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Thu 23 Jan 2020 01:47 PM

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Rolls-Royce CEO says Gulf sales boosted by diversification efforts

CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos says sales in the Middle East make up 10% of overall sales for the company

Rolls-Royce CEO says Gulf sales boosted by diversification efforts

Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Sales of Rolls-Royce in the Middle East region have been boosted by countries diversifying away from a dependence on hydrocarbons.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has revealed a 29 percent increase in sales for 2019 for the Middle East and Africa region compared to 2018 – higher than the global increase of 25 percent, with sales of 5,152, the highest in the company’s 116-year history.

Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, who has been with the company for ten years, admitted sales had taken a dip during the oil crisis, but he was delighted to see the recovery and the subsequent positive results.

He said: “We have seen it in the beginning when the oil price slumped, that we saw our sales a little bit weaker, due to the fact that the oil price fuels, quite intensively, the economy of the entire Middle East region.

“In the meantime, I think it is understood that oil cannot be the only driver of economics any longer in all of these countries and for that reason it’s normalising.”

Müller-Ötvös revealed sales in the Middle East make up 10 percent of overall sales for the company, which, given the size of the region, he described as a “remarkable result”.

The UAE remains the biggest market for Rolls-Royce in the region, with two dealerships, in Dubai and Abu Dhabi; this is followed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait.

Müller-Ötvös added: “It’s a fact that oil prices are now lower. People are getting used to it, business men and women are accustoming themselves to that, they are accustoming their businesses to that.

“So for that reason I would call it the new normal and people are more understandable about the situation. That has also helped bringing back confidence into the market so I think the entire luxury goods industry in the Middle East was performing pretty well over the last year.”

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