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Rolls-Royce rolls out Wraith coupe to lure younger super-rich

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Published : 2013-10-29 19:43
Updated : 2013-10-30 18:16

Lee Chul-seung (left), head of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Seoul, and Rolls-Royce Asian chief Paul Harris pose with the Wraith coupe at a launching event held at Grand Hyatt Hotel in central Seoul on Tuesday. 
(Kim Myung-sub/The Korea Herald)

Rolls-Royce, the ultra-luxury carmaker owned by BMW Group, is pinning high hopes on its first coupe, Wraith, to lure younger, successful customers in Asia, a powerhouse region for its future growth.

The Wraith, the coupe version of the iconic Ghost sedan, made its Korean debut on Tuesday at a launching event held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in central Seoul. Prices start at 390 million won ($367,000).

Lee Chul-seung, head of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Seoul, the official Korean importer, wouldn’t reveal the specific number of preorders made here but hinted that the new model was fully sold out until the second quarter next year.

“Customers who have preordered the car are definitely younger than our typical buyers of the Phantom or Ghost. We are pinning high hopes on the more driver-focused model,” Lee said.

Rolls-Royce’ sales this year are widely expected to top last year’s record of 3,575 vehicles. In Korea, the carmaker sold 16 vehicles in the first half of this year, a 60 percent jump from a year ago.

“Next year we will see more significant growth in Asia with the Wraith,” said Paul Harris, regional director in Asia Pacific, considering that luxury car buyers in Asia are younger than those in other markets.

The regional head office, based in Singapore, plans to expand after-sales services outside Seoul, in particular in Busan, he said, citing customer service as the most fundamental concern in Korea.

Equipped with a 6.6-liter twin-turbo V-12 engine, the Wraith, the sportiest Rolls-Royce in history, hits 100 kilometers per hour within about 4.6 seconds, according to the carmaker.

By Lee Ji-yoon (jylee@heraldcorp.com)

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