentley.

From 2005, sales at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars (as the company was known by then) went from strength to strength, increasing 660 per cent to 2022.

Updated: January 09, 2023, 2:03 PM