Rolls-Royce has appointed a director for the Chinese market for the first time, indicating just how significant its operations in the country are. Starting July 1, Henrik Wilhelmsmeyer functions as the BMW-owned ultraluxury brand's director for mainland China. Jenny Cheng, the general manager of Rolls-Royce for greater China, has departed the company.
She became a part of Rolls-Royce in 2005 after making the move from Porsche China. Wilhelmsmeyer, a 40-year-old German native, has been given various senior positions for BMW. The last six of these roles were in China. He is transferring to Rolls-Royce from his role as chief of BMW South China region. He had previously served as the head of dealer development.
Meanwhile, the 46-year-old Paul Harris will continue to serve as regional director for Rolls-Royce's Asia-Pacific region, with the exception of mainland China. He had been assigned in emerging areas for Rolls-Royce like Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Last year, China was the leading sales region for Rolls-Royce globally for the first time, beating the U.S. with a small margin. Rolls-Royce's car sales increased by 31% to 3,538 in 2011 – the top sales figure that the brand has ever reached throughout its history. Its sales for China were not announced.