Rolls-Royce is now the latest luxury or ultra-luxury automaker to announce plans about the development of a sports utility vehicle, making the move towards the auto industry’s fastest-rising market segments.
The company will move to build a Rolls that can go “everywhere” and its foray follows the moves of fellow British motoring brands Jaguar and Bentley – all three entering for the first time into the SUV luxury segment. Naturally, the eternal trio of German rivals – BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz, leads the sector. SUVs and crossovers are today one of the auto industry’s most earnings driven segments for both premium marquees and mass-market brands. For example, according to IHS Automotive, after already tripling during the past half decade, sales for the medium premium SUV category are forecasted to jump another 30 percent to 1.9 million units before 2020. Rolls-Royce, parented by the largest premium automaker in the world – BMW AG – announced its foray into the segment in a huge departure from its traditional vehicle segment: saloon-style models.
Rolls-Royce is not alone in doing so: for example last month Jaguar also confirmed the rumors and said it was developing its first of a kind “performance crossover” model, an aluminum intensive SUV that would be available since 2016. And that while its sister company – Land Rover – specializes in such models. Bentley will also offer the flagship Bentayga model – an SUV – since 2016. And Lamborghini is responding with the Urus. The executives at Rolls refrained from giving a timetable for the model, but did say it would be produced on an all-new bespoke aluminum platform in the existing UK factory that can deliver a total of 6,000 units per year.
Via Financial Times