Rolls-Royce to unveil new car within weeks
CEO concerned Europe slump will continue
(Bloomberg) -- Rolls-Royce plans to unveil a new car in the next couple of weeks to help extend record sales, CEO Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes said.
The "stunning" vehicle will also be shown at the auto show in Shanghai this year, Mueller-Oetvoes said in a telephone interview out of Dubai today. He declined to provide details of the car.
The maker of the $246,500 Ghost sedan is counting on the new car to help build on the record number of vehicles Rolls-Royce sold in 2012.
Mueller-Oetvoes said he's "cautiously optimistic" about the 108-year-old, BMW-owned company, which competes against Volkswagen's Bentley, in 2013 as demand in the United States and China help make up for the slump in southern Europe.
On Europe, Mueller-Oetvoes said he's concerned the region will extend its slump this year, though demand in markets such as China and the United States will probably compensate for the shortfall, he said.
China No. 1 in 2013?
Though the United States became Rolls-Royce's biggest market last year, Mueller-Oetvoes said China may regain the lead in 2013. "I will not be surprised for China to be back to No. 1 this year," he said.
The company, which is owner by BMW Group, opened its 15th dealership in Asia's biggest economy on Jan. 11 and is discussing further expansion of the sales network in the country, which accounts for about a third of its global sales, he said.
Mueller-Oetvoes said Rolls-Royce's expansion will focus more on the western regions of China, where car ownership levels trail those of coastal areas such as Beijing and Shanghai.Contact Automotive News