April 5 - Rolls-Royce Motor CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos detailed changes made to the Phantom II as it made its North American debut at the NY auto show. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Luxury is making a comeback at the New York International Auto Show where the Rolls-Royce Phantom Series II made its North American debut. Changes made to the car were both aesthetic and practical as the desire for mobile connectivity grows. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos. SOUNDBITE: TORSTEN MULLER-OTVOS, CEO, ROLLS-ROYCE MOTOR CARS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We have highly updated the whole electronic platform of the Phantom. So for that reason we could bring in a new MMI: a Man-Machine Interface, including a completely new navigation system, touch points, new screens and of course also a complete new eight-speed transmission, which in conjunction with some modifications with the engines, also allowed us to bring down emissions and fuel consumption by minus 10 percent." Luxury as whole is doing well as the global economy bounces back. Sector leader BMW Group, which is the parent of Rolls-Royce, posted record sales last year and competitors are rolling out new models hoping to get bigger pieces of the high-end market. SOUNDBITE: TORSTEN MULLER-OTVOS, CEO, ROLLS-ROYCE MOTOR CARS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We had a great year last year already and we have seen worldwide growth of over 30 percent last year, also in the United States North America increased by plus 17 percent and the first three months so far especially here in the U.S. are quite encouraging, I must say." And in its home market in the U.K. Muller-Otvos says sales have held strong despite the economic malaise spreading across the euro zone. Conway Gittens, Reuters