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Rolls Royce has received around 1500 serious expressions of interest in its new Ghost model, a figure that would more than double the group’s annual sales.

The car has generated “overwhelmingly positive” feedback after touring the world with a prototype, CEO Tom Purves told the Reuters Global Luxury Summit in London.

“Over 10,000 people have expressed some sort of interest, but at least 15 percent have expressed a genuine desire to own the vehicle.”

The Ghost will be the BMW-owned brand’s smallest model. First deliveries will begin in 2010, with annual production expected to be more than 1000 units.

The Ghost name was first used by Rolls Royce on its 40/50 models from 1906 that later became immortalised as the Silver Ghost.

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The Ghost will be unveiled at the Frankfurt auto show in September and will be sold alongside the company’s Phantom model.

Rolls Royce sold a record 1200 Phantom vehicles in 2008, but Mr Purves said he expected sales to be flat this year as the economic downturn bites.

“We are trading reasonably well, just not on the scale of last year,” he said, adding that the luxury end of the car industry was typically late to enter recession and late coming out of it.

Mr Purves also said Rolls Royce was delivering a profit to its loss-making German parent.

“We expect to continue to make a (profitable) contribution,” he said.

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He added that in his view the economy had bottomed out.

“We are bumping along the bottom … I do not see things getting any worse,” he said, adding that of all the macro-economic factors to affect Rolls Royce the fortunes of commercial property had the most impact. Real estate tycoons are among the company’s biggest customers






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