We've spoken to the chief executive officer of Rolls-Royce about his new baby
Steve Cropley Autocar
10 May 2018

The hotly anticipated Cullinan is finally here, so we've caught up with the boss of the brand, Torsten Müller-Otvos, to gauge what impact it's likely to have on his company.

Just how important to Rolls-Royce’s future is the launch of Cullinan?

It’s enormously important. Cullinan redefines the parameters of super-luxury travel. Our customers have been waiting a long time for a motor car that offers uncompromised luxury wherever the owner dares to venture. Cullinan is that car.

Do you think Cullinan’s arrival will change the Rolls-Royce brand?

Well, Cullinan is certainly a very big departure for us. We’re moving into the very top echelon of a highly competitive and thickly populated sector, so we will definitely meet customers we’ve not known before. But the big response to our latest cars shows that our brand values are clear and well understood.

Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUV revealed

How important are the latest Goodwood production changes to Cullinan’s launch?

They are absolutely key. We needed our new architecture to have any chance of making cars as different as Dawn [convertible] and Cullinan [SUV] using just-in- time principles on the same flexible line. For that we had to reform and reshape the whole production system. We have invested millions in manufacturing at Goodwood, and in a new technology and logistics centre in Bognor Regis. And it is already paying off.

How hard was it, telling BMW’s bosses you didn’t want to use their chassis components any more?

It wasn’t as difficult as you’d think. They listened to our case and agreed that make authentic Rolls-Royces we needed our own architecture. We’re really grateful they allowed us to depart from the first arrangement, because it is the key to everything. That kind of flerxibility is what makes BMW so brilliant.  

Opinion: Rolls-Royce Cullinan - it's what's underneath that counts

Is Cullinan configured for hybrid and electric versions in the future?

Absolutely. This architecture is a well thought-out, strategic programme. It is ready for electrification and other changes as well.

We hear the number of people who order special equipment for their Rolls-Royces is expanding: is this true?

It certainly is. Around 70% of our buyers order extra equipment through our Bespoke department, and we’re making it easier by fitting special equipment on the line. Last year over 1000 people came to Goodwood, just to choose the colour, trim and equipment for their new Rolls-Royces. 

Read more

Rolls-Royce Phantom review 

Rolls-Royce Wraith review 

Rolls-Royce Ghost review

Join the debate

Comments
10

10 May 2018
... you didn't ask the last time he had his eyesight checked.

10 May 2018

Q for Mr Muller-Otvos: Has the pre-production prototype that you've revealed been in an acident resulting in a bent chassis, or is the rear wheel meant to be like that?

10 May 2018

Surely the target market for this monstrosity (the blind) shouldn't be driving anyway...  Plenty of room for a Golden Retriever in the back though!

10 May 2018

Which pretty much guarantees they'll sell a s**t ton of them.

10 May 2018

 Will the Queen be given one for State visits and so on?

Peter Cavellini.

10 May 2018

 Go on YouTube, type in Shmee150,there you will find a twenty minute or so walk round inside and out of a beautiful Magma Red Cullinan........

Peter Cavellini.

10 May 2018
Peter Cavellini wrote:

 Go on YouTube, type in Shmee150,there you will find a twenty minute or so walk round inside and out of a beautiful Magma Red Cullinan........

lol

10 May 2018

 

RR improving.. .

/EX

10 May 2018

Rolls Royce Cars V12 engines can adopt the names of Merlin, and of Griffon . . . . . 

The introduction of the Cullinan, clearly demonstrates and confirms, the intention and commitment of Rolls Royce Cars to delight those of their customers who wish to participate in this burgeoning market segment.

It might have been thought that Rolls Royce Cars would similarly wish to further delight its customers, by adopting for its (automotive) V12 engines, the names historically - and, affectionately - associated with the earlier Rolls Royce aeronautical V12 engines.

Whilst many owners of Rolls Royce vehicles may not even know how to - never mind wish to - raise the bonnet of their vehicles, such delight and pleasure would derive simply in knowing what is under the bonnet, the provenance of its name, and its historical context!

The names of MERLIN , and of GRIFFON , are now both protected as Registered Trade Marks to be used in the automotive sector.

Inexplicably - for the moment - their use has been declined by Rolls Royce Cars.

10 May 2018

...to call someone’s baby ugly? Is this a valid example? 

Spanner

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Land Rover Discovery
    First Drive
    23 May 2018
    Does the Land Rover Discovery – a vehicle designed to put in the hard yards – cut it as an executive company car? We ran it for seven months to find out
  • Aston Martin Vantage 2018 review hero front
    Car review
    23 May 2018
    Aston Martin’s cheapest model takes a big step up into the 21st century
  • Hyundai i30 N
    Standard spec is good so paint colour is our car’s only option
    First Drive
    22 May 2018
    What’s Hyundai’s first hot hatch and N-brand debutant really like? Let’s find out
  • DS 7 Crossback PureTech 225 2018 review hero front
    First Drive
    22 May 2018
    New petrol engine and top-end Ultra Prestige spec help broaden the Crossback's appeal, but do little to help it stand out in a crowded market
  • Audi TT RS Coupé
    First Drive
    22 May 2018
    The Audi TT RS has the looks, a vociferous engine and the supercar-baiting performance, but is it too uncompromising to use as a daily driver?