Rolls-Royce is banking on Wraith to boost sales in Russia

Article by Anita Panait, on June 13, 2013

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is hoping to boost its sales in Russia with its sporty Wraith model. The ultra-luxury carmaker sells an average of 100 cars annually in Russia and is aiming to posting another sales gain after doubling it in 2009 with the launch of the Ghost, Rolls-Royce chief executive Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes told Bloomberg in an interview in St. Petersburg.

The ultra-luxury carmaker recently opened a dealership in St. Petersburg -- Rolls-Royce Motor Cars St. Petersburg – to add to its two existing retail centers in Moscow. Mueller-Oetvoes remarked that demand for Rolls-Royce‘s ultra-luxury vehicles should offset outweigh a bid by Russian lawmakers to increase taxes for cars costing over RUR5 million ($154,700).

The starting price of a Rolls-Royce in Russia is at around RUR13.9 million. On May 21, 2013, Russian lawmakers initially approved a tax increase for luxury cars in the first of three readings. Approval of the measure could mean almost a two-fold increase in luxury car taxes after Jan. 1, 2013.

Mueller-Oetvoes disclosed to Bloomberg that Rolls-Royce's management is not satisfied with sales on European markets, except in the United Kingdom, Germany and Switzerland.

The ultra-luxury carmaker has already stopped operations in France and now considers Spain an insignificant market due to the current recession in the country.

Mueller-Oetvoes said that Rolls-Royce does not have many global markets with “three-digit annual sales," only the US, China and the UK and Russia.

He said that Rolls-Royce sells only between 20-60 cars annually on other markets. Rolls-Royce unveiled the Wraith at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2013. The Wraith is still in pre-production and customer deliveries will commence in the last quarter of 2013.

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