Archive for the 'Rolls-Royce' Category

2012 European Automotive Recap

Monday, January 14th, 2013

The "all-new" MINI for 2014?

Well, it’s mid-January 2013, and partly because automakers have just announced 2012 whole year sales figures, and those at the bottom of the pile will no doubt be slashing prices to make up for a lackluster year of sales. That means it is a pretty good month to buy a car.

So how good/bad were those sales figures?

Let’s start with Lotus. Thanks to Dany Bahar, the company has set its sights on selling 4000-5000 cars annually by 2015. That is a drop in the bucket for a giant like German Volkswagen or even sports car maker Porsche, but Lotus has a long way to go, and will need to expand their sales five-fold over the 1043 cars sold in 2012. Incidentally, the company sold significantly more cars previously, 1457 in 2011, but the company had a delay on the Exige S production, forcing a huge drop. No doubt some Exige customers are a bit miffed about the extra wait, though they will rest easier knowing that it was reportedly a delay due to a quality overhaul.

Autocar is reporting that the generation-three MINI is about 12 months away, and that figure couldn’t come sooner. Apparently, the car will feature serious improvements from the ground up. As a driver of the 2009 MINI Cooper S, all I can say is that they ought to focus on the interior or I won’t be buying a second one. The third generation is the perfect opportunity to go through the cabin, and reduce the number of plastic pieces which cause the excessive rumbling and rattling and squeaking that my and many other MINIs suffer from. The solution is a combination of more leather, fewer hard plastic pieces, and fewer number of parts overall on the interior. The attached photo seems to indicate some serious design changes as well, but let’s hope we see less black plastic trim outside, rather than MORE, as the picture would indicate. Incidentally, MINI and BMW combined hope to sell near 1,000,000 per year by 2020. Currently MINI is selling about 300,000 cars per year, but they do hope to increase that figure by 50% in the not-so-distant future.

BMW Group as a whole did record business. 1,845,186 BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce vehicles were delivered worldwide. This was an increase of 10.6% over the previous record year in 2011 (1,668,982). BMW brand sales rose 11.6% in 2012 to reach 1,540,085 vehicles, again, a record (2011 totals reached 1,380,384).

  • BMW Group member Rolls-Royce saw another record (the third straight year!). 3,575 cars were delivered to customers in 2012, the highest annual sales in the 108-year history of the marque and the third consecutive record year.
  • Expansion into new markets – Rolls-Royce motor cars are now sold in more than 40 countries worldwide.
  • United States overtakes China to regain number one regional position.

VW’s U.S. numbers were really quite good for 2012, 438,000 units, and worldwide deliveries in 2012 rose 11 percent to 9.07 million vehicles, the Wolfsburg, Germany-based company said in a statement today. With last year’s gains, the maker of VW, Audi and Porsche vehicles has increased annual deliveries 44 percent since 2009.

DECEMBER 2012 SALES

VW US SNAPSHOT –YTD–
Model Line Dec. ’12 Actual Dec. ’11 Actual Yr/Yr % change Dec. ’12 YTD Actual Dec. ’11 YTD Actual Yr/Yr % change
Golf 1,477 1,411 4.7% 20,677 17,839 15.9%
GTI 1,085 1,332 -18.5% 16,314 16,867 -3.3%
Golf R 292 N/A N/A 3,894 N/A N/A
Total Golf/GTI 2,854 2,743 4.0% 40,885 34,706 17.8%
Jetta 13,102 12,422 5.5% 146,478 150,515 -2.7%
SportWagen 2,559 2,000 28% 23,946 26,845 -10.8%
Total Jetta 15,661 14,422 8.6% 170,424 177,360 -3.9%
Beetle 2,666 1,530 74.2 28,654 5,626 409.3%
NBC 516 1 51,5000.0% 520 842 -38.2%
Total New Beetle 3,182 1,531 107.8% 29,174 6,468 351.1%
Eos 372 419 -11.2% 6,214 7,533 -17.5%
Passat 14,462 6,884 110.1% 117,023 22,779 413.7%
Passat Wagon N/A N/A N/A N/A 56 -100.0%
Total Passat 14,462 6,884 110.1% 117,023 22,835 412.5%
CC 2,196 2,450 -10.4% 21,646 29,502 -26.6%
Tiguan 3,310 2,403 37.7% 31,731 25,990 22.1%
Touareg 1,408 1,117 26.1% 10,553 7,535 40.1%
Routan 560 533 5.1% 10,483 12,473 -16.0%
Total Sales 44,005 32,502 35.4% 438,133 324,402 35.1%

Sister company Audi reached U.S. sales of 140,000 for 2012. Interestingly highline imports to the U.S. market accounted for approximately 1.4million cars out of 14.4 million sold overall. Worldwide, however, Audi did quite well with 1.455m units shifted in 2012.

Porsche had a stellar 2012. We’ve seen conflicting reports from Porsche, first saying they were hiring, then saying they were putting a halt, so it’s not quite clear what the internal dynamics of the company are at this time, but the 918 supercar remains on track and Porsche reports it added 30 percent staff in the last year (bringing the total to 17,000). Record worldwide sales of 141,075 were an 18.7% increase over the 2011 record year of 118,868 vehicles. No doubt, China is fueling a large percentage of these records as it sold a record 31,205. Somewhat surprisingly, the largest Porsche market remains the U.S. with 35,043 sales. Due to the new 911 seeing the showroom, 911 series model sales shot up 31.4% and the Boxster, which also received a refresh, saw sales up 29.1%. On the downside, the father of the 911, the Ferdinand Porsche died in 2012, and Dr. Wolfgang Porsche took over as Chairman of the Supervisory board.

Porsche Deliveries December Fiscal year
2012 2011 Variance (%) 2012 2011 Variance (%)
World 12,097 9,159 32.1 141,075 118,868 18.7
Europe 4,674 4,149 12.7 49,639 43,748 13.5
Germany 1,387 1,102 25.9 17,487 14,959 16.9
America 3,479 2,061 68.8 41,060 34,350 19.5
USA 2,952 1,834 61.0 35,043 29,023 20.7
Asia-Pacific 3,944 2,949 33.7 50,376 40,770 23.6
China 1,937 1,867 3.7 31,205 24,340 28.2

Bentley saw worldwide growth of 22% in 2012 to 8,510. 2011 saw 7,003 sales.

Bentley:

The Americas finished 2012 as Bentley’s largest global market, with 2,457 cars delivered to customers in the region, a 22% increase on 2011 (2,021 cars). China followed closely with 2,253 cars delivered, Bentley’s largest ever volume in the region and a 23% increase on 2011 (1,839 cars).

In Europe, deliveries grew by 12% with 1,333 cars delivered to customers (1,187 in 2011). The increasing popularity of the Bentley brand in growing markets like Russia, where deliveries were up 37%, contributed to the strong performance of the region. In the UK, 1,104 cars were delivered to customers, a 7% increase on the previous year (1,031 cars).

The Middle East region performed very well with deliveries up 44% to 815 cars (566 in 2011). Asia Pacific also increased its deliveries by 44% to 358 cars (249 in 2011). Finally Japan saw exceptional growth of 73% with 190 deliveries (110 in 2011).”

Following record sales in the previous year, Mercedes-Benz Cars has once again posted an annual record in 2012 as well as the highest December sales to date. Over the past twelve months, 1,423,835 customers chose a vehicle of the brands Mercedes-Benz, smart and Maybach. The previous year’s sales volumes were thus exceeded by 4.5% or 60,901 units. Also Mercedes-Benz achieved a new sales record in 2012. From January through December, a total of 1,320,097 vehicles of the core brand (Mercedes-Benz) were sold.

Overview of sales by Mercedes-Benz Cars

December 2012 Change in % as of December 2012 Change in %
Mercedes-Benz 125,234 +0.7 1,320,097 +4.7
smart 7,355 -4.0 103,738 +1.7
Mercedes-Benz Cars 132,589 +0.4 1,423,835 +4.5
Mercedes-Benz sales by market
Western Europe 47,195 -3.8 554,797 +0.6
- thereof Germany 22,691 -10.3 261,084 -0.4
NAFTA region 31,872 +10.1 311,547 +11.3
- thereof USA 28,145 +9.5 274,134 +11.8
Asia/Pacific region 33,805 -6.6 337,102 +5.1
- thereof Japan 5,234 +33.3 40,488 +24.9
- thereof China 18,910 -18.6 196,211 +1.5

In Europe, Renault had a tough year. It looked something like this:

Full year 2012 VOLUMES Var vs 2011

(in %)

MS %
RENAULT GROUP PC+LCV 551 334 -19,8% 24,2%
RENAULT GROUP PC 424 147 -22,1% 22,3%
RENAULT GROUP LCV 127 187 -10,8% 33,1%
RENAULT PC 343 355 -24,7% 18,1%
RENAULT LCV 123 455 -10,1% 32,1%
DACIA PC 80 792 -9,2% 4,3%
DACIA LCV 3 732 -29,6% 1,0%

Note, PC=Cars

LCV=Light Commercial Vehicles

Peugeot’s sales were down, as was their media web site. I did find out from Bloomberg that their sales were down 17% to 2.97 million car sales. Twelve-month sales slid 6.1 percent to 1.56 million vehicles at the Peugeot brand and 12 percent to 1.27 million autos at the Citroen marque.

Jaguar Land Rover saw a great year with sales up 30%. Jaguar Land Rover sales totaled 357,773 vehicles in 2012. It plans to add 800 jobs to support development of new models. The brands sold 71,940 vehicles in China last year, up 71 percent, surpassing sales in the U.K. at 68,333 and the U.S. at 55,675. Land Rover global deliveries rose 36 percent last year, while Jaguar sales increased 6 percent. In the U.S., Land Rover sales climbed 15 percent to 43,664 while Jaguar fell 2.2 percent to 12,011, the company said Jan. 3.

Conclusion:

2012 looked good for many automakers. The French clearly need a kick in the pants, but everyone else seems to being playing the game well. Barring any economic issues like the Euro or dollar collapsing, we may continue to see sales increased in 2013 as consumers get more comfortable with the climate.

Sources:

http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/industry/lotus-plans-five-fold-sales-increase

http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/new-cars/new-mini-set-2014-launch

http://www.autocar.co.uk/blogs/detroit-motor-show-2013/volkswagens-us-ambitions

Porsche

Bentley

BMW Group

Rolls-Royce

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-09/peugeot-2012-vehicle-sales-drop-17-on-europen-car-market.html

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-13/volkswagen-sees-tougher-competition-after-record-sales-in-2012.html

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-13/jaguar-land-rover-says-its-global-sales-rose-30-in-2012.html

The rich keep getting richer…

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

If you look at the sheer number of exotic car models out there, then estimate the sales of those models ranging from a few dozen per year produced by a company like Bugatti to ten thousand a year produced by sister company Bentley, you might be forgiven for assuming that the global economic downturn never existed.

McLaren, of Formula and McLaren F1 supercar fame, is back with a new car to be launched in early 2011. The new car is the McLaren MP4-12C. It was borne out of the dissolution of the longstanding relationship between Mercedes-Benz and McLaren. The cooperative produced such fabled cars at the Mercedes-Benz SLR and SLC. It will reach 124 mph in fewer than 10 seconds, but will be able to stop in less than half that amount. From the moment the first example is rolled off the production line, it will be an instant hit and a sure-footed supercar. Much cheaper than the original F1, the car should run about £175,000, with both cheaper and more expensive models to follow-up in subsequent years.

For more than a quarter of a million dollars, you might think that such a car would have a very limited following, yet McLaren has just announced that they already have 2700 interested buyers. That is more than two years worth of production. That figure is astounding when you consider the number of people out of work in the US and the EU – the likely primary markets for these cars.

Yet, the figure may not be an anomaly. Rolls-Royce, a unit of BMW Group, has announced record monthly sales since its relaunch in 2003. The company produced 300 hand-made vehicles from its Goodwood facility in June 2010. Sales were up 400 per cent, with strong growth in Asia-Pacific, particularly China. This may cause some to ponder whether the Chinese really are communist!

But that’s not all. Mercedes-Benz also has reported a record June sales month. 113,200 vehicles were moved with strong results from the high-end E-class and S-class models. Interestingly, on the low end of the totem pole, the über-cheap Smart ForTwo has seen a continued slump in sales, even in the new U.S. market. Smart hopes to turn around their sales decline by launching an updated Smart later this summer.

Sources:

http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArticle/AllCars/251307

http://www.leftlanenews.com/rolls-royce-bucks-economic-downturn-sells-out.html

http://www.autonews.com/article/20100705/ANE/307059932/1131

The Ghost: A Rolls-Royce for the rest of us!

Monday, April 20th, 2009

 

Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce

 

 

It looks like Rolls-Royce finally has a new name for their “cheaper” new model. It’s going to be called the Ghost. Read on!

20.04.2009

Press Release:

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has announced the name for its new model series which until now has been known as RR4. The name was announced by CEO, Tom Purves at a press conference held at the Shanghai motor show.

The new car will be called the Rolls-Royce Ghost and production will begin at the company’s Goodwood manufacturing facility on the south coast of England later in 2009.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars CEO, Tom Purves, said, “We are delighted to formally announce the Rolls-Royce Ghost. It is one of the most revered names in the automotive industry, evoking images of adventure and technical innovation. The name reflects this new model’s breadth of abilities. The first cars to bear the Ghost name were known not only for impressive dependability and refinement but also great flair and style. This car will be the first in a new generation of models to carry this evocative name and will give us two pinnacle product lines – Phantom and Ghost.

The Rolls-Royce Ghost will be built on its own dedicated production line at Goodwood but will share paint, wood and leather workshops with the Phantom series of cars. Rolls-Royce has expanded all areas of its manufacturing facility over the last 18 months to prepare for the introduction of the Ghost model.

Weekend entertainment: Hyperleggera

Friday, March 6th, 2009

Oh the life of a journalist… imagine taking a tour of a factory (in this case BMW) and finding a not so journalist-friendly staff. Specifically, this writer had to resort to crayon drawings when his camera was banned.

Ok, it’s a bit silly but an enjoyable read, it’s weekend entertainment after all!

Visit Hyperleggera: A Trip to BMW Werk Dingolfing

Paranoia und Verschwörung in Bayern

Excerpt:

Intermission

“Agnes, how do you do! I’ve heard you’ll drop in by our Münich head quar ters tomorrow.”

Even as heard through a cell phone’s tinny speaker, the voice of Man fred von Schaden­freude is impos ing. Agnes, head of BMW Hungary’s PR, is respon si ble for han dling the jour­nal ists from Hun gary. She is talk ing on her cell phone a few feet away from the jour nal ists, who—drunk on Rolls–Royce—do not pay any atten tion to her conversation.

“Look, Agnes, you’re a smart woman. Obvi ously, you will want to visit us tomor row as an employee, not as a guest.”

“Of course, Herr Ingenieur.”

“Oh please! Call me Manny.”

“All right…Manny.”

“See? Easy as pie! So go and take that lanky kid’s camera. Alex is a dullard, he does not have the sense to use our BR–2491 Excuse Gen er a tor with style, but you have no need for such prim i tive tools. I see you’re on good terms with the boy. You surely can figure out how to handle this.”

“Herr Ing…I mean, Manny, trust me I can handle him.”

“All right then. Soon there will be an open ing in upper man age ment here at com pany HQ. But I’ll tell you all about that tomor row! Do not let me down.”

The tele phone goes silent. Agnes rejoins the jour nal ists. Stand ing nearby, Alex is fid dling with the button on the BR–2491 Excuse Generator.

A Rolls-Royce: in Crayon

A Rolls-Royce: in Crayon

Rolls-Royce Gets Another Big Buy

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

Not much analysis here, but it is always interesting to see “special” Rolls-Royce orders, including that of the world famous Peninsula. We reported before that the Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong had bought the world’s largest order – and now maintains – the largest fleet of Rolls-Royce motorcars in the world.

2 Rolls-Royce Phantoms delivered to the Peninsula Tokyo.

From Rolls-Royce:

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars will hand over two Phantom Extended Wheelbase cars to The Peninsula Tokyo on 31 August, just before the official opening of the hotel in Marunouchi, Tokyo on 1 September 2007.

(more…)

Rolls-Royce’s Special Fleet for the Peninsula Hotel Hong Kong

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

It was only a few months ago that Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and the Peninsula Hotel Hong Kong unveiled the largest ever single order for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars: 14 Bespoke Rolls-Royce Phantoms in “Peninsula Green”.

We’ve take some footage provided by Rolls-Royce and edited to make an interesting an concise video about the event and the process of making the cars. The video provides some insight into the bespoke car business.

Check out the press release and vehicle details here:
http://hongkong.peninsula.com/phk/pdfs/rolls_royce_press_release.pdf

See our video here:

Car of the Year Awards Winter 2007

Saturday, January 27th, 2007

Yes, it’s that time of the year, the picks for the best cars as of Winter 2007.

Which European cars are by matter of fact, “the best”? Find out below:

Best Supercar over $500,000: Bugatti Veyron 16.4

Best Supercar under $500,000: Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder

Best Ultra Luxury Convertible: Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé

Best Ultra Luxury Sedan: Rolls-Royce Phantom

Best Ultra Luxury Coupé: Bentley GT

Best Hot Hatchback: VW GTI

Best Hot Sedan: Audi S8

Best sound: (tie) Ferrari 599 GTB/Ferrari F430

Best sports car under $100,000: Porsche 911 Carrera S

Best sports car over $100,000: Aston Martin DB9 Volante

Best new sports car: Aston Martin V8 Vantage

Best Small Car: Mini Cooper S (John Cooper Works Edition)

Best Old Car Experience: Caterham Lotus 7 SV

Most economical and fun sports car: Lotus Elise

Mid-sized Sedan: BMW M5

Best Car for Old People Who Don’t Give a Damn: Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG

Best SUV: Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG

Best minivan/mpv (yes, I’m ACTUALLY including this category): Mercedes-Benz R63 AMG

Chinese Growth = Big Opportunity for European Carmakers

Saturday, December 16th, 2006

The Financial Times reported next week that the Chinese will become the third largest buyer of Rolls-Royce Phantoms taking the spot from Japan. Rolls-Royce plans to sell 70 Phantoms in China and 50 in Japan according to the article.

The cost of a Rolls-Royce Phantom starts at about US$400,000 in the Chinese mainland. Most orders are in Hong Kong, which has the world’s highest number of Rolls-Royce motorcars per capita. After taxes, the price is nearly doubled because the Chinese heavily taxes imported cars. As a reference point, Thailand taxes imports so heavily the final price can be 4 times what it would be without taxation. Of course, no company knows customisation like Rolls-Royce, and this is the reason one Chinese developer recently paid US$2,000,000 to import a highly customised version recently.

Of course, taken in the grand scheme of it all, Chinese imports of 70 cars pales in comparison to California, which will import twice as many for the rich, and possibly, famous.

For the BTKM analysis, we view this all as a sign that with the significant increase in the number of Chinese millionaires, Rolls-Royce can expect to see increase demand and thus increased revenue generated in Asia. Therefore, R-R will need to consider a strong marketing and supply channel push in the country in the coming year. At current rates, Rolls-Royce could expect to import more cars than California in less than five years.

Of course the implication here is that other European carmakers will also prosper. Rolls-Royce former amalgamate, Bentley, would lead us to believe that the Crewe, England-based automaker will also see much increased sales, especially considering a lower, yet exclusive price point.

Editors note: Here at Beyond the KM, we would buy a Phantom, but still need to find the money and the driver ;-) … so feel free to click the ads to generate a little loving revenue!