Friday, June 21, 2013

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Arrives in the Philippines

Rolls-Royce is the ultimate statement that’s part car, part masterpiece. Known for its unparalleled attention to detail, each Rolls-Royce automobile is individualized to an owner’s discerning taste, taking at least 450 man-hours to handcraft at the company’s Goodwood manufacturing plant in the United Kingdom. It’s this quest for perfection that has prevented the British luxury carmaker to appoint an importer-dealer in the Philippines before. Now, all of that’s changed with the official appointment of British Bespoke Automobiles as the official importer-dealer of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars in the Philippines.

A part of the Autohub Group, British Bespoke Automobiles is responsible for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Manila, the newly appointed dealer team that will import the Rolls-Royce Phantom, Ghost, and Wraith motor cars in the country. The company is led by its President, Willy Tee Ten, Senior Vice-President Michael Cua, and General Manager Ryan Watson. Rolls-Royce Motor Manila is slated to open an interim facility by the latter part of 2013 and a permanent showroom by early 2014 in the upscale Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.

At the dealer appointment ceremony held at The Peninsula Hotel in Makati City, Paul Harris, Asia-Pacific Regional Director for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said: “It is a positive time for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars to be entering the Philippines. As one of the fastest growing Asian economies this year, we are confident that the brand will do well in this country. I am looking forward to moving ahead with British Bespoke Automobiles in this exciting new market.”

Willy Tee Ten, said: “This is a landmark event for my team and our country. We are honored to bring the ultimate in luxury motoring to the Philippines, a market with great passion and appreciation for the ‘definitive’ brand in luxury quality.”

Michael Cua, added: “We see latent demand for the Rolls-Royce brand in the Philippines from a growing number of clients’ expressions of interest. The Philippines’ ultra-successful are highly discerning and want only the best.”

Giving a small taste of what “best” means for Rolls-Royce, Herfried Hasenoehrl, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars General Manager for Emerging Markets, gave a rundown on the Ghost—one of the Rolls-Royce’s newest and most dynamic offerings. Available in both standard and extended wheelbase models, the Ghost is Rolls-Royce’s “entry-level” offering with a price tag starting P 25,900,000.
Named in honor of the Silver Ghost, a car first produced in 1906, the Ghost is designed and engineered to be both chauffer and owner-driven. It has a 563 horsepower, 6.6-liter twin-turbo V12 providing thrust, mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. In order to achieve the best ride possible, the Ghost uses an intelligent four-corner suspension which is able to detect the movement of a single rear passenger from one side of the seat to the other and is able to compensate accordingly. The Ghost uses the FlexRay electronic system (shared with the more expensive Phantom) and contains several of Rolls-Royce’s design elements including the rear-hinged doors, door-mounted umbrella, and the Spirit of Ecstasy on the hood. Each Ghost takes roughly 450 man-hours to produce and requires a lead time of at least 4-5 months.

Sitting atop the Ghost as the flagship of the Rolls-Royce saloon range is the Phantom, a car that’s considered to be the ultimate expression of individuality. Each and every Phantom is designed and built to a customer’s exact specification (there’s as much as 44,000 exterior paint color choices) and may take as little as 650 man-hours to as much as three years to complete. Some of the luxury amenities in the Phantom include a 26-speaker sound system, 16-way power rear seats, heated/cooled cup holders, and rear-seat tables. The Phantom is available in no less than 4 body styles (standard, long wheelbase saloon, Drophead coupe, and coupe) all powered by a 6.75-liter V12 engine producing 453 horsepower and 720 Nm of torque. And for the ultra-discerning, Rolls-Royce is offering its “Bespoke Programme” where the factory can create any reasonable option (built-in picnic table, for instance) a customer would ask for.

Finally, the Rolls-Royce line is completed by the Wraith, a car described by the company as what co-founder Charles Rolls “would choose to drive”. As such, the Wraith is the fastest and most luxurious British car to be built by Rolls-Royce, and carries on a namesake which first appeared in 1938. Based off the Ghost, the Wraith is a four-seater coupe and carries some subtle design differences to make it sportier. Inside, it carries the same glorious, handcrafted cabin brimming with leather, wood, and chrome. It’s also powered by a 6.6-liter twin-turbo V12 and an 8-speed automatic.

“Today’s ultra-luxury is ‘personal’. Rolls-Royce has a legacy of building bespoke cars that stretches back over a hundred years. We provide the pinnacle in ‘automotive tailoring’ and will be building a new showroom in Manila that will be complete with a bespoke lounge, aftersales facilities, and a team that will serve the mantra: ‘The only limit is your imagination’. Our mission is to meet our customer’s every need by allowing them to commission their own personalized Rolls-Royce car,” said Mr. Hasenoehrl.

The appointment of British Bespoke Automobiles is part of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars’ expansion plan in the Asia-Pacific region outside of China. In Japan, a new showroom in Osaka was recently opened, adding to existing bases in Tokyo and Yokohama.

Recently, a Boutique showroom was opened in a luxury shopping district in Bangkok, Thailand adding to a double-story showroom in the city. Taiwan also sees a second showroom open in Taichung adding to the one in Taipei. Rolls-Royce is also due to expand in markets such as Hanoi, Vietnam; Perth, Australia; Ahmedabad and Chandigarh in India.

With the appointment of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Manila, the company is now represented in 21 cities across the Asia-Pacific region outside of China.

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