Eric Shepherd is new Rolls-Royce Regional Director for North America

Article by Anita Panait, on April 5, 2013

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has named Eric C. Shepherd as its Regional Director for North America, replacing David Archibald who decided to retire after serving 11 years at the carmaker.  Shepherd will sit on his new post effective May 1, 2013. Prior to joining Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Shepherd was Regional General Manager for Mercedes-Benz USA, supervising the Southern Region since 2008.

He also held significant roles with Japanese carmakers Toyota and Nissan Motor Company. Shepherd has experience working in the advertising industry with Young & Rubicam and Starboard Automotive. Jolyon Nash, Director of Sales and Marketing, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, remarked that Shepherd is “ideally positioned to extend” his expertise into the super-luxury segment in which Rolls-Royce competes, as he possesses broad experience and strong background in sales and marketing operations, dealer relations and franchise management in the luxury automotive sector.

Nash noted that the United States is the carmaker’s largest global market and they are looking forward to “maintaining and strengthening this market position.” Archibald, on the other hand, joined Rolls-Royce Motor Cars in 2002 as Regional Director for Europe and South Africa.

He was appointed as Regional Director for North America in January 2011. Nash expressed gratitude to Archibald for his “valuable contribution” to Rolls-Royce Motor Cars over the years, adding that they “wish him the very best” in his retirement.

Rolls-Royce Wraith

The designers, craftspeople and engineers working on the update of the Rolls-Royce Phantom had one thing to remember: the words of founder Henry Royce imploring them to choose the best and improve on it.

These words are the guiding force behind the improvements that we see in the brand’s pinnacle vehicles when these were introduced in 2012 and continues to be followed in design studios and assembly facilities at the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwill.

The second part of the founder’s directive is if something does not exist, then design it. This was the ethos that was followed with the Rolls-Royce Wraith. The Wraith featured a lot of elements that did not exist in the brand’s portfolio or in any carmaker’s portfolio.

This innovative spirit is ingrained in the history and heritage of Rolls-Royce. You can see it in the vehicles that distinguished the company in the early part of the 1900s. Its experience at sea, in the air and on land once gave the car brand three successive world speed records.

Then there was Charles Rolls, the company’s founding forefather. Rolls had a love for adventure that fueled his success in ballooning, aviation and motor racing. Rolls was the first man to fly across the English Channel and back without stopping. This was duly praised by King George V.

Rolls-Royce Wraith mirrors the spirit of these endeavors, expanding the boundaries of engineering and design, while also challenging how people view their vehicles while giving customers the most engaged and dynamic driving experience ever. It did not exist, so they designed it.

Powerful, stylish, dramatic

In its styling, the Wraith exudes simplicity, poise and dynamism. You can just sense that the Wraith is focused and responsive.

The exterior is dominated by beauty and grace, with the fastback’s swept lines echoing the designs from the 1930s. These lines make its focused character more obvious.

This dramatic exterior is supplemented by the performance. The Wraith has a shorter wheelbase but a wider rear track. The twin turbo V12 engine delivers 624 bhp and it can go from standstill to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds. All of these further bolster the car’s dynamic appearance.

Even so, the Wraith remains to be a luxurious and refined Rolls-Royce, a vehicle that puts equal importance on the sense of arriving, the pleasures of the journey and the car itself.

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