Luxury car makers of the likes of Rolls Royce and Bentley have in recent times opened up to the prospect of building SUVs. Bentley already has a concept SUV ready and the production version of the same is expected to break cover sometime in 2017.
Rolls Royce, meanwhile, has not made a firm decision as to when it will launch an SUV, thought the fact remains that it will built one. Speaking to Autocar UK Rolls Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös has confirmed that the company is seriously considering equipping its Goodwood estate manufacturing facility at Westhampnett, near Chichester to build the proposed SUV.
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But Rolls Royce faces a unique problem when it's looking to build new models. The Goodwood facility, built in 2003, started off with the manufacturing of the Phantom. Then in 2009 the facility was expanded to start the production of the Ghost and then again in 2013 to make room for the production of the Wraith.
The Goodwood facility is now nearing its production limit as the volume reached 3600 units last year and that's only with just 800 Wraiths built as production began only late last year.
This year, with the remaining 1000 odd Wraiths to built the production is likely to hit peak. Adding a new SUV model to the production line, which could add another 2000 odd units makes the situation seem impossible.
So, why doesn't Rolls Royce simply construct another manufacturing facility to cope with the added pressure? "Rolls-Royce is most unlikely to solve any capacity problems by making cars away from Goodwood, according to Müller-Ötvös "We firmly believe Britishness and Goodwood in particular are vital assets of Rolls-Royce and we are most unlikely to do anything to damage them," he said.
Rolls Royce has hence confirmed to AutocarUK that the company has not finalised production of an SUV and it is in no hurry to do so as its other models are selling well. "We are moving on with it," he says, "but our other products are performing well and we don't need to rush," Müller-Ötvös said