Bentley and Rolls Royce report record sales

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New Rolls Royce Phantom
The new Rolls Royce Phantom[/caption] 2013 saw new car sales in the UK reach their highest levels since 2007 as money-minded motorists shunned the once-coveted executive models In favour of smaller, more fuel efficient ‘super-minis’. But last year wasn’t all about petrol prices and cost-effective car buying. Rolls Royce and Bentley, both of which are by-words for luxury motoring, also recorded their best ever years. In total, BMW-owned Rolls Royce delivered 3,360 new cars to customers in 2013, a new high in its 110-year history, while VW-owned Bentley put out 10,120 new models, the highest figure in its 95-year history and one that confirmed its position as the world’s most sought-after luxury car brand. So, in a year when most were looking at driving down the cost of motoring, how were these German-owned, British-based luxury automobile marques pulling in record sales figures?

Another record year for Rolls Royce

The answer, it seems, lies abroad. Rolls Royce reported sales growth across a number of regions worldwide, most notably the Middle East and China, where sales increased by 17% and 11% respectively, while strong sales figures were also recorded in Germany, Japan and Canada. 2013 was the fourth year in a row that Rolls Royce has clocked up record sales figures, and this growth has prompted the company to create 100 new jobs, mainly in manufacturing, at its Goodwood plant in Sussex. But it seems that the more moneyed motorists are not simply after any old, ready-to-drive Rolls Royce – if such a thing exists – as last year was also a record year for customers requesting personalised models, with specifications ranging from the inclusion of jewellery boxes, fridges and family crests. So buoyed is Rolls Royce by this increased appetite for luxury motoring, it’s considering a 4X4 model.

And another big year for Bentley

Just as Rolls Royce has been a great export for the UK, so has Bentley with 86% of its output being shipped abroad and record deliveries reported across the globe, particularly in America, Asia Pacific and the Middle East. The 3,140 cars shipped to American motorists represented a 28% year-on-year uplift in sales and accounted for almost a third (31%) of Bentley’s total deliveries. Although deliveries to China were slightly down on the 2012 figure of 2,253, the 2,191 cars bought up by Chinese motorists mean it’s still Bentley’s second biggest market. New models were also critical the success of the car builder, located in Crewe. 2013 saw the launch of the Flying Spur, the fastest and most powerful four-door model Bentley has ever built, and it also heralded the arrival of its open-top performance flagship model, the Continental GT Speed Convertible. And if sales of the Flying Spur are anything to go buy – a total of 2,005 were sold last year – it looks like Bentley could be in for another bumper year in 2014.

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