High rollers go for bespoke
The new Phantom will fuel a push into fresh markets
THE arrival of an updated Phantom flagship in Australia has triggered a major expansion plan at Rolls-Royce.
Despite selling fewer cars in Australia this year— 15 to the end of October against 19 in 2011— the British super-luxury brand says the time is right for a new drive.
It is also facing extra requirements to satisfy the super-wealthy shoppers who insist on special equipment from the company’s bespoke division— Australians are among the highest-profile bespoke customers.
The updated Phantom, still priced from $1.26 million, is only very lightly tweaked for 2013 with LED lamps on the nose, eight-speed automatic transmission to boost fuel economy, larger infotainment screen and updated electronics. The Dynamic Package is claimed to make the car slightly more sporty to drive.
But the Phantom II lands at the same time as the company’s Melbourne showroom gets a revamp and the brand casts for new dealers in Queensland and Western Australia.
‘‘ We have reached a tipping point where there is now a business case for suitable partners to establish new bases for us in key locations,’’ says Rolls-Royce Asia-Pacific regional director Paul Harris.
‘‘ Secondly, the average number of bespoke vehicles currently ordered through our Australian dealerships on each Rolls-Royce motor car is one of the highest in the world. Servicing these increasing requests requires a commitment to showrooms and sales consultants who know how to tailor cars to our customers’ expectations.’’
Australia’s two-speed economy is reflected in the expansion plans, with Perth on the radar and a battle between Brisbane and the Gold Coast for a new Queensland dealership.
‘‘( The Gold Coast) is where the wealthy live and we have sold a number of vehicles there,’’ Harris says. ‘‘ We have quite a few connections on the Gold Coast, we understand the territory, and a dealership there would help us position the brand in that area.’’
Bruce LyntonBMWis the brand’s service centre on the Gold Coast and dealer principal Beric Lynton says he would welcome a full dealership.
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