Wealthy buyers are investing in Rolls-Royce luxury cars despite fears of a global recession, the brand's CEO Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes said.
The British ultraluxury brand has full order books and is operating three shifts at its factory in Goodwood, England, Mueller-Oetvoes told Automotive News Europe in an interview.
"The Rolls-Royce brand holds its value. We represent a valuable long-term asset, particularly in times of uncertain investment opportunities," Mueller-Oetvoes said.
About 70 percent of the Rolls-Royces ever built are still on the road, he added.
The CEO said Rolls-Royce is confident about its future despite the trend among consumers to buy smaller, more fuel-efficient cars.
"The number of super-rich in the world is growing. There are currently about 90,000 ultra-high net worth individuals and in 10 years we expect this to grow to 125,000. That fact alone makes me optimistic about our prospects," Mueller-Oetvoes said.
BMW-owned Rolls-Royce will expand its model portfolio, possibly with a coupe variant of its Ghost sedan. "We have many ideas, but are in no hurry. It might be a coupe, it might be a convertible or something else entirely," Mueller-Oetvoes said.
There are no plans to add models costing less than the Ghost's price of 250,000 euros or above 1 million euros, he said.
Last year, Rolls-Royce sold a record 2,711 vehicles and the brand expects 2011 to be another record sales year, but Rolls-Royce will remain exclusive.
Said Mueller-Oetvoes: "We will we continue to grow steadily but we do not have a volume strategy. For example, we have no long term plans for sales in five figures."