Rolls-Royce to expand into SUV market

<p>Rolls-Royce is set to build its first SUV model.</p>

Luxury car maker Rolls-Royce is set to embark on a "seminal moment" in its history by launching its first sports utility vehicle (SUV).

The British company revealed that it will be creating a car that offers "the luxury of a Rolls-Royce in a vehicle that can cross any terrain". It is a departure from the traditional cars which have rolled off the firm's production line but highlights a company which is willing to expand its horizons into different markets.

Rolls-Royce currently makes three cars – the Phantom sedan, the Wraith fastback and the slightly smaller Ghost. The creation of an SUV will allow it to compete with other major luxury car makers such as Porsche, Mercedes and Bentley, the latter recently announced the launch of its own SUV – the Bentayga.

The BMW-owned firm did not release any information about the vehicle or even when it will go into production.

However, chief executive Torsten Muller-Otvos said in a statement: "This car will embody all the values and capabilities that drove our two founding fathers to secure Rolls-Royce’s reputation, early last century, by taking top honours in rigorous overland adventures such as the Scottish Reliability Trials, the London to Edinburgh event and the Alpine Trials."

Rolls-Royce increasing sales

Rolls-Royce's announcement that it will be branching into the SUV market comes after the company reported a 12 per cent rise in sales during 2014. The luxury car makers said that it had sold 4,063 vehicles during the past 12 months managed it hit record figures for the fifth year in  a row.

North America now accounts for the firm's top regional figures with the US seeing a 40 per cent boost in sales during the period. Other nations such as China, United Arab Emirates, the UK and Saudi Arabia make up the remainder of Rolls-Royce's five largest markets.

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