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Rolls-Royce Expands Into South America; Now THEY Can Be Wait-Listed Locally, Too!

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On: Sat, Oct 29, 2011 at 9:38AM | By: Andrew W Davis


Rolls-Royce Expands Into South America; Now THEY Can Be Wait-Listed Locally, Too!

Yes, Rolls-Royce has announced that it will “enter the South American market for the first time in the company’s history.” This is not to say that there haven’t been Rolls-Royces all over that continent—armored Phantoms have always been a particular favorite among “certain types”—for decades now, but instead to say that there will now be R-R dealerships in South America.

Right now there are plans to open one each in Brazil and Chile, but as with everything announced by today’s record-sales-and-revenue Rolls-Royce—including expanding their Bespoke department and home-base Goodwood Factory—this is just the beginning.

Still, two dealerships may not seem like a lot to you—especially seeing as how they are presumably intended to serve an entire continent—but seeing as how announcing it “delights” Rolls-Royce’s umlauted CEO, there just might be something to it….

There are already thirty-something countries listed on the Rolls-Royce website’s “Find Dealer” pull-down menu, including Qatar, the Sultanate of Oman, and some made-up-sounding place they call “USA.”

I don’t know where “oosah” is, but it and the rest of the lot just aren’t cutting it in Rolls’ eyes and its plan for global domination of the retractable-radiator-mascot market. Of course they won’t admit that global domination is their goal, but read between the lines of this press release—straight from Double R’s own PR people—and you’ll see what I mean:

“Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has announced that it will enter the South American market for the first time in the company’s history. Rolls-Royce is working with future dealers in Brazil and Chile and the company’s CEO, Torsten Müller-Ötvös, is currently visiting the region to meet these future dealers as well as customers, prospects and members of the media.

“Speaking in São Paulo, [he] said, ‘I am delighted to announce our plans for entry into the South American market. Brazil and Chile have seen impressive economic growth, with an increasing demand from discerning customers for pinnacle luxury products. Rolls-Royce is growing very successfully in a number of fast-growing emerging markets and it is therefore appropriate that we have a strong presence in Brazil and Chile.’

“The Via Italia Group, headed by Francisco Longo, is Rolls-Royce Motor Cars’ appointed future dealer in Brazil. Williamson Balfour Motors, a member of the Inchcape Group and headed by Peter Aberle, is Rolls-Royce Motor Cars’ future dealer in Chile. Both are working towards full dealership openings in March 2012.”

So there you have it; Basically, Rolls is on a roll. Of course, a company like Rolls-Royce has a much more refined and luxurious way to explain it, and sure enough, here it is:

“The news comes at an exciting time for Rolls-Royce, with sales maintaining strong momentum worldwide. Between January and September, sales increased by 41% on the same period last year. There has been strong demand for both Phantom and Ghost models, with double-digit growth in all regions in the first nine months of the year. Ghost continues to grow the segment and is the market leader, with around 80 per cent of Ghost customers new to Rolls-Royce. The company has a strong order bank stretching well into 2012 and Bespoke content levels are at an all-time high.”

So now not only can you not AFFORD a Rolls-Royce, but you couldn’t get one BUILT for you anytime soon even if you COULD. And things are only going to get worse in the coming months as demand to build and customize Rollers for the Chilean and Argentinean markets puts even more pressure on a company that’s already overwhelmed by orders.

Once the embiggening of the Bespoke department and factory are completed things will presumably get better, but if they keep expanding into new markets they’ll never be able to “catch up” with customer demand. Then, again, maybe that’s the point. Could they be taking a page out of Enzo Ferrari’s production playbook and purposely not producing “enough,” so that the added “exclusivity” will keep desire—and sticker prices—up?

If that’s the case, I wonder how long it’ll be until Rolls announces dealerships in Antarctica. Granted, there aren’t actually any proper roads there, but imagine the oneupmanship value of being the only scientist—or anything, really—to ditch their SnoCat for a Ghost or Phantom. They may only ever get to sit in it, but have you ever SEEN the seats in a new Rolls-Royce?...


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