Rolls-Royce launches a new open-top model in a bid to attract a new set of customers As Sara Hemrajani reports the British luxury firm is also hoping it will offset challenges posed by a weaker economy in China, one of its key markets.
A new set of wheels for Rolls-Royce. The luxury British carmaker has pulled the curtain back on its latest convertible model called Dawn. Rolls-Royce is betting this design will increase its appeal to women and younger drivers. Typically about 70 percent of the brand's buyers are men. The Dawn also represents a break with tradition in another way - it was launched during an online event rather than a car show. Torsten Muller-Otvos is the CEO of Rolls-Royce. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ROLLS-ROYCE CEO, TORSTEN MULLER-OTVOS, SAYING: "It is a car that speaks of elegance and evokes the classic age of open-top touring and it possesses, what I would call, very special sense of 'la dolce vita." Rolls-Royce needs to widen its fanbase amid cooling demand. The company admits that sales in Asia's biggest economy - China - could end the year down as much as 15 percent. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ROLLS-ROYCE CEO, TORSTEN MULLER-OTVOS, SAYING: "I think we are not putting all our eggs in one basket but of course Asia is important. Everybody knows what's currently happening in the Chinese market, contraction of the luxury business for many, many reasons." Rolls-Royce is keeping quiet on Dawn's price tag. But it's likely to set you back at least £200,000. Even so, the car maker says it's already received hundreds of orders.