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Old 07-09-14, 05:52 PM   #1
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Default Rolls-Royce car sales soar worldwide

Luxury Rolls-Royce car sales soar worldwide
Associated Press By GREGORY KATZ and MATTHEW KNIGHT
July 8, 2014 3:34 PM



LONDON (AP) They are rolling symbols of wealth and excess, starting at $263,000 a pop, with many buyers choosing custom options that can easily double the price. And they are more popular than ever before.

Rolls-Royce reported a startling rise in demand for their distinctive cars Tuesday.

The British-made cars, updated to reflect the technical know-how and marketing might of parent company BMW, have become must-haves for the new global elite. That group is growing in number even as much of the world struggles to get by in an era of low growth, low expectations and high unemployment.

The company said 1,968 cars were sold in the first half of this year compared to 1,475 in the same period last year.

The 33 percent rise in sales for the first six months of 2014 compared to the same period last year is explained not just by the cars' plush leather seats and gleaming paintwork those are old standbys for the brand, which used to focus on the British aristocracy but also by the rising number of billionaires worldwide.

A Forbes survey says there are 1,645 billionaires in the world, 219 more than a year ago.

"If you look at the number of ultra-high net worth individuals around the world, that number is clearly growing," said company spokesman Andrew Ball. "The luxury market is growing at the high end and we are delighted to be part of that."

The phenomenon helps to explain the strong sales of mega-yachts, rare jewelry and complicated, handmade Swiss watches. There are more people with more money looking for ways to stand out from the crowd and in this context, a Rolls becomes a very noticeable statement.

Ball said 70 percent of Rolls buyers are new to the brand, and roughly half choose to customize their cars by adding expensive personal touches. The cost of making a Rolls "bespoke" the British term for custom-made suits rather than "off the rack" can dwarf many household budgets.

"It can be simple, like having your initials stitched into the headrest or the veneer," said Ball. "Customers enjoy this. It's an emotional process."

It's also a level of consumerism that soars as high as London's famous Shard skyscraper: A refrigerator inside the automobile can be custom built to accommodate the shape and size of the owner's favorite beverage at a cost rivalling a year in a U.S. college.

The company is opening its first showroom in Cambodia. But it remains an essentially British product, enjoyed by Queen Elizabeth II and evoking the opulence of the Downton Abbey era.

At Rolls-Royce Motor Cars London, the showroom in a particularly posh section of Mayfair, visitors are drawn to a sparkling black Phantom (starting at $600,000) and the Wraith, a bargain at $400,000 unless you want some options. The back of the dealership resembles a home furnishings store, with samples of different woods and hides.

Gone are the days when Rolls-Royce traditionalists sneered at Beatle John Lennon for adding a psychedelic paint job to his Phantom V. When a man walked into the Mayfair showroom carrying his wife's favorite pink lipstick and asking for a Rolls in the same shade, the company was happy to provide one, said salesman Stephen Foulds.

He said the customer base was growing younger, with one Chinese man in his 20s recently ordering his second Rolls in an unusual all-white color scheme. Another traded in his Lamborghini when he was starting a family because he needed a backseat.

Octane Magazine deputy editor Mark Dixon said Rolls Royce has also managed to shed its image of producing fuddy-duddy machines. He loved the quirky touches that make a Rolls unique, like the starlight roof headlining that comes as an option with the Phantom coupe.

"There are hundreds of little LEDs set into the roof lining, it seems like the night sky when you're driving at night," he said. "There was disquiet about this great British brand being bought by the Germans, but most people agree now it was a good move."

He said BMW has introduced state-of-the-art features to Rolls like the satellite-assisted gearbox technology that can see a hairpin curve before the driver does and adjust the gearbox accordingly and given new models real zip.

"You could describe the Ghost as a hot rod, it really is a fast car," he said. "It has a twin turbo V-12 which goes like a scalded cat. It actually handles much better than you would expect."
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Old 07-09-14, 06:27 PM   #2
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I guess that means that sales of Grey Poupon are going up, too.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 07-09-14, 08:38 PM   #3
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if you haven't seen this it's worth a watch...

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Old 07-09-14, 08:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
"You could describe the Ghost as a hot rod, it really is a fast car," he said. "It has a twin turbo V-12 which goes like a scalded cat. It actually handles much better than you would expect."
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Old 07-10-14, 10:10 AM   #5
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a bet a ton of the new sales are in china, india, russia, south america...
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Old 07-10-14, 10:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bitkahuna View Post
a bet a ton of the new sales are in china, india, russia, south america...
BRIC, maybe not so much R per the recent tensions.
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Old 07-10-14, 05:01 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by swajames View Post
if you haven't seen this it's worth a watch...

http://youtu.be/mqIZa3PTX6c
ahahaha

i wasnt going to come into this thread
but im glad i did
thank you!

i went to a Macaroni grill recently
and saw an old couple eating there and left in their Rolls Royce Phantom
that lead me to think this article couldnt be truer even at home in North America (not even considering what the sales numbers are like in China)
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Old 07-10-14, 09:05 PM   #8
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I guess this is further proof the top 1% are as wealthy as ever
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Old 07-10-14, 09:23 PM   #9
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I would like to point to the bespoke point and connect that to the marque's success.

Rich folks like choices and control (ok everyone does but the rich get to act based on their ability to choose and control).

When I went to a snazzy RR driving event a couple of years ago, the brand steward who rode along with me made a number of points related to RR orders paralleling commissioning a yacht. He also noted a bunch of detailed elections customers have made connecting to lifestyle, travel, etc.

The growth in custom stuff available as the economy has grown the past few decades is pretty cool and does not alway have to be way more expensive. In Chicago I can get a bespoke suit made locally for about the price of a nice brand suit.

When I had the goofy idea of getting gold eyeglasses I was able to order a pair in solid 18K with ebony temples (ok, those were not cheap but the option is out there).
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Old 07-11-14, 08:43 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by bitkahuna View Post
a bet a ton of the new sales are in china, india, russia, south america...
Or american and israel who are profitting from war in the middle east. Im not sure what else america does these days besides being israels lap dog and fighting their religous war for them. There's a lot of money in land and resource theft.
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Old 07-11-14, 09:06 AM   #11
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There is no RR dealer in Israel
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Old 07-11-14, 09:16 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by GSXMike View Post
Or american and israel who are profitting from war in the middle east. Im not sure what else america does these days besides being israels lap dog and fighting their religous war for them. There's a lot of money in land and resource theft.
Lol you are on a roll today! First on the z4 now this. You managed to antagonize yourself to the whole forum in a matter of 2 posts nice job!!
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Old 07-11-14, 09:53 AM   #13
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Hey I was just adding a bit of truth to that other guys post. He named some countries that he thought might have a large client base for really expensive cars, and I added a couple.
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Old 07-11-14, 10:01 AM   #14
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One country with no dealer and you call that truth
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Old 07-11-14, 10:09 AM   #15
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I wasnt even talking to you. Israel can import range rover if they want them, however that wasn't my point.
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