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Rolls-Royce RR4 scooped (2010)
11 April 2008 11:21
Why is BMW launching a smaller Rolls-Royce?
It's all about scale. Goodwood produced more than 1000 cars for the first time in 2007 - 25 percent more than the previous year. And to fuel further growth, more models are needed. Step forward, RR4.
And it won't end with the limousine pictured in our spyshots. The baby Rolls will sire a whole family of cars, including hardtop and a convertible coupe, just like the Phantom.
It's a telling move by BMW. A decade ago, there was a gaping hole in the luxury car market. Mainstream premium brands such as Mercedes and BMW wore five-figure price tags and there was nothing else for the discerning car buyer, unless you had a spare £150,000 burning a hole in your pocket with which to trade up to an Aston Martin, Ferrari or Lamborghini.
Bentley was first to exploit this gap in the market - and plugged the hole with its Continental family, now spanning from £120,000 to £137,000. The VW group has been rewarded for being first with sales of 9000 a year. But other brands are now muscling in on this territory - premium makes are moving upwards (there are now numerous Mercs sold for more than £100,000) and the proper luxury brands (like Rolls) are increasingly nudging further - dare we say it - downmarket.
A new boss at the top of Rolls-Royce
Rolls chief exec Ian Robertson recently announced he was leaving Goodwood to head up BMW's head of sales and marketing. He will continue as Rolls-Royce boss until a successor is appointed - and then replace Stefan Krause, who has jumped ship to join Deutsche Bank.