Rolls Royce Motor confident of another strong year as Bling hits the road

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The 110-year-old car maker, bought by Germany's BMW  in 1998, sold 3,630 vehicles in 2013, up from 3,575 in 2012, driven largely by demand for personalised vehicles (Reuters) The 110-year-old car maker, bought by Germany's BMW in 1998, sold 3,630 vehicles in 2013, up from 3,575 in 2012, driven largely by demand for personalised vehicles (Reuters)
SummarySales in China jumped 11 pct in 2013 to match those in the United States for the first time.

the roof lining in the shape of a favourite constellation.

Mueller-Oetvoes said future growth depended on Rolls Royce's global strategy. It is now present in 40 countries and is starting to appeal to a growing number of women buyers in top executive positions, who currently account for about 10 percent of sales.

Rolls Royce opened 15 new dealerships last year in cities like Istanbul, Beirut, Lagos, Hanoi and Manila, and expected to open up to eight more in 2014, eyeing Myanmar and Azerbaijan.

Jaguar Land Rover, another British-based luxury car maker, owned by India's Tata Motors, is also looking at entering Myanmar, according to its Southeast Asian partner.

Mueller-Oetvoes said Rolls-Royce was looking at entering the fast-growing sport-utility vehicle (SUV) market which could rival the SUVs being made and developed by Bentley, Jaguar Land Rover and Volkswagen-owned Porsche.

"It is certainly a very interesting segment but the question is what would a Rolls-Royce look like if we enter this market? This is something we are evaluating," Mueller-Oetvoes said.

"There is no decision yet and no green light. We are not rushing."

Mueller-Oetvoes said Rolls Royce would create another 100 jobs this year at its manufacturing plant in Goodwood, southeast England, after creating 100 new jobs last year. Rolls-Royce employs more than 1,300 people worldwide.

Britain's Business Secretary Vince Cable said the new jobs and higher sales at Rolls-Royce showed the strength of the iconic brand and rising success of Britain's car industry.

Car exports from Britain last year were up 7 percent, generating over 30 billion pounds for the economy.

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