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A Look Back at a Brand Savior

01.18.17 - Rolls-Royce Phantom

You would think a name that has been the pinnacle of automotive excellence for over 100 years wouldn’t need saving at any time, but that’s not the case at all. Rolls-Royce is certainly in a niche all by itself as the coach vehicle manufacturer that more billionaires turn to than any other, but the problem is the limited number of billionaires in the world. This means a car that isn’t perfectly exquisite might not be one these extraordinary people want to purchase and at one time the name of Rolls-Royce was in trouble, financially.

At the time in 2003, the only car that seemed to be able to save the company from becoming another of the Volkswagen collection of brands was the new Phantom. BMW had an engine deal going for the brand and was able to acquire Rolls-Royce and continue to help the brand build the limousines that we love and admire today. The new Phantom that was designed and began being sold in 2003 to mark a new era for the brand that has been the most admired name in the automotive industry for over a century, giving us the vehicles we’ve longed to drive.

Of course we’re going to have to say goodbye to new Phantom that came out in 2003 because it’s nearly at an end of its production run and will be replaced in 2018. As a brand that only makes a select number of models each year these production runs can be much longer than a typical car and BMW will replace the Phantom with a new car by 2018 that will be more aluminum intensive. At the same time the Coupe and Cabriolet models of the Phantom will be gone from the market even thought this is a car that certainly has been something special.

The Phantom has been so special that BMW built a factory in Goodwood just for the purpose of producing the new Phantom in 2003. This showed the investment they have in the company and in this car that has become one of the most opulent limousines ever to grace the world. For billionaires looking for a great limo to enjoy the only thing that’s been missing from the Rolls-Royce Phantom since 2003 has been the driver which the customers have to hire on their own in order to have the people they know and trust around them.

What happened to the VW part of the deal when Rolls-Royce was put up for sale? VW was able to keep the Bentley side of the company and has continued to bring us some of the sportiest and fastest production cars to ever hit the road. This new setup with Bentley has allowed VW to have the sporty side of things, attracting billionaires in their own way. This separation of the two seems to make the most sense and both have gotten the best of the world with what they’ve made of the cars they produce. It appears the Phantom was able to save Rolls-Royce from being another notch on the belt of the Volkswagen Group.

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