Rolls-Royce Cullinan Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg
INTERNATIONAL - Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is having a hard time meeting demand for its Cullinan sport utility vehicle, as the high-end British automaker’s biggest-ever model has proved popular with its ultra-rich clientele.

Production of the SUV, which starts at $325,000 before customization -- and almost all Rolls-Royce customers go for bespoke additions -- is booked solid until the fourth quarter of 2019, Chief Executive Officer Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes said.

“It’s exceeding our expectations,” Mueller-Oetvoes said Tuesday in an interview at the Geneva International Motor Show. “We have customers that aren’t patient and want their car tomorrow, so we’re doing the occasional Saturday shift to meet demand.”

Rolls-Royce, owned by Munich-based premium-auto maker BMW AG, aimed the Cullinan squarely at the SUV-loving American market when it was launched in September. The model is also finding a lot of fans in Russia and Canada, two markets that weren’t as big for the U.K. company before, Mueller-Oetvoes said.

“The all-wheel drive is attractive for those markets,” he said.

BLOOMBERG