Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös says that since September 2020 orders and production have been "flying." The BMW Group subsidiary has been unaffected by the semiconductor shortage because it parent has given the low-volume British brand's high-margin models priority when it comes to chips. As a result, Rolls-Royce is on pace to top its global sales record of 5,152 units set in 2019. Müller-Ötvös says Rolls-Royce has increased revenue per unit by emphasizing personalization. In addition, this year the company added a bespoke program called Coachbuild that will offer limited-edition models priced at several million euros every other year. Another way Rolls-Royce is maintaining its strong balance sheet is by declining to expand the brand into non-automotive areas such as offering perfumes or lending it name to six-stars hotel. The aim is to protect Rolls-Royce's exclusivity and prevent any distraction from its goal of making 'the best cars on earth.' Müller-Ötvös, who has lead Rolls-Royce for more than a decade, discussed these topics and more with Automotive News Group Publisher KC Crain and Automotive News Europe Associate Publisher and Editor Luca Ciferri at the IAA Mobility show in Munich last month.
Rolls-Royce was on track to have a strong year prior to the chip crisis. How are things now?
That hasn't affected us. We have not lost production of a single car. We are part of the BMW Group and we get 100 percent of the chips we need. As you can imagine, contribution per car on a Rolls-Royce is far higher than any other BMW Group brand.