We’re always delighted to see new Rolls-Royce customers being introduced to the marque here at the Goodwood; whether on the Motor Circuit or the famous front drive at the House, a sweeping convoy of Royce’s being driven ‘with gusto’ makes for an imposing sight!
And now we know why we’ve been seeing so many about the place. Last year Rolls-Royce sold over 4000 cars for the first time in its 111-year history – an increase of 12 per cent on 2013’s sales figures, and four times its output in 2009. The new Wraith and Ghost account for 80 per cent of Rolls-Royce production, and in case you were wondering the USA remains the biggest market for the marque. China is next, followed by the UAE, and the UK is the company’s fourth strongest global market.
Volume shouldn’t be the prime objective of a luxury car-maker like Rolls-Royce (and it isn’t: profitability is put first), but the fact that its products are desirable around the world is definitely something we’re proud to celebrate here on the Goodwood Estate where Rolls-Royce has been building cars since 2003. And volumes could rise further if a mooted SUV comes to fruition – a decision on whether it will get the green light will be made in 2015.
On the topic of a Rolls-Royce ‘off-roader’, chief executive Torsten Müller-Ötvös says this: ‘We haven’t made our final decision, we are progressing with the project, we are looking into it. But we will make the announcement on whether we are doing it or not doing it in 2015. The question is not, “Is it the right segment?” For me, the main question has always been, “Is it the right segment for Rolls-Royce, does Rolls-Royce fit into that segment, how will we look in the segment?”‘
On that decision hinges perhaps the biggest ever potential change in R-R’s DNA. We’ll be looking out for R-R prototypes on the roads around Goodwood sporting unusual ride heights…