In its 116-years history, Rolls-Royce has never been a company to maximize its annual output for profit or even race to compete with other car manufacturers. In 2019, the Anglo-Germanic automaker made a 25 percent jump in sales, rising from 4,107 in 2018 to 5,152 vehicles. This significant increase in demand was precisely from the Middle East, 29 percent higher than the previous year.
Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest economy and second-largest market in the region after the UAE. Torsten Muller-Otvos, global chief executive of Rolls-Royce, said that sales in the Gulf reflect the fact that regional economies are unbeaten in their strategy of reducing dependence on the oil price. With the exponential growth in Saudi Arabia, car enthusiasts are purchasing the new Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUV.
“Initially, when oil prices slumped, the sales dropped due to dependence. Although now we can see it, there is a shift. Oil is no longer the driver of the economy. Businessmen and women are getting accustomed to it. Furthermore, It’s the new normal, and the entire luxury goods business is performing pretty well over last year. The Middle East is powerful on SUVs, and the Cullinan is a recipe for success”, he said.
The luxury four-wheel-drive Cullinan AED 1.8 million ($480,000) is the star of the 2019 performance, through most Rolls-Royce customers spend most of their time on customizing their vehicles through the Rolls-Royce “Bespoke” unit.
Muller-Otvos said the introduction of Cullinan is the only reason for a 40 percent increase. This sale was primarily from the Arabian Gulf region. The biggest market for Rolls-Royce in the Middle East is the UAE, followed by Saudi Arabia, latter Qatar, and Kuwait.
Muller-Otvos said Rolls- Royce is making a significant contribution to BMW by funding an extensive investment program in Goodwood, UK. They are currently preparing an electric Rolls-Royce model in the coming decade.