Chinese customers are getting a little less than for their money when they buy a Rolls-Royce Phantom - around 4cms less.

The Roller hit something of road block in China in the middle of last year following the introduction of new laws prohibiting vehicles over 6 metres long driving in cities at night.

It was legislation aimed at reducing congestion by banning trucks - however it collected the Rolls-Royce Phantom as well, all 6m 4cms of it.

"It took three months to re-engineer the bumpers," said Ian Robertson, board member for sales and marketing for BMW, the German owner of Rolls-Royce.

"It held sales up for a while but we are now back on track," he added. Rolls-Royce sales in China have grown from zero five years ago although the company did not provide exact figures for last year.

Robertson said: "The growth in the vehicle market in China is phenomenal. Will it continue at that pace? I doubt it but it will remain strong for the next 10 years and the premium market will grow strongly there as well.

"BMW has added 20 dealers in the past year, we expect to appoint another 10-15 before the end of 2010. It's a case of finding the right partners. China is now our fourth largest market after Germany, USA and UK. BMW Group is currently selling around 100,000 vehicles a year there.

"For this year the market in China will remain explosive. In the US I expect the market to be up by 10-15 per cent, in Russia there are some signs of recovery but we are expecting Germany to be down considerably, maybe by a million cars."