Baby Rolls revealed as boss leaves

Published: 14 March 2008

CAR today reveals the look of the new 'baby' Rolls-Royce - just as it is announced that boss Ian Robertson will head back to BMW as Munich's new sales and marketing boss. The new model due in 2010 will nudge the most famous of luxury brands downmarket nearer upper-echelon Merc S-classes, but the 49-year-old chief exec won't be around to see the launch of the landmark model.

The baby Rolls-Royce

The Phantom family has now grown to three models, after the Coupe was unveiled at this month's Geneva Motor Show to join the Drophead Coupe. And in 2010 Rolls-Royce will launch RR4 - the new £170,000 baby Rolls to stretch the brand 'downmarket' and plug the gap between cheaper Bentley Continentals and the super-luxury models from Rolls and Maybach costing nearer a quarter of a million pounds.

It will be longer than the next-generation LWB BMW 7-series, upon whose mechanicals RR4 is based. It will start as a saloon (depicted in our artist's impression alongside the Phantom) but will eventually sire a whole family of models, including a coupe and convertible - just like its bigger brother. BMW has already installed a second production line at the Goodwood factory to increase capacity for the baby Rolls.

Click 'Next' to read about Rolls' strategy. To read the full interview with Ian Robertson, read the new April 2008 issue of CAR MagazineRolls-Royce: the strategy

In an interview in the April 2008 issue of CAR Magazine, Robertson defended Rolls-Royce's expansion and claimed it was in a strong position to ride out the economic uncertainties facing the world this year. 'We are not isolated from world economic events,' he said. 'But we expect another record this year. We have grown progressively and haven't forced it.

'We expected the Drophead Coupe to hurt sales of the four-door - but it didn't. Most customers already own Phantoms. So now they have two Rolls-Royces.'

Robertson, who joined Rolls in February 2005, will replace Stefan Krause as BMW's head of sales and marketing and will continue as chief exec at Goodwood until his successor is found. Krause is jumping ship to join Deutsche Bank.

To read the full interview with Ian Robertson, read the new April 2008 issue of CAR Magazine
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