Rolls-Royce Planning to Expand Ghost Lineup with New Derivative

Rolls-Royce is planning a derivative of its Ghost uber-luxury sedan. The Ghost, which starts at US$245,000, is the 'baby' brother of the US$380,000 Phantom.

"I'm quite confident that we're going to see a Ghost derivative to come," said the British automaker's CEO, Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes in an interview reported by Bloomberg. "There's still a lot of potential in the market."

Mueller-Oetvoes would not elaborate on what the derivative would be, but hinted there may be more than one. The company is awaiting more feedback from its customers before committing to a bodystyle and timeframe for launch.

Rolls-Royce also announced that it is expanding its operations in China (the brand's biggest market after the United States), India and the Middle East. In spite of this, Mueller-Oetvoes has assured buyers that the brand will remain exclusive:

"We will definitely not end off in the tens of thousands of units. That's not the right strategy for us. Rolls-Royce always needs to stay very exclusive. We only build a car when there is a customer behind it."

Rolls-Royce suffered a 17% drop in sales in 2009 due to the global financial crisis. With the market now in recovery, Rolls aims to sell at least 2,000 cars in 2010. To date, the automaker has sold 1,467 cars worldwide, trailing Volkswagen-owned Bentley which had 2,489. Much of the growth has been attributed to the Ghost, which went on sale late last year.

By Tristan Hankins

Source: Bloomberg