Rolls Royce expands in South America

With US, China and the UK as its top three markets worldwide, British based luxury carmaker Rolls Royce is eyeing expansion in South America, particularly, Brazil and Chile. CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos has been touring South America for the past two weeks looking at potential candidates for dealerships.

Mr Muller-Otvos said he sees about 100 dealerships as probably the right number to have globally. Rolls has already increased its number of dealerships from 70 two years ago – only six are in the UK. The car-maker is increasing the number of its dealerships in China from the current eight to 10 by the end of this year. Rolls also has sales offices in Singapore, Beijing, Dubai and the US.

Asked if at least one of the two South American dealerships could open next year, he replied: "I hope so. We want to build up a business in Latin America from scratch. The total car market there is very much progressing and while the total market is progressing you will also see more and more luxury cars sold, so for that reason I think it’s definitely worth entering that market.

"We’ll go in in a small way. It’s a long-term investment but we’re making a commitment now. You plant a seed and then after a couple of years start to harvest it. You can’t rush in this business."

Mr Muller-Otvos, a 23-year veteran working for the company’s owner, BMW, has been running Rolls for the past two years. The company is already making inroads into Germany, where it sold as many cars in seven months to July as it sold in the whole of 2010. That has been driven by the Ghost, which starts at about £200,000, compared to the £300,000 starting price for a Phantom and is described by Mr Muller-Otvos as "the more subtle way to own a Rolls-Royce".

adapted from The Telegraph