More than half - 56 percent, to be exact - of the customers who bought Rolls-Royce Ghosts in 2011 asked for something special, from the company's Bespoke division.
'Bespoke' is an English clothing-industry term for an item of unusually high quality made to order for a valued client, and Rolls-Royce's personal service includes anything from special paint colours, coach lines and tread plates to complete vehicle designs featuring champagne sets, humidors and picnic cabinets.
This trend for special requests from Ghost customers follows an increase in Bespoke orders for the range-topping Phantom. More than eight of every 10 Phantoms built in 2011 passed through the hands of the Bespoke team before delivery - and in some Middle East markets every Phantom had some Bespoke features.
Rolls-Royce boss Torsten Müller-Ötvös said: “It is always our goal to exceed our clients' highest expectations and fulfill their innermost desires.
“With Bespoke Phantom and Ghost models, we are able to achieve this. The passion with which our craftsmen and women create these beautiful cars is reflected in some truly outstanding examples delivered around the world last year.”
In the Middle East the proportion of Phantom sales with Bespoke features went up from 75 percent to 99 percent in 2011, while in Europe the figure increased from 50 to 89 percent, and in North America it shot up from one in three cars to four out of five.
In the United Kingdom, the third largest single market for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, the proportion of Phantom deliveries with special features went up from 60 to 88 percent.
As a result Rolls-Royce is expanding its Bespoke operation, doubling the staff and, from the beginning of February, work will begin on extending the Bespoke finishing department at Rolls-Royce headquarters in Goodwood.