Rolls-Royce is banking on Wraith to boost sales in Russia

Article by Anita Panait, on June 13, 2013

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is hoping to boost its sales in Russia with its sporty Wraith model. The ultra-luxury carmaker sells an average of 100 cars annually in Russia and is aiming to posting another sales gain after doubling it in 2009 with the launch of the Ghost, Rolls-Royce chief executive Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes told Bloomberg in an interview in St. Petersburg.

The ultra-luxury carmaker recently opened a dealership in St. Petersburg -- Rolls-Royce Motor Cars St. Petersburg – to add to its two existing retail centers in Moscow. Mueller-Oetvoes remarked that demand for Rolls-Royce‘s ultra-luxury vehicles should offset outweigh a bid by Russian lawmakers to increase taxes for cars costing over RUR5 million ($154,700).

The starting price of a Rolls-Royce in Russia is at around RUR13.9 million. On May 21, 2013, Russian lawmakers initially approved a tax increase for luxury cars in the first of three readings. Approval of the measure could mean almost a two-fold increase in luxury car taxes after Jan. 1, 2013.

Mueller-Oetvoes disclosed to Bloomberg that Rolls-Royce's management is not satisfied with sales on European markets, except in the United Kingdom, Germany and Switzerland.

The ultra-luxury carmaker has already stopped operations in France and now considers Spain an insignificant market due to the current recession in the country.

Mueller-Oetvoes said that Rolls-Royce does not have many global markets with “three-digit annual sales," only the US, China and the UK and Russia.

He said that Rolls-Royce sells only between 20-60 cars annually on other markets. Rolls-Royce unveiled the Wraith at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2013. The Wraith is still in pre-production and customer deliveries will commence in the last quarter of 2013.

Giles Taylor, Design Director at Rolls-Royce, remarked that the Wraith’s fastback profile is its defining element. He remarked that the new Wraith promises to deliver fast yet effortless touring, as conveyed through the elegant line sweeping from the top of the windscreen to the rear edge.

Even at a glance, the new Wraith is able to quickly appeal to the emotion of onlookers. Its design is able to convey a new drama and a dynamic sense of refined power, without having to overstate its styling elements. This elegant simplicity allows the new Wraith to exude both effortless style and beauty. Even at a standstill, the Wraith seems to be moving, thanks to its high waistline, low roof line and raked cabin as well as well-tensioned surfaces.

Just like the current versions of the Phantom and the Ghost, the new Wraith offers a luxurious yet dynamic presence on the road. However, the new Wraith is laden with a number of design cues borrowed from the past generations like its accentuated rear overhang, elegant coach doors and the Spirit of Ecstasy on the grille.

Yet, the new Wraith is truly a different model than its predecessors and even commands certain uniqueness among current Rolls-Royce models. This can well be seen on its deeply recessed pantheon grille, longer bonnet, wider rear track and raked glass house.

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