Despite the Cullinan surpassing sales expectations, Rolls-Royce isn’t planning to expand its SUV line-up.
After over three years of development, Rolls-Royce finally made its first foray into the ultra-luxury SUV segment with the Cullinan. The opulent off-roader represents the company's fifth model alongside the Phantom, Ghost, Wraith and Dawn. It was always going to be a popular model, but so far the Cullinan has surpassed Rolls-Royce's sales expectations. Speaking to Autocar, Rolls-Royce boss Torsten Muller-Otvos described customer reaction to the Cullinan at a recent preview event ahead of its official launch as "brilliant."
But despite its popularity, Rolls-Royce isn't planning to expand its SUV range with a baby Cullinan as there's no demand from the brand's "ultra-luxury" buyers. "No, definitely not," he said when asked about the possibility of introducing an SUV smaller than the Cullinan. "You need to go with the flow, so for that reason, I'd never say never, never, never – but we don't currently have any plans to expand our model line-up any further. Our strategy is definitely to maintain our high-end price position and not move the brand just for volume sake into lower-price segments." This is a decidedly different approach to Land Rover.
The automaker took a risk when it expanded the Range Rover line-up with the baby Evoque, but it paid off because it's now Land Rover's best-selling model by a significant margin. Right now, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan represents the pinnacle of ultra-luxury SUVs, but it will soon face stiff competition. Aston Martin's revived Lagonda sub-brand is launching in 2021 with an SUV, which was previewed in a concept sketch at this year's Geneva Motor Show. But the upcoming competition doesn't seem to faze the Rolls-Royce CEO. "It's just a sketch. I can't say anything more. Cullinan is real," he said.