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“The Cullinan is the Rolls-Royce of SUVs for me.”

“Take the best that exists and make it better!” No limits. Always strive for the best and always for perfection. And so CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös and his engineers and designers will not launch the Rolls-Royce SUV Cullinan to the market until 2019, the year that customers have been waiting for. And only after it was certain that the creators and inventors from the company’s headquarters in Goodwood, UK had met the exclusive Rolls-Royce criteria of unique luxury and outstanding driving technique in terms of engine, t­echnology and equipment. Axel F. Busse from Auto-Medienportal spoke with CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös about the new ­Phantom, the Cullinan and customers along with the strategies and excellence of Rolls-Royce. Mr Müller-Ötvös, the new Phantom was the highlight of 2017 from your company’s point of view; the SUV Cullinan is going to be taking on this role this year. Have you reached your limits with new models for Rolls-Royce?

“With the Phantom, we have introduced an architecture of luxury that will enable us to derive derivatives from it on the basis of a spaceframe construction in the future. The Cullinan will be the second model constructed on this spaceframe architecture. We have consciously decided against using any platforms or bodies, because from our customers’ point of view it can’t be any ­different”.

A vehicle beyond the Phantom seems unthinkable, but can you imagine a smaller car behind the Ghost, for example a sporty two-seater with the Spirit of Ecstasy on the radiator?

”We’ve adopted a clear strategy that says we will not provide any offer in the market below the price position of a Ghost. The aim is keeping the brand highly exclusive and also limiting the number of vehicles produced. This is exactly what luxury is all about – being rare and unique.” Luxury manufacturers have also expanded their volumes considerably in recent years. How many units do you think could threaten the exclusivity of Rolls-Royce?

YOU NG E R R OL L S - R OYCE CU ST OM E R S A R E U LT R A H I G H - NE T WOR T H I NDI V I DUA L S. T H E Y H AV E A NE W E R ST YL E OF L I V I NG A ND A R E T R AV E L I NG I N A M OR E ­R E L A X E D WAY.

“We currently sell around 4000 cars a year worldwide, and even if it were 5000, it wouldn’t make much of a difference. For me, the decisive factor is which price position a brand occupies. And in this case it’s quite clear that we will by no means drive the price position downward just to produce a little more volume. That would be highly counterproductive.” What kinds of drives can we expect from Cullinan? Is it true that a hybrid version is in the works?

“Hybrid is not the direction we are going to take. According to the presented Vision 100 study, we think that the future direction of the brand is clearly towards an electric drive and that no intermediate steps such as hybrid drive are needed.” This also applies to the successors of Ghost, Wraith and Dawn?

“Yes, we’ll being electrifying the brand in the next ­decade.” Is autonomous driving an issue for Rolls-Royce?

“Almost every one of our customers has access to a ­chauffeur. Currently, we don’t see any pressure from our

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