LONDON—If ever there was a sign that for the super rich, austerity is something that happens to other people, take a look at the results of Rolls-Royce, the British car manufacturer whose customized sedans are a byword for automotive luxury.
The fabled British marque, which Thursday said it would launch a new model in its Ghost range of limousines this year, reported its second consecutive annual sales record in its 108 years of history last year, though overall sales rose only around 1% on year.
Still, selling even a few hundred more cars is big business for Rolls-Royce given that its cheapest model sets a customer back by £170,000 ($272,000).
The auto maker, a wholly owned unit of Germany’s BMW AG, sold 3,575 cars as it pushed into new markets including Latin America and Thailand, with sales in its fastest-growing market, the Middle East, up 25%.
Rolls-Royce isn’t alone in enjoying the sustained world-wide demand for premium cars. BMW itself sold a record number of its namesake brand and Mini cars in 2012 as did Audi AG, the premium car maker owned by Volkswagen AG, Daimler AG unit Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar Land Rover, which is owned by India’s Tata Motors Co.
Oh great, now we'll have to wait if we want that new Rolls this year.