Design your own Rolls-Royce... if you have a spare $16m
Luxury car brand Rolls-Royce is allowing its wealthy customers a greater level of customization with its coach building service.
"The idea you see here is not Rolls-Royce, it's the client's idea ... the client commissions its own body and every detail of the car and then Rolls-Royce motor cars builds it," Torsten Muller-Otvos, the CEO of Rolls-Royce, told CGTN Europe.
The car manufacturer is now offering customers the opportunity to not only choose interiors, color and materials, but also the very shape and design of the car.
"Your imagination is our limit. I say that very often and whatever you want is possible. There is one little disclaimer I need to say. It needs to be road legal, road-proof, otherwise you wouldn't be allowed to drive the car," added Muller-Otvos.
The CEO didn't disclose the cost of the service, but he suggested it would be more than "15 or 16 million."
The car manufacturer shut down production for several weeks during the height of the pandemic leading, in part, to around a "20 percent dent in our projected sales for 2020," explained Muller-Otvos. The decline followed a record-breaking sales year for the company in 2019.
Despite this, the demand for luxury items like Rolls-Royce cars has rebounded and Muller-Otvos is optimistic sales will keep booming.
"I can tell you that our production is already fully booked for the entire year 2021 with customer orders ... so if nothing breaks seriously in the world, I see that trend at least to maintain for next year and to run on."
He said that Rolls-Royce's business "is nicely balanced between West and East ... the entire Asian market, including China, accounts for 40 percent, the North American market for 35 percent. And then the rest is Europe and Middle East."
Muller-Otvos was speaking as he showed off the unique "Boat Tail" car with an eye-catching rear deck, which has panels that rise up to reveal cocktail tables, a Champagne fridge and compartments for crystal flutes, china crockery and silver cutlery. It took four years to build by hand.
He said the lesson of the pandemic had been that "people suddenly recognize that you only live once and you want to enjoy your life now and not maybe postpone that to later."
He added that this had been "quite a new trend – I must say that people are now really happy to spend their wealth for luxury."