Rolls-Royce is aiming to produce a new car from its Coachbuild division every two years, according to company CEO Torsten Müller-Otvös – but such projects will occur only if there is both demand from buyers and an “appetite” from within the company.
The British firm recently unveiled the £20 million Boat Tail, an ultra-luxury four-seat GT created for three of its customers. The machine took four years to develop and was inspired by the one-off Sweptail, revealed in 2017.
Müller-Otvös said customer demand for one-off models following the Sweptail prompted the establishment of Coachbuild as a full business unit.
“Sweptail was a one-off with a particular client and received an unbelievable reception,” said Müller-Otvös. “We had a lot of enquiries from our clients if they would be picked to join the next Coachbuild project. We did that four years ago and, while doing that, ramped up the department.
“Our idea is to maybe do one project every second year. Whether it’s three cars or one car will hinge very much on the idea of the clients and also on our appetite for doing it.”
Müller-Otvös added that the firm is in a “very comfortable position” where it can pick clients for future Coachbuild projects. He said the firm “wants to keep it very rare” and will ensure each project is an exclusive offering.
“There’s no intention to boost any volume, because the intention clearly is to create projects that are significant for the brand’s history in 70-100 years or so, and that are truly unique pieces,” he said. “That also fits quite nicely into the heritage of Rolls-Royce with coachbuilding projects in the 1920s and 1930s.”
Rolls-Royce has refused to confirm the suggested £20m price of the Boat Tail – a figure that would make it the most expensive new car to date – but Müller-Otvös said the expanded Coachbuild effort will not supplement the firm’s production models as the key business driver.