MOTORING: Rolls-Royce defends decision to build SUV

Rolls-Royce on the Pordoi Pass in 1913. Photo: PA
Rolls-Royce on the Pordoi Pass in 1913. Photo: PA
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The management of Rolls-Royce has written an open letter to the automotive industry, answering criticism of its decision to build an SUV.

Explaining that their customers, particularly in Middle-Eastern and Asian markets, have been urging the firm to build such a car, Rolls’ chairman and chief executive jointly turned to the firm’s heritage to denounce the criticism.

“Rolls-Royce stands proudly at the pinnacle of British luxury manufacturing, confirming our custodianship of this precious marque,” the letter reads.

“Rolls-Royces conveyed pioneers and adventurers like Lawrence of Arabia across the vastness of unexplored deserts and over mountain ranges. In other parts of the world, including Australia, India and the Americas, Rolls-Royces carried their owners over challenging terrain with absolute reliability and comfort.

“History sets our precedent and our future calls us to action.”

The Rolls-Royce SUV is described as “a car that offers the luxury of a Rolls-Royce in a vehicle that can cross any terrain”, and “a Rolls-Royce that is as much about the pioneering, adventurous spirit of Charles Rolls as it is about Sir Henry Royce’s dedication to engineering and innovation”.

The letter finishes: “This new journey begins now. We will take our time in developing and perfecting this new concept in luxury. We will include our customers, enthusiasts and media along the way and will keep you informed of our progress.

“Until then, rest assured, we are creating a motor car in the greatest traditions of our marque.”