Rolls Royce and India

Forget the slowdown pangs and frugal engineering. Ultra luxury carmaker Rolls Royce, that retails cars for a hefty Rs 3 crore-plus, is bullish on India and expects the rapid economic growth rate and growing billionaires of the country to fuel sales. Rolls Royce, that enjoyed a peculiar liking with the erstwhile royalty in India, expects the market to fast catch up again and plans to launch a series of its new models, that offer top-of-the-line luxury without any compromises. “India is an important market for Rolls Royce. We have a long history in the country and it offers tremendous growth opportunities for us,” Graeme Grieve, sales and marketing director of the company said here. Rolls Royce, that sold just over 1000 cars globally last year, re-entered India in 2005 after almost 50 years. Last year, the company sold 12 cars in India and hopes to sell between 16 and 20 units this year. “We do not believe in going for volumes. Rolls Royce produces cars only in limited numbers and in most markets, we enjoy a waiting against our models,” Grieve said.The company currently sells three models from the famed Phantom range in India and would be launching the Phantom Coupe, unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, in November. Presently, it offers the four-door Rolls-Royce Phantom; Phantom Extended Wheelbase and two-door Phantom Drophead Coupe models in India.Grieve said the limited volumes in India were nothing to worry about for the company. “India is among the medium-size markets for us and we believe that the speed of economic growth and wealth here will increase numbers soon,” he said. Such is the premiumness and exclusivity of the brand that even in markets like Spain and Italy, the company sells less than 10 cars annually while in Germany it is less than 20.On the targeted customer profile, Grieve said, “We already know that our customers, usually highly successful, self made entrepreneurs, have a great appreciation for cars and the fine things in life. They are likely to have liquid assets of $30 million and above, and own several brands of luxury cars, as well as have luxury properties, a jet or yacht.” The company opened its only second dealership in India and the first one in Delhi, after Mumbai.

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