Unlike other luxury brands, Rolls-Royce doesn't like to keep its customers waiting too long.
When Rolls-Royce first unveiled the all-electric Spectre, there were a lot of negative comments, but as it turns out, the British marque was on the right path.
Talking with Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos at Villa D'este this weekend, we discovered the extent of the EV's success. "If you order today, you will take delivery probably in 2025," said the CEO.
Late last year, we could see a waiting list coming. Days after it was unveiled to the world in October 2022, Rolls-Royce already had 300 deposits. Not people who paid a $100 reservation or whatever EV makers charge these days, but a full-blown deposit on a $400,000 car.
Most impressive of all? The 300 people mentioned above are just American customers. We're not even talking globally.
Rolls-Royce then revealed it had more demand than anticipated. So how is it adjusting production to cope with this demand?
"We are always keeping waiting times around 12 to 14/15 months," confirmed Otvos. "Clients don't appreciate in the luxury segment waiting times over two years, three years, four years, five years. Or even, let's say, quotes like 'We are sold out even before the car is on the ground.' I think that is bad production planning, nothing else," said Otvos.
That's the average waiting time for a Rolls-Royce, which makes sense if you look at how much money the British company makes from custom orders. People are willing to wait for something special, and that's what Rolls-Royce provides.
But they will never wait more than 15 months for a car.
"That is our intention, mid to long term, we might see spikes, obviously. But my intention is not that our clients need to wait many years until they take delivery of one of our products."
Muller-Otvos also mentions that the Spectre likely isn't their customers' first EV and that most already have a home charger installed. Until now, they haven't had the option of buying an electric vehicle in the ultra-luxury segment.
Speaking of the buying process, each dealer can spec one Spectre, and every build sent to the dealer after that is custom.
You might think these dealer-specced cars need help finding a home, but remember that most Rolls-Royce dealers are on a first-name basis with their clients. They already know what their customer base likes and will order a model close to that specification.
As for the bespoke vehicles such as the Boat Tail, Muller-Otvos is sure there will be a Spectre version soon enough.
Earlier this year, Rolls-Royce celebrated 20 years of manufacturing cars at Goodwood. If demand keeps up like this, there's no doubt the factory will still be there 20 years from now, producing only electric vehicles.
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