At last year’s Beijing auto show, a man walked up to the Roll Royce booth with a suitcase full of “Red Maos” – as the 100 yuan note is called in China, the largest note equals $15.40 – and walked away as the owner of a Rolls Royce Phantom. At least that’s what AFP heard. Because of taxes and duties, a Rolls-Royce Phantom started at 6.6 million yuan ($1 million) a year ago. That translated into 66,000 red banknotes. (Read More…)
How many people do you think called their neighborhood Rolls Royce dealer and asked: “Do you have a plug-in Phantom?” Never mind. BMW-owned Rolls Royce shows one anyway at the Geneva Autoshow. Don’t worry, they don’t really mean it, it’s a prototype only. (Read More…)
The worldwide auto industry is officially on the mend. Carmageddon is behind us. The future is bright and shiny. How do I know this? If Rolls Royce can have higher annual sales than in any of the 30 years before, life must be good again. And there still are 2 months to go, with some possible Rollers under some possible Christmas trees. (Read More…)
With Maybach folding up its tent after an uninspired campaign to unseat Rolls Royce at the top of the luxury sedan heap, only Bentley and Bugatti remain as potential challengers to the Phantom (Geely doesn’t count). Bentley has always had a slight inferiority complex when comparisons to Rollers come up, and though the new Mulsanne offers an alternative to the Phantom, it won’t replace it as the undisputed champion of four-door luxury. No, it seems as though the Volkswagen Group is trying to bracket BMW’s Phantom, with the Mulsanne nipping at its heels, and the Bugatti Galibier concept indicating what on might purchase in order to put all the Phantom owners in their place. It might not be as purely luxurious as the Rolls, but the Bugatti name, the 800 HP and the Galibier’s dramatically opulent looks have the potential to yield an icon capable of unsettling the high-end, four-door order of things. But will it be built? According to Autocar‘s Bugatti sources:
It will be made one way or the other.. We’re the smallest VW Group member and there’s a recession on so we’ve not been a priority. But we can expect to announce something by the summer; it looks good, people like it and it wouldn’t be a great financial commitment in the context of the Group.
But evo Magazine’s Harry Metcalfe says it ain’t so. The Galibier, he says, is over, and with it Bugatti’s ambition to build the world’s most powerful and expensive four-door.
When Rolls Royce’s PR folks told Autobild that the Phantom Coupe was the sportier model in the lineup, they probably didn’t expect the German magazine to treat it like a GTI or Type R. But they did. The result? Er quietscht, er qualmt, er quält sich (or, as Google Translate hilariously puts it, “he squeaks, he smokes, he torments himself”), say the Germans, before concluding that “there is a little bit of BMW in this Rolls-Royce after all.” And in the proud tradition of German car reviewing, comparing any car to a German car is as high as the praise gets.
“Rolls-Royce said Friday the market for its super-luxury cars was picking up dramatically across Asia as the effects of the global financial crisis recede,” says AFP.
“We’re fast coming out of the financial crisis and China and India look like they will lead the way out in 2010 on a feel-good factor,” quoth Rolls-Royce Asia-Pacific regional chief Colin Kelly.
Rolls-Royce expects sales in the alleged poorhouses of China and India to grow to three-quarters of its total business in the Asia-Pacific region.
Autocar confirms that BMW has green-lighted a “MINI by Rolls-Royce,” featuring a “totally individual, coachbuilt” interiors finished at Rolls’ Goodwood plant. The Aston Martin Cygnet and Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari have been put on notice… as have the marketing geniuses who thought they were good ideas. At least Rolls-trimmed MINIs have good precedent.