Newrange of Ghosts to haunt show­rooms

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige - PAUL GOVER

AFAM­ILY of Ghosts will be haunt­ing Rolls-Royce show­rooms in­side three years. The Bri­tish lux­ury brand con­firms the Ghost (pic­tured), which ar­rived last year as a four-door limou­sine, will be stretched into both a coupe and con­vert­ible to copy the line-up of the flag­ship Phan­tom.

There are no de­tails yet, but Roll­sRoyce chair­man Ian Robert­son hints a drop­head coupe based on the Ghost could be seen later this year.

‘‘There is likely to be an en­try to the model line-up. I think you will see some Rolls-Royce de­riv­a­tives this year that move in that direc­tion,’’ Robert­son says.

Rolls-Royce brought out the con­vert­ible first when it stretched the Phan­tom line, be­fore go­ing on to the drop­head coupe, but Robert­son re­fuses to be drawn on the way the Ghost will be stretched.

‘‘You’ll have to wait and see,’’ he says.

The smaller, cheaper Ghost — priced from $645,000 in Aus­tralia — has helped the com­pany to record sales of 2711 cars in 2010.

This was more than dou­ble the pre­vi­ous mark of 1212 cars in 2009.

‘‘Ghost is do­ing phe­nom­e­nally well. The Ghost has done the job it was sup­posed to,’’ Robert­son says.

‘‘The in­ter­est­ing thing is that Phan­tom is hold­ing up as well.’’

The top-sell­ing mod­els in the Phan­tom range are the four-door cars, in­clud­ing the ex­tend­ed­wheel­base limou­sine that lists from $1.25 mil­lion with­out the be­spoke cus­tomis­ing done by most own­ers. Rolls-Royce says al­most ev­ery Phan­tom had some sort of cus­tom work in 2010, rang­ing from a spe­cial paint colour to kick pan­els in­side the doors to wood in­te­ri­ors with ma­jor en­ter­tain­ment pack­ages.

‘‘The be­spoke op­er­a­tion re­quires non-nor­mal pro­cesses. If you use the nor­mal process it does not hap­pen,’’ says Robert­son, while pre­dict­ing the be­spoke busi­ness will grow con­sid­er­ably in 2011 with the Ghost.

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