Luxury car brand Rolls-Royce Motor Cars reports record sales for 2014 and a fifth consecutive year of growth. Ciara Lee reports.
It's one of the oldest, most famous brands in the world - and its 2014 didn't disappoint. In fact sales at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars have quadrupled since 2009. (SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS REPORTER, CIARA LEE, SAYING: "Flagship models like this, the Phantom, helped contribute to over four thousand sales for Rolls Royce in 2014. It's the biggest in the company's one hundred and eleven year history, and marks a fifth year of consecutive growth." Providing the ultimate in luxury vehicles to the world's wealthy elite, the German owned company, with a quintessentially British image, recorded double-digit growth in most key markets, including the Middle East and Europe. But the USA remains Rolls-Royce's biggest individual market with over thirty percent growth. CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös says the company relies heavily on consumer sentiment. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CEO OF ROLLS-ROYCE MOTOR CARS, TORSTEN MÜLLER-ÖTVÖS, SAYING: "In the United States where the confidence is fully back, the economy is booming. This also reflected into our sales numbers. Another example is Japan. Japan under Abenomics created also a big boom for us as well because it gave lots of confidence back into the entrepreneurs level of that country." 2014 saw the company launch Wraith, a sportier model. Rolls-Royce says it's adapting to a new breed of younger consumers. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CEO OF ROLLS-ROYCE MOTOR CARS, TORSTEN MÜLLER-ÖTVÖS, SAYING: "Eighty percent of our customers are entrepreneurs who build up their own businesses. And for that reason we have seen particularly in the Asian area of the market, but also of course North America, much younger people coming out of IT and other sectors and industrial sectors." Other luxury goods labels may be taking a battering from a number of slowing economies. But that's not likely to hit a company like Rolls-Royce, says ETX Capital's Joe Rundle. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD OF TRADING AT ETX CAPITAL, JOE RUNDLE, SAYING: "The struggling global environment is very isolated away from the super rich, and the customers of 200,000 euro plus cars of the super rich. They appear to be getting richer and the market is growing in that segment." The best-selling Rolls-Royce dealership last year was in Abu Dhabi. Globally, six new dealerships were opened, including Mexico City, Calgary, and Gold Coast, Australia, with further expansion planned for 2015.