Rolls-Royce denies chasing numbers despite record-breaking sales

Rolls-Royce sold a record-breaking 4,063 cars cars last year – a rise of 12% over 2013, and the fifth year in a row it’s boasted record sales.

But the manufacturer’s sales and marketing chief, Fintan Knight, has told Motoring Research the company has no plans to go chasing figures.

He said: “For us, selling over 4,000 cars a year was a big hurdle, and we’re delighted to have achieved that. It was part of our long-term plans and we’ve achieved that goal.

“However, volume doesn’t feature very high in our long-term plans for the future. If we sell one more vehicle each year, [Rolls-Royce chairman] Schwarzenbauer will be happy. For us, 10,000 sales a year is not an ambition. We are not chasing numbers.”

The company says that a lot of its success in 2014 comes down to rolling out its bespoke personalisation programme across its range, along with the introduction of Wraith and Ghost Series II models.

Knight added: “Despite this success, Rolls-Royce remains an exclusive brand. With 70 million new cars sold a year worldwide, most of them being mediocre offerings, 4,000 new Rolls-Royces are still very exclusive.

“You’re not going to start seeing them on every corner.”

Through the bespoke personalisation scheme, Rolls-Royce customers can choose from a palette of 44,000 colours – and if they can’t find one they like, they can create a unique colour just for them. Almost anything goes within the scheme – want the boot of your Phantom turned into a fridge? No problem. Want your initials carved into the wood veneer? Certainly, sir.

Knight insists that nothing is too much for Rolls-Royce. Unlike some exclusive manufacturers that worry that unusual vehicles might damage their reputation, Rolls-Royce is open to even the most extreme ideas.

He said: “The Rolls-Royce is a very impressive vehicle, and we’re happy for customers to make it unique. Often their imagination is really exceptional, but our customers have excellent taste.

“We rarely step in and question a customer’s choice. We’ve always had customers like John Lennon, after all.”

But what will we see in the future from Rolls-Royce? A convertible Wraith is widely rumoured, and there’s talk of a plug-in hybrid powertrain.

Knight said: “We are keen to contemporise the brand. You’ll have to wait for an official announcement.”