Disillusionment instead of luxury frenzy at Rolls-Royce
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Rolls-Royce flagship is the Phantom. On the left the coupe (442,204 euros), on the right the sedan (411,383 euros.)
Source: su.hayler / BMW Group MediaPool
With the Drophead Coupe (right), the British also have the most expensive convertible in the world on offer: 459,679 euros. ">
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The youngest Rolls-Royce is called Ghost (left, 253,470 euros) and has just launched on the market. With the Drophead Coupe (right), the British also have the most expensive convertible in the world on offer…: 459,679 euros.
Source: su.hayler / BMW Group MediaPool
The annual balance sheet of the British luxury manufacturer is not a fairy tale from 1002 nights: Exactly as many cars with the hood ornament "Spirit of Ecstasy" were sold in 2009. And that’s a whopping 17 percent less than the year before. The only hope that remains is that the new Volks-Rolls will reverse the trend.
S.he just didn’t want to get out of its hole: When the new Rolls-Royce Ghost was presented to potential buyers in Berlin a few weeks ago, the retractable hood figure could not be lured out despite technical tricks and good persuasion.
"The ‘Spirit of Ecstacy’ is a bit shy today," joked Sibylle Thomas-Gobelbecker, who runs one of Rolls-Royce’s two German agencies in Dresden.
But now the British luxury brand actually has reason to go diving: Sales fell by 17 percent worldwide in 2009.
In 2008 there were 1212 pieces, in 2009 there are 1002 – that means that Goodwood is further away from a fairy tale à la 1001 nights than there might be admitted. "This is a tremendous result and a particularly strong performance when you consider the challenging economic conditions with which all manufacturers were confronted in 2009," said CEO Tom Purves trying to appreciate the decline in sales.
For a long time, despite the economic crisis, the luxury sector in the automotive industry was largely free of turbulence, but the figures from Rolls-Royce underline the development that is also reflected in expensive vehicles on the German market: cars in the luxury segment lost 18 percent in comparison the previous year. The Bentley Continental, for example, had to accept minus 49 percent. With the Audi A8 it was even minus 55 percent, but this was due to the fact that the A8 is being reissued this year.
Rolls-Royce should also have this hope with the new Ghost after the Phantom – first launched in 2003 – only 14 units were sold in Germany last year. The Rolls-Royce “Geist” is now due to hit the market in Germany in May. 150 Ghosts were already delivered to customers around the world in December.
At 5.40 meters in length, the Ghost is 43 centimeters shorter than the smallest Phantom (5.83 to 6.08 meters) and at a base price of 253,470 euros, it is more than 150,000 euros significantly cheaper. The concept of a “people’s roll” seems to work for now.
Because according to the British manufacturer, which belongs to BMW, 85 percent of all Ghost buyers are new customers. So it doesn’t have to be that the “Spirit of Ecstacy” is shamefully hiding in the hood of the Rolls-Royce.
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