Ghost Pushes Rolls Royce Sales in China

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd. plans to sell 800 cars in China in 2011 as it aims to raise sales eightfold in two years in the world’s largest auto market. The company managed to sell 500 new cars in China in the first 10 month of this year, compared to just 100 for the whole of last year.

The luxury marque is selling more of its Phantom and Ghost sedans in China, as rising incomes in the world’s fastest growing major economy boost sales of ultra-luxury cars. The Asian country is one of the most important markets, as there are 875,000 millionaires, 6.1 percent more than last year, according to a report in April by the Shanghai-based Hurun Research Institute.

A Rolls-Royce Phantom starts at CNY6.6 million ($990,000) and buyers pay CNY4.1 million ($600,000) for a Ghost in China, where consumers pay higher taxes on imported luxury models. In the US, the Phantom only starts at $380,000. Despite this, China is expected to become Rolls Royce’s biggest market, surpassing the US as early as next year. Chinese customers that place orders for the Phantom will have to wait until late May next year to receive their cars.

Rolls Royce may add as many as four more dealers in China by the middle of next year, in second-tier cities such as Tianjin and Wuhan. The latest Ghost model, introduced in December, is largely "to blame" for the boost in sales. The British manufacturer has already shifted more than 2000 cars worldwide in just the first 10 months of this year, surpassing the previous record set in 2008.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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