Luxury British car makers Bentley and Rolls-Royce have defied the economic gloom to announce bumper sales figures today.
Rolls-Royce achieved record sales for the third year running while deliveries of new Bentleys were up 22 per cent on 2011.
Goodwood-based Rolls-Royce, where prices start at a staggering £200,000, sold 3,575 cars.
This represented a small increase on the 3,538 cars delivered in 2011 but a ten-fold rise on the 300 sold in 2003.
It is the third consecutive year of record results, with sales increasing on nine out of the last ten years.
And Bentley, which has 4,000 staff based in Crewe, sold 8,510 cars last year with the entry-level Continental costing from £123,000.
This is up 22 per cent on 2011 but still down on its 2008 record of 10,000 sales.
Bosses of both prestigious firms said they were delighted with their latest results and hope to build on them next year despite the toughening economic conditions.
Torsten Müller-Ötvös, chief executive of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said: “We had an outstanding year in spite of the challenges we faced, and Rolls-Royce now leads the ultra luxury market by some considerable margin.
“I applaud the Rolls-Royce workforce for their passion and commitment to this Great British brand and we can look forward to future success.”
Bentley’s chairman and chief executive Wolfgang Schreiber said: “This strong performance was possible due to our continuing investment in new models and the hard work and commitment of a highly motivated Bentley team.
“We expect the luxury market in 2013 to continue to be challenging but, with significant new model introductions, we believe we have the potential to maintain growth throughout the year.”
Rolls-Royce, which is owned by German giant BMW, now employs 1,400 at its headquarters in Sussex.
They have more than 100 Rolls-Royce dealerships across 40 countries selling the Phantom and Ghost ranges.
Prices for the ‘entry-level’ Ghost start at £198,000 while the Phantom will cost its well-heeled owners from £282,000.
But most buyers opt for Rolls-Royce’s Bespoke personalisation programme which has added more than £300,000 to the price of a car in the past.
Rolls-Royce sales figures: