Rolls-Royce and Aston Martin executives fight a war of words


Lagonda Vision concept

Lagonda Vision concept

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A battle of words and insults erupted during the Geneva motor show earlier this week between Aston Martin and Rolls-Royce executives. On the sidelines of the show, Aston Martin design chief Marek Reichman likened Rolls-Royce to "ancient Greece" as his automaker announced intentions to push its Lagonda brand into ultra-luxury territory with fully electric cars.

Rolls-Royce head Torsten Müller-Otvös told The Financial Times in a report published Wednesday that the sports car maker has “zero clue” on how to attract the consumers his brand courts. Müller-Otvös responded directly to Aston Martin's insults calling the brand he oversees "an imperfect package for luxury."

2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom

2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom

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The Rolls-Royce chief slammed Aston Martin when he said the British sports car builder doesn't understand the ultra-luxury segment and that the two automakers play in entirely different leagues. He called the comments "highly unprofessional" and postulated that the harsh words were to drum up enthusiasm over a possible initial public offering this year.

Aston Martin poked at the fact Rolls-Royce only offers a single V-12 engine for its vehicles. Aston Martin hopes to challenge the posh British-luxury marque with an all-electric Lagonda brand. It showed the Lagonda Vision concept at the Geneva show to preview two battery-electric luxury cars coming by 2023.

Lagonda Vision concept

Lagonda Vision concept

Enlarge Photo

Reichman, who previously worked for Rolls-Royce and on the original Phantom, said the company wanted "Buckingham Palace" on wheels. At the time, it fit, he said, but "the world has changed, and the royals have changed."

Rolls-Royce has previously insisted it won't launch its own electric car until the technology and charging infrastructure meets its standards, though BMW Group, which owns Rolls-Royce, confirmed there will be an electrified Rolls in the future.

 
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