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Rolls Royce defies market slump with record sales

By David Bonnici, 07 Jan 2020 Car News

Rolls Royce defies market slump with record sales

Economic slowdown? Tell that to the 55 Aussie one percenters who shelled out at least $600k on a new Roller in 2019

Australia’s sluggish economy saw annual vehicle sales drop by almost 8.0 percent in 2019, but it seems not everyone is doing it tough with Rolls Royce, a brand synonymous with ultra wealth, enjoying record sales Down Under.

The iconic British-based luxury carmaker recorded 55 sales last year, which might not sound like a lot compared with Toyota's 200,000, but it was a new record in Australia, and represented an increase of 37.5 percent over 2018.

Rolls Royce Cullinan is the most popular Rolls Royce model

A big reason for the spike in sales was the introduction of the brand’s first SUV, the Cullinan, which represented 19 of those sales in its first full year in the market.

With a starting price of $685,000, the Cullinan is Australia’s most expensive SUV though that hasn’t stopped it biting into the market share of its key rival, the Bentley Bentayga, of which annual sales fell by 27 to 71 in 2019.

READ NEXT: Most expensive SUVs in Australia

The sportier Rollers also sold well, with combined Wraith four-seat coupe and its equivalent Dawn convertible sales up from 22 to 26.

Rolls Royce Wraith

Interestingly, only a handful of people shelled out from their inheritance to buy the more traditional Ghost and Phantom, with both accounting for 10 sales last year, down from 14.

MORE: Rolls Royce Wraith Black Badge review

Rolls Royce’s SUV-led success echoes Lamborghini’s, which also sold more cars here in 2019 thanks to the high-riding Urus. The company's first SUV managed 77 sales, outstripping the Huracan and Aventador supercars that managed 70 sales between them.

Rolls Royce Phantom

The Cullinan was also responsible for BMW-owned Rolls Royce enjoying its highest global sales in its 116-year history, with 5152 sold, up 25 percent compared with 2018.

2019 VEHICLE MARKET: Lowest car sales since 2011