Rolls-Royce launches car for a handful of the ultra-rich

(Chichester) Luxury carmaker Rolls-Royce, after suffering at the start of the pandemic, regained shape and on Thursday launched a car aimed at the ultra-rich, the Boat Tail, whose rear evokes the lines of ‘a yacht.

Only three units have so far been designed with an unparalleled level of tailor-made for the luxury brand, at a time when the high-end car market is doing well despite the pandemic.

What defines the Boat Tail?

“Customers come to us with an idea in mind, that’s exactly what happened a hundred years ago. […]. This homecoming dates back to the Sweptail in 2017 when we launched the first Coachbuild unit project (“tailor-made”, Editor’s note) of modern times. […] It caught the attention of a few customers who wanted something similar, but even more spectacular, told AFP executive director Torsten Müller-Ötvös, from BMW’s subsidiary headquarters at Goodwood, south of the United Kingdom. England.

PHOTO ADRIAN DENNIS, FRANCE-PRESS AGENCY

“We accepted this project four years ago and the result is the Boat Tail. For us it is the pinnacle of all our activity at Rolls-Royce, ”he says of the new model with insolent and sometimes unexpected luxury.

Example of finishes: the sides of the rear of the new car rise laterally to form a table sheltered by a parasol, in order to be able to have lunch or dinner in the open air from their vehicle, if the desire takes their very wealthy owners .

PHOTO ADRIAN DENNIS, FRANCE-PRESS AGENCY

“We intend to continue and start over every two years,” adds Muller-Otvos without specifying the price of this car.

“We never talk about price in agreements with our customers. But the rumors according to which the Sweptail would have cost 13 million dollars were quite close to reality ”, knowing that the Boat Tail is much more refined… And therefore even more expensive.

PHOTO ADRIAN DENNIS, FRANCE-PRESS AGENCY

What was the impact of the pandemic on Rolls-Royce?

“We were hit very hard. We closed the plant, and in total lost 20 to 25% of sales volume last year. On the other hand, the BMW group has not been significantly affected for the moment by the shortage of semiconductors in the world ”, explains the leader.

Since the last quarter of 2020, the manufacturer has benefited from a rebound and “production for this year is already fully booked. The normal waiting period for a Rolls-Royce is around six months ”.

“Demand remains very strong and not only from Asia, but also from the United States and Europe. “

“It is a promising global context and I think it is the case for the entire luxury industry”.

If the pandemic has increased inequalities everywhere, the boss of the manufacturer of these exclusive cars notes “that there is a lot of money ready to be spent”.

Energy transition and Brexit

“We are heading towards a switch to all electric at Rolls-Royce during this decade” and the group wants to “improve its sustainability even more”.

In September, Mr. Müller-Ötvös was worried about Brexit, but he welcomes the trade agreement reached in extremis between London and Brussels on Christmas Eve. This agreement, which has been favorable to the automotive industry and allows for smooth exchanges and “to export our products easily while being able to import spare parts”.

Therefore, “we have not suffered any major disruption” resulting from the British exit from the European Union, he concludes.

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