2019 was the best sales year in the company's 116-year history.
Rolls-Royce is certainly starting the new year on a high. Last year, the luxury automaker delivered a total of 5,152 cars to customers in over 50 countries around the world. That may sound paltry compared to mainstream manufacturers like Ford and Toyota, but this represents a whopping 25 percent increase over observed sales in 2018. Significantly, it's also the highest sales figure the company has ever recorded in its 116-year history. And it's primarily thanks to one model.
2019 was the first time the Rolls-Royce Cullinan has been available for a full year. The British automaker says high demand for the luxury SUV made a "major contribution" to the sales growth, exceeding the company's expectations. Rolls-Royce hasn't released sales figures for the Cullinan, which starts at a whopping $325,000, but the ultra-luxury SUV is now the fastest-selling new Rolls-Royce model in history. Not that this comes as a huge surprise, given the unrelenting demand for luxury SUVs right now.
"This performance is of an altogether different magnitude to any previous year's sales success. While we celebrate these remarkable results we are conscious of our key promise to our customers, to keep our brand rare and exclusive," said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. "We are pleased and proud to have delivered growth of 25% in 2019. Worldwide demand last year for our Cullinan SUV has driven this success and is expected to stabilize in 2020."
"It is a ringing testament to the quality and integrity of our products, the faith and passion of our customers and, above all, the skill, dedication, and determination of our exceptional team at the Home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood and around the world and our dedicated global dealer network."
The Rolls-Royce Phantom, Dawn and Wraith were also in strong demand throughout the year, while global demand for Rolls-Royce Bespoke models reached a new high in 2019. One of the main new highlights was the Zenith Collector's Edition of the Rolls-Royce Ghost. Limited to just 50 examples, the bespoke model marked the end of the current Ghost's 11-year production last year. However, the iconic Ghost remains the company's best-selling model of all time, and Rolls-Royce aims to build on its success.
After five years in development, the next-generation Rolls-Royce Ghost will debut in mid-2020, with availability planned to be in the fourth quarter. According to Rolls-Royce, the new model will "elevate the Ghost name, and the company itself, to new heights of excellence and ambition in design, engineering, materials and driving dynamics."