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China bites: Rolls-Royce sales fall after Chinese sales halve

Published: 11 January 2016

► China slump stymies Rolls-Royce growth
► Second highest sales in 112 years
► 3785 Rolls sold in 2015

Rolls-Royce has announced the second highest sales figures in its 112-year history. The company revealed that it sold 3785 cars in 2015, as the world's plutocrats, aristos and wealthy types continued to lap up its wares.

It sells more cars in the €200,000+ segment than any other car maker on the planet, confirming its position as the world's most successful luxury car maker. Goodwood claims it's been #1 in this market for the past decade - and hopes it'll continue to grow with the addition of the Dawn convertible in 2016 (pictured below).

Rolls-Royce: strong sales, but a slump in China

However, there is a blot on the copy book of the 2015 business results - and it's slap bang in the middle of China. Sales more than halved, slumping by 54% in 2015, as the economy wobbled and the years of growth came to a grinding halt.

It's a harsh reminder that China cannot be relied upon as the engine room of growth for all car manufacturers. But Rolls enjoyed further gains elsewhere, with Korea up 73%, Qatar rising 21% and India growing by 36%.

Even the more established markets increased, with its biggest country - North America - up 7% and the domestic UK market grew by 2%. And here's an interesting nugget: half of all British Rolls-Royces sold in 2015 were registered north of the Watford Gap. Proof that it's not just high-rolling London City types who choose the brand...

Click here to read about the next generation of Rolls-Royces in the pipeline - including the 'Cullinan' SUV.

Rolls-Royce Dawn: launching in 2016

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

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