By Kurt Ernst
Nov 27, 2012
While the economy in Europe may be struggling, there is no shortage of wealth in the Asia-Pacific region, which has now surpassed North America in the the number of high-net worth individuals.
In fact, the number of households exceeding $5 million in net worth will grow at three to five percent annually in the coming years, according to numbers published by Bloomberg. That translates to opportunity for ultra-luxury brands like Rolls-Royce.
Over the next five years, Rolls-Royce hopes to expand its dealer network from 105 global outlets to 120, targeting growing wealth in places like China, Thailand, Vietnam and Russia. Even South America is being eyed, as Chile is viewed as an untapped market with great potential.
To help drive demand, Rolls-Royce has updated its flagship car, the Phantom, and is reported to be working on a new model for the 2014 model year, most likely a coupe variant of its luxury-performance Ghost.
Despite the downturn in Europe, Rolls-Royce head Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes expects that 2012 sales will (modestly) outpace the record sales of 3,538 cars in 2011. In his words, I am very confident that well sell at least one more this year.
Growth in Russia, China and the Middle East has offset the loss of sales in Europe, but Mueller-Oetvoes knows that increasing demand can come at a cost. Addressing this point, Mueller-Oetvoes said, Our goal is to grow sustainably and not chase volume. Rolls-Royce will remain exceptional.
As will its buyers, regardless of the market that they call home.