Rolls-Royce seeks to balance exclusivity and expansion, may soon add special versions and one-offs

Article by Christian A., on August 9, 2017

Rolls-Royce just unveiled the eight generation of its Phantom luxury flagship, launching the British luxury auto manufacturer into a new era. Aside from the upcoming Cullinan luxury sports utility vehicle that will be introduced in 2018, Rolls-Royce is bent on expanding the premium brand from its current scope.

As reported by Autocar, Rolls-Royce chief executive Torsten Muller-Otvos disclosed that the British luxury brand is looking at broadening the brand beyond its existing models. Despite this development, Rolls-Royce top honcho insisted that the brand isn’t in any pressure to grow, since such growth could be “be detrimental” to luxury. Muller-Otvos noted that it would be nonsense to pursue volume since the brand’s customers wouldn’t be happy to see other Rolls-Royces hitting the road.

Luxury brands like Rolls-Royce don’t see higher sales volumes as key to their continued operations. After all, exclusivity has been one of the key selling points of the brand. Affluent customers have been flocking to Rolls-Royce because of the brand’s exclusive nature. In fact, Rolls-Royce’s exclusivity has been proven by the fact that it has been the brand of choice for kings and queens, royalties and even the most powerful people in the world.

With this in mind, Rolls-Royce would want to carefully expand its range in a way that wouldn’t affect its exclusive nature. This is also the reason why Rolls-Royce isn’t in a hurry to grow. But of course, growth is an appreciated matter.

Muller-Otvos told Autocar that after seeing more than 4,000 cars in 2016, Rolls-Royce sees further growth in the years to come. He said that sales would likely approach 5,000 units once the luxury carmaker launches the Cullinan SUV in 2019, as it would bring new buyers to the brand. The Cullinan – not yet its official name -- is underpinned by the same “Architecture of Luxury” that underpins the eight generation of the Phantom and other Rolls-Royce model.

According to Muller-Otvos, he is seeking to best offer a broader model range within its current volumes. However, Rolls-Royce won’t be offering coupe or open-top (convertible) versions of the 2018 Phantom flagship, since the Dawn and the Wraith are already taking charge of these body types. In addition, Muller-Otvos has already ruled out creating a new model that would be smaller than the Rolls-Royce Ghost.

For now, the focus for Rolls-Royce is the Project Cullinan. The premium carmaker wants to take advantage of the fact that SUVs are increasingly the vehicle of choice of not just volume customers, but also luxury clients as well. Bentley has already jumped into the bandwagon with the Bentayga. Rolls-Royce has called the Cullinan as an “‘all-terrain, high-sided vehicle," with an aim is to create a final vehicle that could go ‘Effortless … Everywhere.’


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