The rapid economic growth in emerging markets and the swelling demand for Rolls Royce luxury cars, up by 25% in 2007, has pushed delivery times to nearly two years. According to Ian Robertson, chairman of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, production has been sold out all the way to mid-2009.
While Rolls Royce's Goodwood plant has rolled out roughly 1,000 units of the Phantom and the Drophead Coupe in 2007, chairman Robertson expects sales to grow even faster in 2008. Robertson adds that "a lot of our dealers say they have simply stopped taking any more orders." Chairman Robertson has announced drastic measures to step up production to meet the increasing demand from wealthy individuals in emerging markets.
On top of its 650-strong workforce, Rolls Royce will recruit another 300 to 400 workers and invest an estimated £10 and £15 million in the Goodwood plant. When BMW revived the ailing luxury brand in 2002 with the Phantom luxury saloon, BMW invested approximately £65 million in the plant.
With China emerging as Rolls Royce's third biggest market, Robertson expects 100 cars to be sold this year, up from 71 cars in 2006. Robertson adds that it is "not bad when you consider we had not sold a single Rolls-Royce vehicle in China prior to 2003."