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Jan 7, 2020

Rolls-Royce sees Canadian car sales jump 40%, outpace global average

Rolls-Royce Motor saw 40% sales increase in Canada in 2019: CEO

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While Canada’s modest economic growth may not give the impression of a nation of millionaires, a spike in sales at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars tells a different story about the country’s prosperity.

In an interview with BNN Bloomberg, Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös said the sales increase in the Canadian market in 2019 was “dramatic” at 40 per cent, which easily outpaces the 25-per-cent sales increase the luxury car marque saw globally.

Indeed, it was a banner year for Rolls-Royce, which posted the highest sales tally in its 116-year history with close to 5,200 vehicles sold overall.

Müller-Ötvös said in Canada, the sales jump was driven by the popularity of the Cullinan, the company’s new sport utility vehicle. It “hit the nail on the head” with clients who favoured a vehicle that could handle long winters and snowy conditions, he said.

The move into SUVs has been a key pivot for Rolls-Royce, which is now targeting younger buyers. Müller-Ötvös says 10 years ago, the average buyer was 56 years old, while today the average is 43.

Technology is also playing a bigger part in the company’s strategy, with work already underway on the first fully-electric Rolls-Royce, though Müller-Ötvös won’t say when the vehicle will be ready.

Müller-Ötvös also described recent breakthroughs in the U.S.-China trade relation as “a relief.” While North America remains the company’s top market, China is quickly becoming a close second.

He added that despite having a wealthy clientele, the company is not immune to recessions. Deciding on whether to buy a luxury car is often sentiment-driven, and downturns can influence consumer confidence.

But despite possible economic headwinds ahead, Müller-Ötvös says the “order intake looks great” for 2020 in Canada and abroad.

“Can’t complain at all,” he said.