Rolls-Royce can’t keep up with the overwhelming demand for the Cullinan. The Cullinan, introduced last year, was the first full-sized luxury SUV for Rolls-Royce. It is named after the Cullinan Diamond, the largest gem-quality rough diamond ever discovered. Consumers are proving it’s worthy of the name, even though at first glance it’s definitely a diamond in the rough. The twin-turbocharged V12 is flying out of the factory.
The BMW-owned brand reached production capacity, despite the price and awkward appearance. To keep up with demand, the automaker had to increase its workforce by 200 employees. The SUV only arrived in showrooms late last year, but the order books are completely full until July. Rolls-Royce’s US CEO Martin Fritsches talked to Automotive News on the struggle to keep up the demand of the Cullinan, “I would like to have a little bit more supply. I don’t get it because we are running on 100 percent of production capacity, increasing the production capacity throughout the weeks and months, but still not able to catch up to demand.” Let’s be honest, that’s not a terrible problem to face.
Like other luxury brands, Rolls-Royce has a solid returning customer base. Most Cullinan owners are existing Rolls-Royce customers. Fritsches said, “Many customers that already drive a Dawn or Phantom buy a second Rolls-Royce. But this time it’s an SUV.” He also added that the four-wheel-drive options are popular in Canada. He stated, “it is also a 4×4 that will really make the difference in that country.” The brand sold only 100 units in Canada last year, but numbers are projected to pass 150 in 2019 due to the Cullinan’s popularity.
Rolls-Royce experienced a 20 percent sales increase last year, cushioned by the introduction of the Cullinan and eighth-generation Phantom. The United States continues to be the largest market for the brand, increasing by 22 percent increase and consisting of a third of the company’s overall sales. Currently, the US has 44 Rolls-Royce’s dealerships, and nine new locations are set to open this year. Some of those markets include Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Atlanta and Chicago. The dealership are investing in expansion and redesigning facilities to handle more aspects of Rolls-Royce and it’s care. Fritsches said, “The dealers are really heavily investing.” The outlook for this brand looks strong.
Image Credit: Rolls-Royce