Torsten Müller-Ötvös, chief executive of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd was recently in Oman for a vacation along with family. In an exclusive interview with Muscat Daily Müller-Ötvös spoke about the launch of Cullinan, the first SUV from Rolls-Royce portfolio in decades.
How important is Oman market for you, keeping in mind the small size of the sultanate’s population and economy compared to some of its wealthy and bigger neighbours?
Oman is an important part of our whole Middle Eastern strategy. It is not the biggest market in the region, but certainly it is the important one. Our partner Al Jenaibi International Automobiles, the authorised dealer for Rolls-Royce in Oman, has been doing business with us for quite a while now. Al Jenaibi was appointed local business partner in 2006 and since then they have been able to grow our business year after year quite successfully.
The Middle East region was passing through an economic turmoil during past two–three years, how difficult was the situation for Rolls-Royce here?
Though, sales were not on levels that we used to witness in earlier times. But one must remember that this is not a new thing for us. Worldwide, we have seen markets going down and then going up again. Markets go down due to many factors, be it economic turmoil or fall in oil prices.
Sometime, it may be due to some political issues in this part of the world, all these factors don’t make doing business easier. But, we are confident that we will see this region going back to much better time in the next couple of years. We don’t have a competition from other car makers, but we do compare how many units other luxury car makers such as Bentley, Ferrari or others are selling as it gives us an indication how the market is performing.
We don’t have a competition from other car makers, but we do compare how many units other luxury car makers such as Bentley, Ferrari or others are selling as it gives us an indication how the market is performing.
Rolls-Royce over the past few decades has been focusing more on sedans and it is for the first time in many years that you are talking about SUV. What makes you change your course of action?
Yes, it will be our first SUV in many many years. But one must remember probably, we are the only brand who can credibly look back at the history and say, ‘we have done similar kinds of cars many years ago’. Some of the well known examples are Lawrence of Arabia, who went through all of deserts of the Middle East with six Rolls-Royce SUVs.
Source Credit: MuscatDaily.com
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