Friday, November 20, 2009

After 'Phantom', FAMED CARMAKER Rolls Royce Motors is ready to drive its most technologically advanced car 'Ghost' into India. Rolls-Royce Ghost displayed for the first time in India on Friday, November 20. The Ghost has been compared by the company to a sports jacket, would be put on display in the capital at the Grand Hotel, Vasant Kunj.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Asia Pacific Director Colin Kelly compares his company's recently launched the Ghost to a sports jacket and the Phantom to a Tuxedo. The Ghost, a smaller car, sticks to the Phantom's 2:1 roof-to-wheel height ratio. What is more, it has the same centre opening door configuration as its predecessor. It also has the same hand-crafted interiors and grill. But where the family of Phantom costs between Rs 3.9 crore and Rs 4.1 crore, the 16-inch smaller Ghost's on road price is significantly lesser at Rs 2.5 crore. That's nearly a third less than the Phantom. "We wanted something less formal and pretentious and more everyday," says Kelly. Indeed, they're both jackets, clearly addressing two very different niches.

The Ghost's launch was first announced three years ago at Paris Motor Show in the 2006. Little was seen of the new car, codenamed RR4, until last year when the company released the official sketches. The styling was instantly recognisable as a Rolls-Royce, although less traditional than previous models. At that time, Chief Designer Ian Cameron had said, "The RR4 has a more informal presence than the Phantom models with a greater emphasis on driving. In design terms, this is expressed through its slightly smaller dimensions, yet with powerful, purposeful proportions."

"We expect to sell 75 units in 2010 in India, of which 'Ghost' will comprise 50-60 units," Roll Royce Regional Director Asia Pacific Colin Kelly told reporters here. Last year, the company had sold about 15 units in the country, comprising cars from the 'Phantom' family. He said the company might witness a slowdown in its global sales this year because of the global recession. The company had globally sold 1,212 units of its cars last year.

This year, the company is looking to more than double its global sales. "We are looking for sales of 2,500 units globally in 2010, of which two-third is expected to come from the yet to be launched 'Ghost'," Rolls Royce General Manager (South and East Asia Pacific) Brenda Pek said. She added that in India the company expects to sell 14-16 units this year and increase it to 75 units next year. "Everybody is keeping an eye on India. India is a key market for us. Last year, we added our second dealership in Delhi and if demand increased we will expand more," Brenda said.

Rolls Royce has already received 25 bookings for the 'Ghost.' To keep pace with the launch of 'Ghost', the BMW group company is also increasing its global headcount by adding 200 more to its staff this year.

"Globally, we have an employee strength of 700 and we are increasing this to 900 by end of this year, mainly to cater to the anticipated demand of the Ghost," Brenda said.

The company today previewed Ghost, the super luxury sedan with a whisper-quiet engine and a price tag of Rs. 2.5 crore /- , in the country and expects the first delivery to happen in quarter one of next year. The 6.6 L twin-turbo car is charged with a V12 engine.


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