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Rolls-Royce Buyers Don't Want 'Green' Cars


Rolls Royce Phantom 102EX World Tour

Rolls Royce Phantom 102EX World Tour

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If last month’s sales numbers are any indication, consumers are again flocking to small and fuel efficient cars. As fuel prices climb ever skyward, automotive downsizing is seen as a sensible way to stretch the family budget.

At least one demographic of car buyers is bucking this trend, shooting down a prototype electric car and insisting that engines aren’t downsized. That brand is ultra-luxury maker Rolls-Royce, whose buyers have come to expect a certain level of both performance and prestige from their motor cars.

Automotive News (subscription required) quotes Rolls CEO Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes as saying, “Customers tell us, ‘Do not mess with the 12-cylinder engine.’ It is their Holy Grail, and they love it.”

On the other hand, Rolls-Royce owners didn’t love the 102EX electric Phantom concept, which was previewed by the company in 2011. Over 500 customers viewed the car, and the majority felt that an eight-hour charge time and a range of 120 miles were unacceptable. Plans to put the car into production were scrapped based upon negative consumer feedback.

That’s not to say that Rolls-Royce is ignoring the issue of fuel economy. Mueller-Oetvoes clarified that, “I can imagine something that combines electric and combustion engines, like a plug-in hybrid. We do not yet have any plans in our hands, but it is something we are currently looking into.”

While change may come to Goodwood-based brand, don’t expect that change to be sudden. Above all else, Rolls-Royce buyers want tradition over technology.
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Comments (2)
  1. makes sense. most buyers who can afford to purchase a RR can obviously afford to pay the premium price of refuellling more frequently than other cars, and as such arent driven by the need to be frugel and look at fuel efficient vehicles. Its a completely different sales demographic that buys a RR than the everyman
     
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  2. @WizardsLore, exactly. While ordinary cars are purchased out of necessity, a Rolls-Royce is typically bought as an earned reward.
     
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