Rolls-Royce is expecting its sales growth in China to slow down this year as luxury sales in the country gets affected by a cooling economy as well as by austerity measures pushed by the new administration government. Paul Harris, Asia-Pacific regional director for the brand, remarked to Bloomberg there will be little change in the carmaker’s sales in China in 2013.
Rolls-Royce grew 16 percent to 998 vehicles in 2012, according to research firm LMC Automotive. The cooling economy and moves by the new administration to curb spending by government officials have affected demand for major luxury items like premium cars.
The China Daily, citing an official at the top economic planning agency, reported in May that more high-end goods like luxury cars and yachts may be taxed as part of reform plans for 2013.
At an event to introduce the Wraith sports coupe, Harris said that slowing growth in China is "caused by a whole range of things, including rumors about luxury taxation that doesn't seem to have transpired."
He remarked that the government rumored the luxury taxation, but it appears that it has backed off. He, however, said “we never know,” reasoning that things change rapidly in China. Harris disclosed that China accounted for around 35 to 40 percent of the 3,575 cars Rolls-Royce sold around the world in 2012.
He said that China would account for a smaller percentage of global sales this year. Harris remarked that Rolls-Royce is still pursuing plans to increase the number of dealerships in Chona to 20. According to the carmaker’s data, its Beijing and Shanghai dealerships are the best- and third-best performers.