AG will recover its investment in Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd. over the lifecycle of the current Phantom, or roughly seven to 10 years, says Rolls Chairman and CEO Ian Robertson.
invested about $100 million for the new factory in Goodwood, U.K., and also paid a license fee of about $45 million for the brand name and the right to use the historic “Flying Lady” emblem on future Rolls-Royce models.
Robertson is mulling ways to expand the Rolls-Royce product portfolio. A convertible is scheduled for mid-2007.
Robertson says there will be a total of three models in the brand's program for now, but declines to confirm rumors of a future cross/utility vehicle.
“Other models are in the concept phase,” he says. “We will make up our minds in the next 12 months.”
Robertson predicts the new convertible will be a success. “The response to the convertible will be high,” he says.
“We are looking at all heritage names and some new ones for the convertible,” he says. The last Rolls-Royce convertible model was the Corniche in 2002.
Up to now, U.S. buyers could purchase the Phantom only in its standard wheelbase. But Rolls is going to test the waters with the long-wheelbase model when it exhibits the car at the Pebble Beach Concours de Elegance this summer.
Worldwide retail sales of the Phantom stand at about 1,400-units. About 750 of those were purchased in the U.S., the luxury brand's biggest market.