Rolls-Royce Aims to Boost Sales at Least 10% This Year

BMW's Rolls-Royce Motor Cars CEO Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes
BMW AG’s Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Chief Executive Officer Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes. Photographer: David Levenson/Bloomberg

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG’s Rolls-Royce Motor Cars aims to increase sales at least 10 percent this year as the maker of luxury vehicles boosts deliveries in China and seeks to attract younger buyers.

“We will see for China this year quite strong growth,” the division’s Chief Executive Officer Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes said in an interview yesterday with Bloomberg Television. Young Asian entrepreneurs will help the Goodwood, England-based company increase sales by “at least a two-digit figure” in percentage terms, he said.

The carmaker, which competes with Daimler AG’s Maybach and Volkswagen AG’s Bentley divisions, almost tripled sales to a record last year. Rolls Royce said full-year sales in 2010 rose to 2,711 cars, led by growth in Asia, the U.S. and the Middle East. The manufacturer’s previous sales record was set in 2008, when it delivered 1,212 vehicles.

BMW rose 0.5 percent to 60.60 euros as of 10:13 a.m. in Frankfurt. The stock has gained 3 percent this year after climbing 85 percent in 2010.

China will form the carmaker’s biggest market as early as 2014, with its Ghost sedan driving demand, Mueller-Oetvoes said. The $245,000 Ghost is Rolls-Royce’s second product line after the Phantom, which starts at $380,000.

China Growth

“It’s difficult to overstate the importance of the Chinese market to the premium car makers,” Tim Urquhart, a senior analyst at industry consultant IHS Automotive in London, said in an e-mail. “China will provide the vast majority of volume growth for the premiums for the next decade at least.”

Urquhart said he expects Rolls-Royce sales in China to increase by a third to 287 cars this year.

The 5.4-meter (17 feet 9 inches) Ghost has spurred growth for the exclusive marque after the financial crisis depressed sales 17 percent in 2009. The U.S. remained the biggest market for Rolls-Royce last year, ahead of China and the U.K.

India, where the marque sold about 85 cars last year, would also be another “incredible” growth market for Rolls-Royce, Mueller-Oetvoes said in the interview from Singapore. “We’ll definitely see more cars to come this year,” he said.

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