Rolls-Royce Motor Cars immune from global chip shortage after record year for sales

Business

The chief executive of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars (RRMC) has told Sky News the company expects to continue to be immune from the global shortage of semiconductors holding back the wider car industry.

Torsten Müller-Ötvös was speaking after the BMW-owned but Goodwood-based luxury marque revealed a record set of annual sales figures for 2021 – the best in its 117-year history.

RRMC said it delivered 5,586 vehicles to clients around the world, up 49% on the same period in 2020.

It was around 10% higher on the pre-COVID year of 2019 and aided by strong demand globally – bucking a trend among major manufacturers that has seen production and sales knocked by the global chip shortage.

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In his interview on Ian King Live, the CEO agreed that BMW had prioritised Rolls in terms of chip supply.

When asked if that arrangement was to continue during 2022, he replied: “That remains the case.”

The company’s sales data offered nothing in terms of value or profits but Mr Müller-Ötvös said the performance reflected, to some extent, a demand for luxury as the pandemic to date had badly hit international travel and driven up wealth because spending fell so sharply in 2020.

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On BMW’s aid, he said: “We were able to allocate all the chips we needed for building the cars, to fulfil client demand worldwide and that helped a lot; to be part of what I call a very professional, big group, who helped us to acquire all our chips worldwide.”

RRMC said of its sales: “All Rolls-Royce models performed extremely strongly.

“Growth has been driven principally by Ghost, with demand surging further, following the launch of Black Badge Ghost in October 2021.

“This, together with the continuing pre-eminence of Cullinan and the marque’s pinnacle product, Phantom, has ensured order books are full well into the third quarter of 2022.”

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