Detroit: Exclusivity remains key for Rolls-Royce image

As custodian of the most iconic British car names, BMW’s Harald Kruger is aware of the dangers of stretching the brands too far.

Kruger is the German firm’s board member in charge of MINI and Rolls-Royce and he knows all about the history of the cars and their place in the hearts of the British public – he lived in the UK for four years when he was the boss of BMW’s engine factory in the Midlands.

“We have to be very careful to protect the brands and while we do have plans we can’t afford to stretch them too far.”

MINI already has seven variants while Rolls now has the Phantom and the Ghost. A further model is joining the luxury marque’s line up later this year in the shape of the Ghost coupe, likely to be unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show in September.

“We have to be careful particularly with Rolls-Royce because we have to maintain the brand’s exclusivity,” he said. “We have a highly qualified workforce at the Goodwood factory producing exquisite cars.”

Kruger said it would be wrong to add volume in any great numbers because that would devalue the Rolls-Royce name.

The luxury maker sold 3,500 vehicles around the world last year many of them tailored to individual customers.

“They come and visit the factory to tell us exactly what they want. Some even fly into the airfield at Goodwood to see us,” said Kruger

These customers often wait six months or more for their new model to be hand crafted.