Bentley probably doesn't agree with this.
Automarket.ro had the opportunity to sit down and have a chat with Rolls-Royce’s Regional Director for Germany, Northern and Eastern Europe, Peter-Paul Schoppmann. He told our Romanian friends the Goodwood-based luxury marque does not really have any rivals in the car business since none of the other high-end automakers are able to offer more than they can in terms of equipment, luxury, and customisation.
He went on to specify there is nothing above Rolls-Royce in the car industry, adding that Bentley isn’t really a competitor since for the price of a new Rolls-Royce one can purchase two Bentleys. Ouch.
The average selling price of a new Rolls-Royce is around £260,000 and the company’s clients are on average in their 50s, down by 10-20 years compared to previous times. The Wraith coupe and the Dawn convertible are attracting the youngest buyers, with the average age standing at about 40+.
So, rather than going up against the likes of Bentley and Mercedes-Maybach, Peter-Paul Schoppmann believes the company’s adversaries are private jets, helicopters, yachts, artwork, and real estate. He referred to Bentley as a volume brand in the luxury segment since the Crewe-based brand is selling more than 10,000 units annually (11,023 cars in 2016). Ouch again.
Based on Rolls-Royce’s current infrastructure, the maximum production capacity per year at the Goodwood factory can’t exceed 5,000 cars. Quantity isn’t really of great importance for the company since focus is on making the business profitable, he explained.
He also talked a little bit about the next-generation Phantom by reiterating it’s going to be out towards the end of 2017. An official reveal is slated for September or October, so most likely we’ll see it at the Frankfurt Motor Show. When the wraps will come off, it’s going to be an evolutionary car since clients would definitely not accept something revolutionary, according to Peter-Paul Schoppmann.
The company’s Regional Director for Germany, Northern and Eastern Europe concluded the interview by announcing the brand has a surprise in store for next week’s 2017 Geneva Motor Show. Not only that, but Rolls-Royce will prepare a 'surprise' every year from now on. Further down the line, a fully autonomous model carrying the Spirit of Ecstasy is slated to arrive around 2030.