Rolls-Royce says super rich keep on buying luxury cars

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A cooling economy isn’t stopping the very wealthy from buying a Rolls-Royce.

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“We haven’t seen any downturn in order intake here over the last months,” Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Torsten Müller-Ötvös told Bloomberg Television. “I’m cautiously optimistic about this year.”

While Rolls-Royce isn’t immune to a recession, the global distribution of its customers protects the luxury-car maker somewhat, the CEO said. The British company is coming off a record year, having delivered more than 6,000 vehicles in 2022.

Rolls-Royce, owned by Germany’s BMW AG, plans to sell only battery-powered vehicles by the end of this decade. The British manufacturer in October showed off the Spectre, an all-electric coupe with a zero-to-60 mph sprint time of 4.4 seconds.

Orders for the Spectre, which is supposed to arrive in the fourth quarter, are “exceeding our highest expectations, the CEO said, adding that the brand is attracting new customers because it’s going electric.

The overall luxury market may cool slightly this year and it’s too early to predict how China will develop, even as it’s encouraging that travel from the Asian country is picking up, Müller-Ötvös said.

“Once the pandemic is over in China, I foresee again growth patterns to happen there as well,” he said. “The rest of the world is pretty stable.”

Rolls-Royce sales rose 8 percent last year to 6,021 cars as growing demand in the Americas offset declines in China, with customers spending around €500,000 ($537,100) per vehicle on average.

The Cullinan, the brand’s first sport utility vehicle, was Rolls-Royce’s best-selling model making up almost half of deliveries, the CEO said.

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