RREC Central Southern Section

9 January 2008
Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé   Rolls-Royce Motor Cars saw sales in 2007 increase by 25 per cent, compared to 2006, with retails of 1010 cars. This is the first time that annual sales have reached four figures and the fourth successive sales increase since the company was launched in 2003.

There was strong demand for all Phantom models, with the four door versions (Phantom and Phantom Extended Wheelbase) remaining the best sellers and accounting for 75 per cent of the total. However, it was the exceptional demand for the new Phantom Drophead Coupé, launched in the summer, which drove the volume increase. Production capacity at Goodwood was maximized by working extended shifts.

Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé.    Photo: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd

Paint facilities are being expanded and developed and 24 hour working introduced for some specialist areas. A new handling system for the bodies and new paint application technology will be installed.

Expansion of the workforce by several hundred at Goodwood has already begun and will continue over the next two years, predominantly in the production and manufacturing support areas of the business. Training and development of talent in the automotive industry is something which Rolls-Royce believes is vital. This year sees the second annual intake of apprentices and the launch of a new graduate training scheme.

Additionally, the company student programme takes in around forty people and acts as a talent-spotting opportunity for the company. Applications have been received from around the world from candidates who are keen to take advantage of this exceptional opportunity.

Phantom sales continue to increase, with quarterly figures showing that the company had retailed 22 per cent more cars by the end of September 2007 compared to the same period last year. Forward orders for the four-door models stretch wellinto 2008 with the Extended Wheelbase model accounting for a quarter of all Phantom four-door sales in 2007.

Orders for the new Phantom Drophead Coupé extend right through next year. First deliveries were made in July and August as production at Goodwood began the ramp-up process. Interest in this model remains exceptionally high.

Nine out of ten cars leaving Goodwood featured Bespoke content - specially tailored customer features which do not appear on the options list.

Sales growth is expected to continue with last week's announcement that Rolls-Royce will build a series version of the two-door, four-seat experimental car, 101EX. Production of the new coupé is scheduled to begin next summer, with the launch later in 2008.

Speaking at the 40th Tokyo Motor Show, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Chairman and Chief Executive, Ian Robertson, said, "I am delighted to announce the development plans for the Rolls-Royce manufacturing plant at Goodwood. These significant changes will ensure that we meet the challenge of exceptional customer demand and that we are ready for the launch of our exciting new model series." He continued, "Asia Pacific continues to be an important region for Rolls-Royce, with sales up more than 40 per cent than the same period last year."