Record sales worldwide for Rolls Royce cars

Rolls Royce Phantom 2012

British luxury car maker Rolls-Royce, owned by BMW, has reported a record year as growing demand for the luxury vehicles in China saw sales move into the fast lane.

Rolls Royce sold 3,538 cars worldwide last year – 30% more than in 2010 and more than the previous record year of 1978 when the figure was 3,347, the Sunday Times said. China overtook the US as the car-maker’s biggest market as the country’s wealthier classes grow and demand for luxury goods, from clothing to motors, rises.

Last year Rolls-Royce started work on expanding its manufacturing plant at Goodwood in West Sussex.The successful year comes as the British car industry is showing promising signs. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders revealed car production rose 42% in May to 141,146, its highest level since 2004.