New takers for king?s car
Yohan Poonawala, Sunny Wadhwan and Shrenik Baldota have two things in common ? they?re all under 35 and they all own a Rolls Royce Phantom.Updated: Jun 01, 2006 03:34 IST
Yohan Poonawala, Sunny Wadhwan and Shrenik Baldota have two things in common — they’re all under 35 and they all own a Rolls Royce Phantom.
A Rolls is no longer a statement of centuries of power and wealth. Now, instead of being associated with dowager Duchesses and ageing desert sheikhs, the ultra-luxury car brand has become a style statement of the young and the immensely successful.
“Seven out of our 10 customers are between 30 and 45 years of age,” says Sharad Kachalia, director (marketing) of Rolls Royce’s Mumbai dealership, Navnit Motors.
“Our customers are increasingly young, self-made entrepreneurs,” said Colin Kelly, director (Asia-Pacific), Rolls Royce Motors.
The client list is distinguished. Poonawala is a stud-farm owner and director of Serum Institute, the world’s largest privately-held vaccine manufacturer. Wadhwan is the scion of the Dewan Housing Finance Limited family. Baldota is executive director of MSPL Ltd., the biggest wind-energy producer in India.
This is part of a global trend, says Stefan Conrady, RR marketing manager, Asia-Pacific. “We are seeing an increasing trend where more and more younger people are buying a Rolls Royce,” he told HT. “In China too, the average age of ownership is coming down,” Conrady added.
Rolls Royce sold 113 cars worldwide last year, 40 of them in China alone — where the booming economy is creating dollar millionaires every month. Fifty-five-odd cars were sold in the US.
Also in a departure from tradition, instead of lounging, maharaja-style, on the backseat while chauffeurs ferry them around, the younger Rolls owners prefer to take the wheel themselves.