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Rolls-Royce booms but Brexit looms

Monday, January 09, 2017 - 01:53

Rolls-Royce and Jaguar Land Rover have both reported a rise in annual sales for 2016, despite challenging market conditions for luxury goods worldwide. But, as Ciara Lee reports, Brexit remains a worry for both high-end car makers.

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One car can take up to seven months to build and set you back anything from 200,000 to 400,00 pounds. But Rolls-Royce customers don't seem to mind the wait or the price tag. In fact 2016 was a record year with the second highest sales in the company's 113 year history. Over 4000 cars were delivered to customers in around 50 countries, an increase of six percent on 2015. But this year holds its own challenges for the British brand. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ROLLS-ROYCE CEO, TORSTEN MÜLLER-ÖTVÖS, SAYING: "I am of course highly interested in excellent trade relations with all our markets world wide, and for that reason I would very much appreciate if the UK would stay in the European market in a way of being part of the customs union in Europe." Jaguar Land Rover, Britain's biggest carmaker, is also breaking records. It sold over 580,000 cars last year - an increase of 20 percent. The Tata-owned firm wants to be building a million vehicles a year by the turn of the decade. It and Rolls-Royce seem to be flourishing under strong parent companies. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ROLLS-ROYCE CEO, TORSTEN MÜLLER-ÖTVÖS, SAYING: "The BMW group who is the 100 percent owner of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is playing also a fundamental role when it comes to technology, which is also significant for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars as you can imagine. Whilst also on the other side leaving the brand in its own space, which is very relevant for our own customers. But I would dare to say that probably without the help of the BMW group, Rolls-Royce wouldn't exist any longer." But BMW is facing a few challenges. It's no longer the largest premium car maker - Daimler-owned Mercedes-Benz has just achieved that goal four years early. And with Donald Trump's presidency looming there are concerns automakers may have to rethink where they build car plants. Some are already shifting production from Mexico. But BMW is reportedly staying put. It's in the middle of a billion dollar investment in San Luis Potosi.

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Rolls-Royce booms but Brexit looms

Monday, January 09, 2017 - 01:53