Nation/World

Just Another Economic Indicator

Maybe things are looking up for the world’s super-rich? Sales at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars rose 3 percent during the first half of the year.

Rolls-Royce said Thursday it sold 721 cars from January to June, up from 700 in the first half of 1994. Sales improved in the Americas and Britain, offsetting a slump in the Middle East, Asia and elsewhere.

Neither Rolls nor its parent company, Vickers PLC, would provide any revenue figures for the increased sales of the Rolls-Royce and Bentley automobiles.

But with a low-volume, high-cost vehicle like Rolls, every car counts. The cheapest Rolls-Royce starts out with a sticker price of 113,321 pounds, or about $181,313, in Britain. The limousines are more than double that.

Rolls-Royce hit hard times in the last recession, when annual sales plunged from 3,324 in 1990 to 1,706 in 1991 and 1,375 in 1992.

Rolls-Royce fought back by cutting the work force and revamping the production process, while insisting that its cars are still hand-made as ever.



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