British craftsmanship outperforms German engineering when it comes to solving problems thrown up by building unique cars, according to Rolls-Royce’s German chief executive.
Tortsen Müller-Ötvös, who has headed the luxury car business since 2010, made the admission in a rare interview with the Telegraph as the company prepared to reveal its annual sales figures for 2017.
“Rolls-Royce is the perfect mix of German engineering, German process and understanding in conjunction with British craftsmanship that brings the products up to perfection,” he said.
“When it comes to solving immediate problems, firefighting problems, British craftsmanship is better,” he added. “That is not very German, Germans love processes.”
Mr Müller-Ötvös – who described himself as “not a typical German ” – said that if BMW had not acquired Rolls-Royce 20 years ago, the historic marque famed for its Spirit of Ecstasy emblem “would probably be dead now” without the Munich-based company’s billions of support and engineering prowess.
Rolls-Royce will report lower sales figures for 2017, the chief executive said, having stopped selling its top-of-the-range Phantom limousine last year to prepare for the introduction of a new model in 2018.
This comes after Rolls-Royce reporting its three best years, selling 4,011 cars in 2016, 3,785 the year before and a record 4,063 in 2014.
As well as the new Phantom, Rolls-Royce is developing its first SUV, called “Project Cullinan”, which is expected to boost sales significantly. Once established after its scheduled launch in 2019, analysts believe it could add several thousand sales to the company’s annual total.