Credit: Original article published by Classic Cars Journal.
Do you remember the Rolls-Royce (and Bentley) of old versus the Rolls-by-way-of-BMW of today? It used to be you could see a Silver Shadow/Corniche or Silver Spirit all around Los Angeles or even parked by some of the more prestigious hotels around Manhattan, so it seemed that, despite its hand-built status, Rolls-Royce was a popular, consistent seller among the wealthy.
Compare it to the modern Rolls-Royce, which began with the 2003 Phantom and now features a lineup of several different models including an SUV. Even in the environs of Beverly Hills, the Rolls-Royce of today command a different level of respect and appear somewhat rare … or so you would think, as the company has reported a record 6,021 in sales — the marque’s best showing ever.
“2022 has been a momentous year for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. Not only did we reveal Rolls‑Royce Spectre, our marque’s first ever fully-electric series model to the world, it was also the first year we ever delivered more than 6,000 cars in a single 12-month period, with strong demand across our entire product portfolio,” says Torsten Müller-Ötvös, the Chief Executive Officer of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “But as a true House of Luxury, sales are not our sole measure of success: we are not and never will be a volume manufacturer. Bespoke IS Rolls-Royce, and commissions were also at record levels last year, with our clients’ requests becoming ever more imaginative and technically demanding – a challenge we enthusiastically embrace.”
Production is up 8% from 2021, and a far cry from the 1,212 produced in calendar year 2008. Even five years ago, the total was a prodigious 4,107.
According to Rolls-Royce, the Middle East leads as the region with the most Bespoke commissions. In fact, Rolls-Royce opened a Dubai-based invitation-only Private Office in 2022 — the first outside Goodwood, West Sussex. Nonetheless, the Americas continues to remain the single largest region for Rolls-Royce, with China ranking second.
Rolls-Royce is currently poised to celebrate 20 years of production at Goodwood. Back then, one Phantom was built a day, the impetus for a transformation centered on a long-term strategy “based on sustainable growth, careful management and planning, and the successful reinvention of the brand.”