The West Midlands is at the centre of a resurgence in demand for new #250,000 Rolls-Royce cars.
The region's high number of entrepreneurs and other high net-worth individuals is driving demand for the super-luxury vehicle, the head of RollsRoyce's Birmingham dealership said yesterday.
John Kartz, general sales manager at Rydale Central Rolls-Royce in Summer Hill, said sales were currently running at about 20 year and yielding a turnover of some #5 million.
He was speaking as Rydale Central became one of the first dealerships in the UK to show off the experimental Rolls-Royce 101EX coupe.
The BMW-owned company has hand-built just one 101EX which is being displayed throughout the world to gauge the reaction of potential buyers before a decision is made whether to put it into production.
The last experimental model Rolls-Royce produced, the 100EX, a convertible version of the Phantom, will go into production next year.
"We are showing the 101EX in Birmingham for two days because the city and the West Midlands as a whole are very important markets for Rolls-Royce," spokesman Andrew Bell said.
"There is no such thing as the 'average Rolls-Royce customer', but we find a lot of those who buy our cars are entrepreneurs or self-made people who value well-engineered products and want to reward themselves for their success. There are perhaps more people like that in the West Midlands than anywhere else in the UK."
Rolls-Royce sales, including the new long wheelbase version of the Phantom, totalled 796 last year - a 15 year-high for the marque.
Europe accounts for between 15 and 20 per cent of the total with the UK representing the bulk of those sales. Half of sales are in the US but the company is doing well in the Middle East and the Far East and now has three dealerships in China and Hong Kong.
The Birmingham dealership takes in the West Midlands, the M5 corridor down to Bristol and South Wales and the Cotswolds, Mr Kartz said.
"We have been open for three and a half years and during the time the success that Rolls-Royce has had under BMW ownership has been fantastic.
"Most of our customers are new to Rolls-Royce and are new money as opposed to old. I see several multi-millionaires, including property developers and self-made entrepreneurs come in here a week.
"It doesn't matter to them that Rolls-Royce is now German-owned, what matters is the high quality of the engineering that goes into the cars.
"BMW is proving to be an excellent custodian of the marque."
After looking the 101EX over, Mr Kartz added: "I would love to have it on sale here in Birmingham."