The British car maker Rolls-Royce will customize its cars according to the wishes of a customer if the company executives like the ideas and if the customer is willing to shell out the additional money.
This is a growing trend among ultra-luxury carmakers, including Bentley and Porsche that have started to work with a limited number of wealthy clients for building expensive customized cars and Rolls-Royce has now joined that group. The Volkswagen Group is the owner of both Bentley and Porsche while BMW owns Rolls-Royce.
A new program called Rolls-Royce Coachbuild was unveiled recently by Rolls-Royce under which the company will engage with individual clients for designing and building cars designed according to the specifications of the particular customer.
Rolls-Royce executives said that the company will take up such work with only one customer and build only one such car every couple of years. Even though the company could say nothing about the possible costs of such cars, it was quite evident that they will cost many millions of dollars.
“Rolls-Royce Coachbuild clients are intimately and personally involved at each step of the creative and engineering process,” said Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös.
The custom car department of Porsche is called Sonderwunsch, or “Special Wish” in German. The company has recently restarted the program which was in place since its earliest days up until the 1980s. Currently Porsche offers its special customers completely customized new cars as well as customised models of the classic Porsches, such as the 356 and early 911s.
This program of the Porsche has resulted in a number of innovations such as the rear window wiper as well as the in-car radio on the Porsche 356 sports car for the first time in the cars of the company.
“Listening to our customers was always an innovation source for our company,” said Christian Heck, head of product management for the Porsche program.
Bacalar, an entirely roofless car, was unveiled by Bentley last year. The company said that 12 of these cars would come at a cost of $2 million each. Its own return to “coachbuilding” was also announced by the company while revealing that car.
A new car called the Boat Tail, was unveiled by Rolls-Royce while launching its new Coachbuild department. The company is making only three of these cars. Three separate buyers have commissioned these cars – but the company did not reveal the names of the buyers. The company however said that all the three buyers were interested in boating and yachts and therefore wanted their cars to have a nautical feel.
While Rolls-Royce did not disclose the price of each of these three customized cars, it was estimated that the cost of each one would be about $25 million.
Rolls-Royce CEO Müller-Ötvös said that the very high cost of the vehicles was partly because of the time needed to build them.
(Adapted from CNN.com)