Behind the scenes

‘Life can be short – buy a Rolls-Royce’

Despite the pandemic the luxury marque hit record sales in 2021

It was a “truly historic year” for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars in 2021 as the luxury marque reported record annual sales in its 117-year history. Buoyed by orders for the Ghost, Cullinan and Phantom models, the Goodwood-based company delivered 5,586 vehicles last year – a 49% increase on 2020. 

All-time record sales were achieved in most regions, including China, the Americas and Asia-Pacific. And order books are “full well into the third quarter of 2022”, the company said in a statement. In fact, even if a customer ordered a Rolls-Royce today, “you will expect to take delivery of it about a year from now”. 

Despite “all the volatility wrought by the pandemic”, demand worldwide for luxury vehicles has “surged”, Reuters said. Premium and luxury car sales have been “growing more broadly” in key markets such as China and the US as travel restrictions have left wealthy consumers “with more disposable income”. 

‘Live now rather than postpone’

Covid-19 “spurred” wealthy motorists to “buy more Rolls-Royces than ever”, The Guardian said. And the pandemic reminded customers of “their own mortality” by splashing out on luxury cars.

Many “witnessed people in their community dying from Covid”, said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “That made them think life can be short and you’d better live now rather than postpone until a later date. That has helped Rolls-Royce.”

Mainstream carmakers were “hit last year by a lack of semiconductors”, the FT reported. But Rolls-Royce was “able to avoid a squeeze” because it makes fewer vehicles and therefore needs fewer chips. Müller-Otvös revealed that parent company BMW was able to help source the chips. “We have fought hard to get the chips we needed for all cars,” he said. 

The Spectre is Rolls-Royce’s first pure electric car

The Spectre is Rolls-Royce’s first pure electric car

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

The age of electric 

Rolls-Royce aims to build on the success of 2021 as it looks towards the future. In September last year it announced that its entire line-up will be fully electric by 2030. 

The company will enter the new age with the “Spectre”, the brand’s first pure electric car. Describing it as a “seminal moment” for the marque, Müller-Ötvös said the Spectre is “not a prototype” and customers will take first deliveries of the car in the fourth quarter of 2023.

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