Rolls-Royce, a leader in the luxury car market

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, owned by German carmaker BMW, reported record sales in 2012 as demand for its traditional luxury vehicles held up among wealthy Americans and Chinese, although its growth rate slowed down significantly from the previous two years.

The British luxury carmaker has sold 3,575 cars globally in 2012, which represents the third consecutive record and the best sales result in the Rolls-Royce’s 108-year history.

Rolls car sales rose 1% to 3,575 in 2012 from 3,538 cars a year earlier.

It was the company’s third consecutive year of record sales, but the growth rate was well below the 31% and 150% growth delivered in 2011 and 2010.

The United States regained its position as Rolls’ biggest market last year, overtaking China, mainland Europe, including Russia, the Middle East and Asia Pacific.

The luxury car market has been largely unaffected by the economic downturn, helped by continued demand for premium vehicles from Asia’s mega-rich.

In spite of the eurozone crisis, where unemployment reached historic levels in Spain, Greece and Portugal, triggering sales of Rolls-Royce has allowed the company managers to dodge the crisis. Rolls-Royce has already increased production at its plant in West Sussex, southern England, to cope with demand for the Phantom Series II.

“We had an outstanding year in spite of the challenges we faced, and Rolls-Royce now leads the ultra luxury market by some considerable margin,” chief executive Torsten Muller-Otvos said.

In 2012, Rolls-Royce has successfully retained its position at the very pinnacle of the ultra luxury market. No other luxury brand sells as many cars in this segment as Rolls-Royce.