Rolls-Royce Motor Cars revealed that its long-serving Chief Executive Officer, Torsten Müller-Ötvös, will be stepping down on November 30, 2023. This marks the end of an era for the luxury automaker, as Müller-Ötvös has been at the helm since 2010, making him the company’s longest-serving CEO since its inception in 1904.
Under Müller-Ötvös’s visionary leadership, Rolls-Royce has undergone a remarkable transformation, evolving from a traditional automotive manufacturer to a global symbol of luxury. The journey was not just about selling cars; it was about creating bespoke masterpieces tailored to the unique desires of each client.
The numbers speak for themselves: annual sales soared from 1,000 cars in 2009 to an impressive 6,000 in 2022. What’s more remarkable is that each Rolls-Royce leaving the manufacturing facility in Goodwood is a bespoke creation, a testament to the company’s commitment to personalization and craftsmanship.
Müller-Ötvös’s legacy is not just about sales figures; it’s about redefining the brand. During his tenure, the company introduced groundbreaking models such as the Rolls-Royce Wraith, Dawn, and the historic Rolls-Royce Cullinan, the marque’s first-ever SUV. This year, the company is set to unveil Spectre, the world’s first ultra-luxury electric super coupé, signaling Rolls-Royce’s commitment to a fully electric product portfolio by 2030.
Perhaps the most daring move was the introduction of Black Badge, a bolder, more subversive alter-ego of Rolls-Royce that resonated with a new generation of clients. Müller-Ötvös’s strategic vision has not only expanded the product portfolio but also attracted a younger clientele, with the average age dropping from 56 in 2010 to a youthful 43 today.
Beyond the cars themselves, Müller-Ötvös led the company in embracing the changing landscape of the luxury industry. Rolls-Royce has become a digital innovator, connecting with its clients through the Whispers app – a digital members’ club reserved for owners of Goodwood-era Rolls-Royces. Private Office boutiques around the world further demonstrate the brand’s commitment to a personalized, exclusive experience.
The impact of Müller-Ötvös’s leadership extends beyond the showroom floor. Rolls-Royce now contributes over half a billion pounds annually to the UK economy and is a major employer in West Sussex. The team at the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood has grown from 300 to over 2,500, representing over 50 nationalities.
As Müller-Ötvös passes the baton to his successor, Chris Brownridge, the new CEO brings a wealth of experience from his role as the Chief Executive Officer of BMW UK. With almost 30 years at the BMW Group, Brownridge’s expertise in sales and marketing positions him as a fitting successor to continue Rolls-Royce’s journey into the future.
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