By Daniel Shane
Luxury car firm says new models have seen strong demand from Saudi, Qatar, UAE
Luxury car maker Rolls-Royce saw its sales in the Middle East increase by 30 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2012.
The automotive firm did not disclose specific financial figures, but said that Saudi Arabia has seen “exceptional growth”, while other Gulf markets such as the UAE and Qatar achieved “healthy growth rates”.
Rolls-Royce attributed its growth in the region to high market demand for its Phantom and Ghost models.
The Phantom Series II was debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2012.
Earlier this month, the boss of one the region’s major car dealerships claimed that luxury car manufacturers in Europe are struggling to keep up with high demand from the Middle East, with some reporting waiting lists of up to two years for vehicles.
The likes of Porsche, Audi and Lamborghini are unable to build cars quickly enough for Arab buyers, despite market growth being slower than prior to the recession, local dealers and regional staff have said.
“Most of my cars are on a wait list,” K Rajaram, CEO of Al Naboodah Automobiles, local partner for Audi, Porsche and Volkswagen in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, told Arabian Business.
“Our growth depends on how many cars our manufacturers can give us. In December  I had 480 customers on my books with their deposit paid, waiting for their car. They had to wait, because the manufacturers can’t supply us enough, especially in the SUV range, the [Audi] Q7, the Q5.”For all the latest car news & reviews from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.