Rolls-Royce celebrated the success of the Olympic Games at the closing ceremony on August 12 when three Rolls-Royce Phantom Series II Drophead Coupés sported newly-designed badges for the first time in the company’s 108-year history. The new badges, designed by the Rolls-Royce bespoke design team, replaced the traditional double R for the first time since the company was founded in 1904. Rolls-Royce’s Kristina Marchitto shares her excitement about some changes in this timeless classic automobile.
Julie Leventhal: Rolls-Royce was launched over a century ago in 1904 and continues to hold its place as a top-tier luxury brand. What makes this car such a timeless automobile?
Kristina Marchitto: More than the experience of driving one, what makes Rolls-Royce truly unique is the level of detail, craftsmanship, and engineering put into building each one. It’s this consistency throughout the past century that has built the brand and what keeps our customers coming back for repeat purchases. The Rolls-Royce bespoke program was designed so that we can customize each car to the exact specifications of each of our owners. As we like to say, our customers’ only limit to personalizing their vehicle is their own imagination.
JL: Can you tell us about the future plans for developing the brand?
KM: We will bolster our social media presence, and I am currently seeking ways to best utilize that landscape in a brand-appropriate way.
JL: The new Phantom Series II line was launched in May and is available this September in showrooms. What would you like to highlight about the series?
KM: The new 2013 Phantom Series II encompasses the entire Phantom family. Phantom, Phantom EWB, Phantom Coupé, and Phantom Drophead Coupé. At Rolls-Royce, we have personal relationships with nearly all of our customers, so when they told us quite clearly not to make drastic changes to Phantom, we listened. What we did do was make some slight aesthetic changes to the front end and some necessary upgrades to the technology, maintaining the classic elegance of the original Phantom models. We’ve also become the first automaker to feature LED headlights as standard, and we improved the efficiency of Phantom by 10 percent.
JL: An exciting element to the Rolls-Royce dealerships is the lounge, where customers can configure their car using samples from the manufacturing plant at Goodwood, West Sussex, England. Can you tell us more about this?
KM: The Bespoke Configurator Lounge in our new showrooms brings Goodwood to the client. It’s very common for customers in Europe to travel to Goodwood and spend the day mulling over the hundreds of options in our paint, leather, and wood shops. Since traveling to Goodwood may not be convenient for everyone, the Bespoke Configurator Lounge brings this opportunity to the client and allows the client to sit with a sales representative to go through the various leather, paint, and veneer options in a location closer to home. Being able to see and touch materials and then visualize them on the configuration screen allows each customer to create his or her perfect car.
JL: You recently held an exclusive event in Pebble Beach, California. What made this event special, and will you be showcasing any events in New York?
KM: At the Concours d’Elegance in August, we unveiled our latest product, which is a highly bespoke collectors’ vehicle called the Phantom Series II Coupé Aviator Collection. Specially designed to honor Rolls-Royce’s history in aviation and heritage, only a limited number of Phantom Series II Aviator Collection cars will be produced worldwide. Each car will feature custom paint mixed specifically for Aviator and interior design elements to evoke the sensation of being inside the cockpit of a plane. These events allow Rolls-Royce to interact with our customers on a direct level, while giving them the opportunity to experience the timeless luxury and performance of Rolls-Royce first-hand. It’s also important for our potential customers to understand and experience the things that set Rolls-Royce apart from all other brands and make it the number one manufacturer of luxury goods. You will see us at unexpected venues this year throughout the city and, as always, the Hamptons is a natural fit for Rolls-Royce.