Rolls-Royce announced today it opened its largest showroom, but the location comes as no surprise: Abu Dhabi, smack dab in the middle of the wealthy United Arab Emirates.
The United States remains Rolls-Royce's single largest market, but the Middle East is perhaps the marque's second most important customer base. Global sales for the luxury automaker jumped 171 percent in 2010, and Rolls CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös attributes 15 percent of the 2711 cars sold last year to the region alone. As a result, the company has taken a number of steps -- including crafting new special-edition models and opening new dealerships -- to capitalize on this market growth.
The new showroom in Abu Dhabi is the eighth Rolls-Royce dealer in the Middle East, but it is undoubtedly the largest to date. According to the company, the showroom itself has nearly 9688 square feet of floor space. That's apparently more than enough space to generously position five vehicles - or one of each Rolls-Royce model lines, if you count the Phantom Extended Wheelbase as a discrete model -- on the showroom floor, along with a number of amenities designed to pamper the customer. A coffee bar and configuration lounge (which contains color and trim samples) are part of the showroom, which is also directly linked to a new dedicated service facility.
"The opening in Abu Dhabi represents one of a line of new and expanded Rolls-Royce showrooms, which have been unveiled throughout the region in the last 18 months," Müller-Ötvös said. "These investments underline the continuing confidence that the company sees in the Rolls-Royce brand across the Middle East."
Rolls-Royce also used the grand opening as a venue to show off its limited-edition Spirit of Ecstasy Phantom Drophead Coupe, which was constructed to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the brand's mascot. We wouldn't be surprised if a sizable portion of the 100-car production run is ultimately sold through this very showroom.