To boost sales of Rolls-Royce’s ultraluxury nameplate double units, the carmaker will be expanding the Ghost model line. In an interview at its headquarters in Goodwood, England, Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes said that he is “quite confident” that there will soon be a Ghost derivative. He said that he believes in the market potential for a less formal model.
The Ghost, which has been available since last year, has a price tag of $245,000 and is Rolls-Royce's second product line after the Phantom, which is priced from $380,000.
Mueller-Oetvoes believes that the lower-priced model, which measures 5.4 meters (17.7 feet) in length, would increase operating profit.
As the economic downturn forced sales to drop by 17% in 2009, the Ghost was a factor in the continued growth of the exclusive marque. So far this year, Rolls-Royce has delivered 1,467 cars. Already, this beats the record since BMW took over in 1998 of selling 1,212 cars in the entire year of 2008.
Rolls-Royce seeks to sell at least 2,000 cars in 2010, after delivering 1,002 last year. Jonathan Poskitt, an Oxford, England-based analyst at JD Power & Associates, said that for the longest time, Rolls-Royce has always been a “really super premium brand” and BMW has groomed it to remain at the top of the market. Poskitt explained that the rich segment of the market is “driven in some sense by what models are available.”
Spokesman Andrew Ball said that Rolls-Royce's factory, which is located in the aristocratic estate where the annual Festival of Speed motoring event is hosted, builds 12 Ghosts a day and 3 Phantoms each day.
Rolls-Royce, whose rivals include Volkswagen AG's Bentley and Daimler AG's Maybach, is recognized worldwide for its hand-craftsmanship and its smooth handling that many have likened to a “magic carpet” ride. [via autonews - sub. required]