x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Rolls-Royce Wraith sold out as Abu Dhabi sales soar

Sales of Rolls-Royce cars grew by 23 per cent at Abu Dhabi Motors last year placing the capital’s dealership in a four-way race for being the top global dealer of the year.

A visitor looks at the interior of a Rolls-Royce Phantom in Dubai. Ali Haider / EPA
A visitor looks at the interior of a Rolls-Royce Phantom in Dubai. Ali Haider / EPA

Buying a Rolls-Royce is hard at the best of times because of the price, but buying one in Abu Dhabi is harder because of the demand.

Sales of Rolls-Royce cars grew by 23 per cent at Abu Dhabi Motors last year and the inventory for the latest model the Wraith, have sold out already.

“We have the new Rolls Royce Wraith and we have an order bank of 120 cars,” said Arno Husselmann, the general manager of Abu Dhabi Motors. “Which means we are already sold out for the year without one spare. More customers arrive everyday to buy the car and we have to disappoint the customers with a long wait for the vehicle. There were a number of cars sold out in 2013 for most of the year. The extended wheel base cars were unavailable in the Ghost and the Phantom.”

The soaring sales figures have placed the capital’s dealership in a four-way race for being the top global dealer of the year.

The others include Beijing, London and Beverly Hills.

“We had 23 per cent growth in Rolls Royce sales on 2012,” said Mr Husselman. “In December, we sold 12 cars that had to be carried over to 2014 because they could not deliver in 2013, the 23 per cent growth was actually nearer 30 per cent, but Rolls-Royce couldn’t deliver them quick enough.”

The demand for premium brand cars across the UAE and the region also saw BMW, which bought Rolls-Royce in 2003, register 15 per cent growth in sales on its 2012 figures. BMW’s sales forecast for the UAE this year is even more upbeat.

“We are looking for more than 50 per cent growth in 2014.This year we have huge growth plans,” said Mr Husselman. “Last year we had some models out of stock. BMW has now committed on a far higher supply level for the X5 and the X6, so we will have the models we need when people need them. Also, there is a new car called the X4. We asked for 2,000 and BMW could only give us 150 because of global demand; it’s a sport activity vehicle rather than a sport utility vehicle. Demand for that car may be bigger than our supply.”

The demand for premium German cars was echoed by Audi, which announced a 16.3 per cent rise in sales across the region and a growth of 32.3 per cent in the UAE. Audi expects regional growth to stay between 10 and 15 per cent on the back of new models and new showrooms.

“In the next two months new facilities in Dubai, Sharjah and Fujairah are opening,” said Trevor Hill, the managing director of Audi Middle East. “A new Audi showroom is opening on Airport Road in Abu Dhabi. We are bringing the A3 sedan, which will give us significant growth in 2014. It is arriving in the country now. It is a totally new car, priced about Dh100,000, it’s an attractive price for a premium marque, so we have a brand new car in the model line up and we also have a product improvement on the A8, which shows where the growth will come from.”

ascott@thenational.ae