Rolls-Royce Cars come to Manila

Ultra luxury car brand Rolls-Royce formally debuted in the local market targetting very successful Filipinos to a very exclusive group of owners of this penultimate car brand, which entry level price starts at P25.9 million for the very basic model.

The appointment of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Manila headed by businessman Willy Tee Ten, who owns the multi-car brand distributor Autohub Group, was signed in Makati City. Autohub Group has also formed a new subsidiary British Bespoke Automobiles Inc. to operate the new dealership.

Tee Ten is investing about P150 million for the initial three Rolls-Royce models, a showroom in Global City and training for its technical people.

"We have several inquiries already," Tee Ten said. The company expects double-digit sales on its first full-year of operation in the country. They received at least 10 inquiries already.

Paul Harris, Rolls-Royce Regional Director for Asia Pacific, said that Manila is part of its expansion program in the region.

"The Philippine economy has been continually thriving and has created very successful entrepreneurs and this made us to firm up our decision," Harris said.

"We are here for the potential," Harris said.

Herfried Hasenoehri, Rollys-Royce general manager for Asia Pacific, also explained that since Rolls-Royce is a piece of art and each car is being commissioned there is a considerable time needed to build one car.

Initially, the Rolls-Royce Manila is making available three cars, including two Ghosts and a Phantom.

The extended wheel version of Ghost has a price tag of P25.9 million, but this is just the entry level price. The final price will depend on how the owner would like to bespoke his Rolls-Royce or customize his car.

"Depends on how you bespoke it," says Tee Ten.

Bespoke refers to the Rolls-Royce world of "the limit is your imagination."

It takes 440 man-hours to build one Rolls-Royce car and over 60 pairs of hands against only 10 to 13 hours to build one ordinary car.

Total global car sales reached 70 million units last year but there were only over 3,700 units produced by the British car manufacturer at its plant in Goodwood in southern England.

"We don't want to have Rolls-Royce in every corner," Hasenoehri said referring to an elite group of very successful people who can afford Rolls-Royce.

The new dealership in Manila brings the number of cities where Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is represented in the Asia Pacific region outside of China to 21.

Auothub has a total portfolio of 7 car brands employing over 1,000 people. Its most high before Rolls-Royce is Mini. Tee Ten said the addition of Rolls-Royce in its portfolio indicates they are doing well in its auto business.

"We are expanding and the ultimate reward is getting Rolls-Royce and hope that would put us in the global map," Tee Ten said.