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Cullinan to add to Rolls-Royce bottom line
Sales volume not a concern, but Cullinan to add incrementally to Rolls-Royce tally
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10 Jul 2018
By TUNG NGUYEN
ROLLS-ROYCE’S first-ever SUV, the Cullinan, is expected to boost the ultra-luxurious brand’s overall sales figure, but the new model will also serve double duty by enticing new customers to the BMW-owned marque.
Speaking to GoAuto at the Australian debut of the Cullinan at Zagame’s showroom in Richmond, Victoria, Rolls-Royce global client sales manager Ian Grant said an incremental sales increase is a given with an entrant into the booming SUV market.
“Naturally, yes (we will see a sales increase), but sales volume is not something we chase as a manufacturer, we’re quite modest in our sales figures compared to many,” he said.
“What’s been really interesting here for Cullinan, is the new discussions we’re having with first-time purchases of Rolls-Royce, as well as current customers wanting to add to their garage.
“It’s been three years in anticipation waiting for the reveal, and we’ve been blown away by the interest and support we’ve received from the Australian and New Zealand market.”
Last year Rolls-Royce sold 45 new cars in Australia, a 21.6 per cent lift over 2016, with 29 coupe and convertible (Wraith and Dawn) models registered and 16 sedans (Ghost and Phantom).
For the first half of 2018, Rolls-Royce has shifted 17 units to keep it steady year on year, but the new Cullinan will not enter production until around September, with the first deliveries to Australian customers expected in early 2019.
Mr Grant would not be drawn on whether the Cullinan would shoot straight to the top as Rolls-Royce’s best-selling model, but instead said the high-rider would broaden the brand’s appeal.
“I think what it does is adds flexibility to our product line-up, I mean we have a substantial following when it comes to our Ghost, Wraith and Dawn models particularly here in Australia with Black Badge too, so I think it will add dynamics to our range,” he said.
“Will it become our best-selling model? Let’s see how the numbers work out, but there is no intention there to eclipse other cars. I think it’s there to add the design flexibilities for those customers that do want that larger, high-sided vehicle to drive.”
Mr Grant said that the Cullinan is drawing families into showrooms with its higher levels of practicality and off-road capability compared to other models, but it was still too early to determine the SUV’s buyer profile.
“It’s early days to see a full data set at the moment, but just to take one example, very, very early on after announcing the car, we received our first bespoke order in Australia from a female customer,” he said.
“Now the only way that she would have been able to come to us so quickly with that order, is if she was pre-thinking about what she wanted, how she wanted to design the car, the colours, the textures, the feel, etc.
“I really see that there is such a family environment around this car as well … (we) are going to have some very fantastic vehicles arriving for families as well as private individuals, whether they be male or female or whatever, so I’m pretty keen to see how this unfolds.”
Customisation will also be key to the Cullinan’s appeal with nearly everything able to be ordered to individual taste including leather upholstery, exterior highlights and a unique Recreation Module storage system.
Positioned in the boot of the Cullinan, customers are able to tailor the Recreation Module to suit individual hobbies such as creating a space to store a drone, or a container for bird-watching equipment.
Mr Grant said the majority of buyers opt for the brand’s Bespoke customisation service, with nearly “90 per cent of customers fitting their own bespoke, unique twist on the car”.
“But no two Rolls-Royces are the same anyway, unless of course the customer asks us to make them the same,” he said.
“All of the cars you see here in the showroom are very, very different. These cars are all bespoke, individually hand-made cars.”
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