The Chauffeur-Driven Rolls-Royce Is Now A Thing Of The Past

Not even a traditional luxury car manufacturer like Rolls-Royce can resist change, and the best example is the fact that the carmaker launched its first SUV, the Cullinan, last year.

But change for Rolls-Royce goes deeper than welcoming a sports utility vehicle into the lineup. For example, more and more owners drive the cars themselves instead of hiring a chauffeur as it used to be customary for a Rolls.

This phenomenon is acknowledged (and we’d dare say, encouraged) by the company itself. CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös recently told Australian media that owners are ditching the private chauffeur driver in increasing numbers and drive the cars themselves.

Coincidence or (most likely) not, this has come to be as Rolls-Royce’s clientele has grown significantly in recent years. “We are very much a self-driver’s brand nowadays. We might have formerly been chauffeur-driven, but that has completely changed,” Müller-Ötvös told Motoring.

“The minority of cars we sell are for chauffeurs, with the exception of maybe the Phantom in long wheelbase form. Everything else is purely driver’s cars,” he added. The times they are a-changin’ indeed.

Rolls-Royce has been actively seeking to bring younger buyers (you might as well call them “new money”) to the brand, and has been successful in this endeavor, as the average Rolls-Royce buyer right now is in their early forties.

These affluent, active owners like to drive themselves, especially if they own sportier “Black Badge” models, Wraith or Dawn two-door models, or even a Cullinan. Or, probably, particularly the Cullinan, as traditional, chauffer-driven customers would fret at the idea of a Rolls-badged SUV. Call us narrow-minded if you will, but we totally sympathize with them.

Nevertheless, Müller-Ötvös believes the expansion of the company’s customer base has coincided with a shift in preferences. “Younger people are prepared to spend the money they make and they are floating it into luxury goods, which is great.”

Note: Bespoke Rolls-Royce Phantom “Gentleman’s Tourer” pictured

more photos...
  • TheBelltower

    So this is how Rolls views wealthy younger buyers?

  • Liam Paul

    Well I won’t lie, I have never seen a rolls that has impressed me, I see it as a old person car

    • Mr. EP9

      Somewhat similar, but more so someone who’s enjoying their wealth in their golden years.

  • PK

    who in the world would sit on the hood of the rr? i know it’s their personal car but ****! respect it! -_-

  • Mr. EP9

    Yes and we’ve seen what they’ve been doing to some of them like that Cullinan from a dozen or so articles back.

  • kachuks

    Who’s the guy or girl sitting on the hood? I’m officially too old to recognize any of the music artists the kids listen to nowadays.

    • Belthronding

      Lil’ RR?

    • Evan McMaster

      Some drug dealers thot. Nobody you should know.

  • MultiKdizzle

    Millennials killed chauffeurs.

    Next at nine.

  • Ben

    Bentley hit this milestone some time ago with the hugely successful Continental GT, which changed the entire brands perception. Gone are the Brooklands and Arnage. However, Bentley has always had the “sporty” DNA between Rolls Royce and Bentley. However, I think Rolls Royce is doing what Bentley should have done years ago, expand on their model range to draw in young wealthy elite. The Continental isn’t enough. Rolls Royce has the Wraith, Dawn and Ghost let alone the halo vehicle Phantom.

  • Blade t

    No matter how much money I had a RR would not be on my list. They look embarrassing. .

  • Jureck

    So, how does this fit in the autonomous driving thingy?

  • Blade t

    “Commissioned by the owner of the car”. Makes sense now…

    • Evan McMaster

      The photographs were taken for Rolls Royce. The car itself was “commissioned by the customer who drives the car himself”. You are poor at reading apparently.

      • Blade t

        Who cares tough guy..

  • nastinupe

    I just came here to read all the butt hurt comments.

    • MRPRCAT

      Haha! You weren’t wrong.

  • MMNYC18

    Love the pics!

  • MRPRCAT

    These shots are excellent! The color grading and treatment, along with the vibe of the shots do a great job of showing the car in a whole new light. As for tradition, if I owned a RR, I’d drive it just to experience the craftsmanship first hand.

  • CBV2020

    Thank you Hip Hop culture(Black people), the process for making anything stuffy, dated or too old and white very cool. lol

  • Ary Wisesa

    Uhm…. Perhaps Rolls-Royce could introduce smaller and with more “manageable” size? Something like the current E-Class-sized would be good enough I guess. For myself, driving a car like an S-Class is pretty daunting, especially on Jakarta road during traffic jam. It’s very stressful, especially with all motorcycles that eagerly cut your lane at any time. So, a medium or small car like Lexus GS/ BMW 3-series is right size to me. Having said that, I think I have to wait a little longer until I could buy my first Rolls. LOL….

    • Cobrajet

      They have, it’s called a coupe.

      • Ary Wisesa

        They are still very big. Even bigger than S-Class Coupe.

  • sidewaysspin

    Everyone owns a rolls nowadays.

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