Rolls-Royce sees record sales in 2021 buoyed by strong demand for luxury cars
Luxury car manufacturer Rolls-Royce on Monday announced that its sales rose 49% to a record high last year. The company sold 5,586 units to customers in more than 50 countries in 2021, the largest number in its 117-year history. It achieved this feat despite the coronavirus pandemic, thanks to a surge in demand worldwide for luxury vehicles.
Despite the industry-wide disruptions, the luxury sector did not struggle much to find customers, but rather struggled to produce enough products to satisfy huge customer demand. "I don't think anyone would disagree with me that 2021 was the most volatile, unpredictable and challenging year for businesses across the board," Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO at Rolls-Royce said in a statement.
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Sales of the brand's vehicles hit all-time records in most regions, including China and the US. The reason can be attributed to the fact that pandemic travel restrictions have left wealthy consumers with more disposable income, thus growing demand for premium and luxury cars in key global markets.
The demand is such that the carmaker's British plant in Goodwood was running at close to maximum capacity with its order books full well into the third quarter of 2022. "If you order a Rolls-Royce today, you will expect to take delivery of it about a year from now," Müller-Ötvös said.
Meanwhile, Rolls-Royce has committed to go all-electric by 2030. Last October, the company teased its all-electric vehicle Spectre which will be available by the end of 2023.
Rolls-Royce is a unit of German carmaker BMW, which also achieved record sales of over 2.2 million vehicles from its BMW brand last year, outstripping its 2019 sales despite a global shortage of semiconductor chips. Another BMW unit and luxury British carmaker Bentley, last week informed that it had cruised to a record year in 2021 too. Its global sales jumped 31% thanks to strong demand for high-end vehicles.
(with inputs from Reuters)