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Sat 28 Jan 2012 09:54 AM

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MidEast demand drives Rolls-Royce's UK factory plan

Expansion project partly due to rising demand for company's bespoke models in region

MidEast demand drives Rolls-Royce's UK factory plan
The UAE and Saudi Arabia were among Rolls-Royces top five markets in 2011

Luxury car maker Rolls-Royce will begin expansion work on its UK production factory next month, partly driven by the Middle East's demand for bespoke vehicles.

In August, Rolls-Royce announced an expansion of its bespoke operation to meet growing demand from the region where most of its clients are based.

Now, the company said it is also about to expand its manufacturing facility in Goodwood, Sussex, partly due to this demand.

More than half of clients who specified a Rolls-Royce Ghost in 2011 turned to bespoke personalisation, the car firm said in a statement.

The 107-year old company sold 23 percent more cars in the Middle East last year compared to the same period the previous year, the firm said earlier this month.

In 2011, the company’s Middle East arm exported its most expensive car to the region, valued at $1m due to its “high bespoke” design.

The service, which includes anything from the application of unique paint colours, coach lines and tread plates to whole vehicle designs featuring champagne sets, humidors and picnic cabinets, helped drive Rolls-Royce to record sales last year.

In total, 56 percent of Ghost and Ghost Extended Wheelbase models sold around the world featured bespoke design in 2011, with the Middle East taking a big share of that percentage, the company added.

In the Middle East, every Phantom featured bespoke content, and the rate of bespoke content on Phantom increased from 75 percent to 99 percent over the past five years.

"It is always our goal to exceed our clients' highest expectations and fulfill their innermost desires," said Torsten Müller-Otvos, Rolls-Royce CEO.

"With highly bespoke Phantom and Ghost models, we are able to achieve this. The passion with which our bespoke craftspeople create these beautiful cars is reflected in some truly outstanding examples delivered across the globe last year."

Rolls-Royce bespoke starts at $15-20,000 for customised paintwork and can go up to $100,000 for more intricate designs

Earlier this month, Dubai-based Al Ghandi Motors, regional dealers of GMC and Chevrolet cars, spent $68,000 hand-painting falcons on the sides of a Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD, customising its interior with new leather and suede upholstery, raising its suspension by seven inches and upgrading the electrical system for the MBC Action Battle of the Garages competition, which it won in September.

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