Contrary to what you might believe, Rolls-Royce isn’t in the business of selling cars.
That is the rather surprising proclamation made by brand CEO Törsten Müller-Ötvös to a group of journalists during a recent stop-over in Toronto, Canada before heading on to Pebble Beach for the annual automotive festivities.
“We’re not in the car business,” he says. Rather, he describes Rolls-Royce as a luxury good. It’s something you buy yourself as a reward, or as a celebration. Müller-Ötvös says it’s like buying a fine watch, or even a piece of art, although increasingly, with Rolls’ bespoke customization capability, it’s more like creating a piece of art.
The company proudly refuses to disclose breakdowns of sales figures because, as they say, the specifics aren’t important. “If you tell our customers about ambitious growth plans they will get nervous,” he says. The brand’s prestige isn’t just tied up in the cost of the cars, but in their exclusivity.
Seeing one should be rare and should be an occasion, says Richard Carter, Director of Global Communications. “The world should stand still for a moment when one goes by.”
And for that reason, Müller-Ötvös explains, his economic goal is not to increase sales, but to focus on profits.
That said, while Rolls-Royce is considering a new SUV model, it will be something that fits the brand he insists.
Exactly what that means isn’t 100 percent clear, but what we do know is that any new Rolls won’t be cheap. As the brand isn’t looking for volume sales it won’t be stretching down market to attract new customers. “We are not tempted to offer cars under the Ghost price wise,” says Müller-Ötvös.
The “entry-level” model, the Rolls-Royce Ghost, starts at a not-insignificant $263,000.
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