At a time when the Motor Industry joins Britain in being in the doldrums, it is splendid news that the Motor Car Division of Rolls-Royce Limited of Crewe has had its best sales-year for a long time, having made a record 2,900 Silver Shadows in 1974, of which more than 54% were exported, bringing £14.8-million to this impoverished land. Whereas in America the sale of domestic cars dropped by 24% in this period and those of imported cars by 17%, Rolls-Royce sales to the USA last year were up by 18%, represented by 700 cars.
It is ironical that the automobile side of this famous British Company should be flourishing when its aero-engine side failed and had to seek Government financial aid, which is the short step to Nationalisation, as is now threatening British Leyland.
It is cheering that there is still a demand about the world for top-quality motor-cars and that Rolls-Royce are deriving benefit from having designed an entirely new, sophisticatedly-engined model to replace the Silver Cloud. In much the same way, it looks as if Citroen, another company where engineering instincts are ahead of production and market-research considerations, is going to reap a similar benefit from the introduction of the new CX 2000.
Rolls-Royce at least are doing their bit for Britain and have sufficient confidence in the long-term future of top-price, top-quality, advanced motor-cars to have brought out a new model, under the code-name Delta, which will be described next month. They say that its first year’s output has already been sold! With the new Ford Escort and Triumph TR7, the outlook on the new car front could be decidedly better than the pessimists would wish us to see it.