Rolls-Royce Teases SUV as 2014 Sales Reach 4,000

Jan 06, 2015 12:30 PM EST | Matt Mercuro

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Rolls-Royce is optimistic about sales in 2015 after smaller, sportier cars gained appeal with young car buyers in 2014, resulting in a 13 percent increase in deliveries.

Chief Executive Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes said this week that the automaker benefited from expanding its model range past its flagship Phantom model.

The company introduced smaller vehicles, like the Ghost II, in late 2014 and the Wraith Coupe in late 2013. Those vehicles have helped lift overall deliveries to approximately 4,063 last year, a new record.

Both models are shorter than the Phantom, which young car buyers seem to prefer. For example, the average Rolls Royce customer in China is in his or her late 30s or early 40s, or 10 to 15 years younger than other places, according to Reuters.

Believe it or not, Mueller-Oetvoes said Rolls-Royce is even looking into building a SUV. A decision whether or not to go ahead with the idea will be decided next year.

"We are progressing with that project but we haven't made for good reasons the final decision. That will come this year, so watch that space," Muller-Otvos said.

Mueller-Oetvoes added that he is confident about sales for 2015 given the company's product portfolio and growth in wealthy clientele.

The CEO was also asked about the odds that Rolls-Royce will become more independent, like Ferrari being spun off from Fiat Chrysler.

"I hope not. I am glad to be part of BMW Group because we can learn from their vehicle development capacities and know-how," Mueller-Oetvoes said. "Developing the next generation of fuel-efficient technologies is really expensive."

Growth has been steady since 2003, when the automaker sold 300 Phantoms, the first car to be developed by the company while under BMW ownership. Rolls is still behind its rival Bentley, owned by Volkswagen, which has yet to disclose full-year sales. Bentley sold 7,786 cars in the first nine months of the year, according to Reuters.

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