Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd., the ultra-luxury carmaker owned by Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW), expects its first coupe and markets in Asia to drive sales growth through next year.
The $234,000 Wraith coupe is fully sold out until May 2014, Rolls-Royce Chief Executive Officer Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes said in an interview in Tokyo. Next year will be “nice and prosperous,” with the Wraith completing its first full year of sales, he said.
Mueller-Oetvoes said he’s “cautiously optimistic” that Rolls Royce sales in 2013 will top last year’s record of 3,575 vehicles, as it benefits from growth in Asian markets such as Japan and China. In Japan, where Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is pushing to revive the economy, the automaker has expanded sales by 25 percent in the first nine months of this year, according to the Japan Automobile Importers Association.
“It’s delightful to see how the market here developed particular to the Abenomics,” Mueller-Oetvoes said Oct. 11, referring to the set of policies the current government initiated to end deflation in the world’s third-largest economy. “I must say thanks to Mr. Abe.”
For China, the automaker projects steady growth as the average buyer there is younger than in the U.S., even as the expansion isn’t as explosive as in the years before, he said.
Mueller-Oetvoes said Rolls-Royce is looking into the possibility of developing a sport-utility vehicle, reiterating comments made in September. The company has no firm plans yet on whether to go ahead, he said.
“It is an interesting segment, which always steadily grows” even in times of crises for certain markets, he said.
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