At least one automaker doesn’t seem to be bothered by the housing downturn or the sourness in the equities markets or much of anything else, for that matter.
 
Rolls-Royce is going full blast to produce every car they can. They’ve added shifts and extended working hours, to continue through the balance of the year. The are, in short, at capacity in an effort to meet “unprecedented demand.”
 
Sales through the end of September were up 22% from the same period over the previous year, with the Phantom sedan sold out far into 2008 and the new Phantom “drophead coupe” sold out through 2008.
 
On top of this, of course, the company announced last week that it will be building a coupe, with introduction set for 2008 and a new model, smaller than the current line-up and additional to it.
 
This means the company will be expanding facilities and employment. Or, as the company CEO, Ian Robertson, put it: “These are exciting times for Rolls-Royce. With the success of Phantom, the recent addition of the convertible and last week’s announcement of a new coupé in the Phantom family, our challenge is to cope with exceptional customer demand. Now we look forward to significant changes for the whole organization as we prepare for the launch of our future model series. The changes that will soon take place mark a significant investment in Goodwood, in the future of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and in the future of manufacturing in the UK.”
 
So, what’s capacity?
 
In 2003, they sold 300 Phantoms
 
In 2004, 792. 2005, it was 796. So far, 2006 is 805.
 
GM wouldn’t care for the numbers, but they’d like the percentages.

What do you think?
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