Rolls-Royce sales surge as Covid makes super-rich value the ‘nice, lovely things’

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Wealthy customers in the US, China and the rest of Asia boosted its performance, as well as custom orders such as the Phantom Oribe, co-created with fashion house Hermès and commissioned by Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa.

Torsten Müller-Ötvös, chief executive, said: “Many people also witnessed in their community people dying from Covid and that made them think that life can be short and you’d better live now than postpone it to a later date.

“That also has helped quite massively to (encourage people to) invest into what I would call the nice, lovely things in the world.”

The growth makes it “the undisputed leader” for cars costing more than €250,000 (£209,000), it said.

Luxury carmakers have enjoyed a boom in sales during the pandemic as international travel bans and other restrictions encouraged wealthy customers to pour their money into cars.

A global computer chip shortage has hammered the production of mass-market carmakers, but the significantly larger margins at upmarket manufacturers have allowed them to swallow higher prices for the components.

Rolls Royce’s factory in Goodwood, West Sussex, which employs the bulk of the company’s 2,000 workers, is running at full capacity to complete orders, and wait times run at about a year.

Mr Müller-Ötvös said: “Waiting times are a good thing for luxury goods.”

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