Growth at Rolls-Royce slows after China demand falls

10 January 2013
By Sofia Mitra-Thakur
Mobile version
Share |
Rolls Royce logo

Rolls Royce logo

Rolls-Royce posted slower annual sales growth in 2012 as demand from wealthy Chinese customers eased, meaning the United States regained its position as the luxury carmaker's biggest market.

Rolls, owned by German carmaker BMW, said this week car sales rose 1 per cent to a record 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 per cent and 150 per cent delivered in 2011 and 2010 respectively, and chief executive Torsten Muller-Otvos warned that the group may not be able to achieve another record performance in 2013.

"We can't deliver explosive growth all the time and the luxury sector has certain natural limits," he said. "Since the beginning of last year we have seen, not a slowdown, but what I would call a hesitation from Chinese customers such as tycoons and industrial leaders compared to how they were feeling three years ago.

"We have seen explosive growth in China over recent years and we knew this would come to a natural end."

Mainland Europe, including Russia, was Rolls' third biggest market, followed by 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. 

However, mass-market carmakers such as Ford are cutting capacity and jobs because of a slowdown in demand.

Rolls said it had expanded into a number of new markets in 2012, including Latin America. It now has a presence in more than 40 international markets.

"We are globally well balanced now and don't count on one or two regions. It has been tricky in certain southern European markets but growth in other areas has made up for that," said Muller-Otvos.

The firm, which sells most of its cars with some element of bespoke personalisation, is expected to launch a new two-door Ghost model this year and complete the expansion of its plant in Goodwood in southern England

Latest Issue

E&T cover image 1607

"As the dust settles after the referendum result, we consider what happens next. We also look forward to an international summer of sport."

E&T jobs

  • Electrician

    The Bristol Port Company
    • City of Bristol
    • C. £31,729 per annum plus supplements, benefits and overtime

    You’re a good team worker with a strong technical capacity – so bring your talents to a new role with one of the area’s leading employers.

    • Recruiter: The Bristol Port Company

    Apply for this job

  • Supply Restoration Team Manager (HV/SAP)

    SSE
    • Oxford, Oxfordshire
    • Salary: £37,588 to £49,645 + Car (SSE8) Depending on skills and experience

    SSE is looking to recruit a Supply Restoration Team Manager to join our existing team in Oxford.

    • Recruiter: SSE

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Technical Lead - Global Operations, Engineering & Laboratory

    Pfizer Ltd
    • Kent

    An exciting opportunity has arisen to join a dynamic team of professional engineers, supporting the development of novel drugs.

    • Recruiter: Pfizer Ltd

    Apply for this job

  • Supply Restoration Team Manager (HV/SAP)

    SSE
    • Oxfordshire
    • Salary: £37,588 to £49,645 + Car (SSE8) Depending on skills and experience

    SSE is looking to recruit a Supply Restoration Team Manager into our office in Oxford.

    • Recruiter: SSE

    Apply for this job

  • Electronics & Control Systems Engineer

    Frazer-Nash Consultancy Ltd
    • Bristol, Burton, Glasgow, Plymouth, Warrington
    • £ Competitive + Benefits

    We are seeking talented Electronics Engineers at all career levels.

    • Recruiter: Frazer-Nash Consultancy Ltd

    Apply for this job

  • Control and Instrumentation Engineers

    Frazer-Nash Consultancy Ltd
    • Bristol, Burton, Glasgow, Gloucester
    • £ Competitive + Benefits

    Frazer-Nash is currently embarking on a period of significant growth of our electrical, electronics, control and instrumentation capability.

    • Recruiter: Frazer-Nash Consultancy Ltd

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Engineer

    Gridpower Ltd
    • Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear

    Co-ordination of all project design deliverables and the leadership of a project team to deliver overall project[s] Right First Time

    • Recruiter: Gridpower Ltd

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Technician

    National Grid
    • England, Lancashire
    • £29000 - £34000 per year

    Electrical Technician - Gas Transmission - Ref. 11206Salary: £29k - £34k, call-out and standby allowance plus job requirement vehicleLocation: Nether Kellet Compressor Station (LA6 1HD), Lancashire National Grid plc is the operator of the GB gas transmiss

    • Recruiter: National Grid

    Apply for this job

  • Engineering Officer

    Royal Air Force
    • Nationwide
    • £30k pay after initial training + £10k Golden Hello

    Responsible for the optimum performance of all RAF technology, and specialise in either Aerosystems or Communications Electronics.

    • Recruiter: Royal Air Force

    Apply for this job

  • Senior Systems Engineer

    Strainstall Marine
    • Cowes, Isle of Wight
    • Competitive + Benefits

    Oversee all aspects of electronic & systems engineering, manufacturing, test engineering and hardware support activities

    • Recruiter: Strainstall Marine

    Apply for this job

More jobs ▶

Subscribe

Choose the way you would like to access the latest news and developments in your field.

Subscribe to E&T