My Car Quest

August 3, 2021

Editorial: US Car Companies Miss An Opportunity

I know we have written about this subject recently but it is frustrating that there are no US car companies trying to compete with Rolls Royce. Is the ultra luxury car market really that uninteresting? – Mike Gulett, Editor

by Wallace Wyss –

The announcement by Rolls Royce that the Dawn convertible and Wraith two door coupe would no longer be imported to the US surprised me. You would think they would still be shipping replacements until they cease production.

Is it because they are going hybrid or full electric in the next generation? They showed an electric sedan a few years ago only to be met by a collective yawn. Nobody wanted it. But that was then and this is now: the market is moving.

Cadillac Sixteen

Cadillac Sixteen

Now that several cities in Europe are thinking of having “electric only” zones, owning a car that can at least be switched to electric, like a hybrid, is more important than it was.

So I’m pretty sure the replacements for those two cars will be hybrid or full electric. But first I feel insulted that the US, which has so many celebs driving Dawns and Wraiths, is not even considered an important market while those models will still be marketed in other countries.

2006 Chrysler Imperial Concept

2006 Chrysler Imperial Concept – Back in 2006, Chrysler showed a 300-based concept for a car I think could have sold for $130,000–and maybe $150,000- for a four seat opera door convertible. Now in 2021 they don’t have any car that could fill in for a Rolls as Rolls pulls two models off U.S. showroom floors.

Secondly I lament that no America automaker has stepped up to the beginning rung in the luxury car ladder in recent years to offer a model that’s the best of the best to compete with Rolls.

Bob Lutz, a few years ago, when he was with GM, championed a Cadillac Sixteen. It would have used a 16-cylinder. If that car had been launched then and refined, by now, a decade or so later, they could have had a hybrid or full electric version to vault for the vacated positions Rolls has created by pulling out their two top of the line models.

And think if the Dawn is what, over $300,000, even at $200,000 retail GM would make more profit on a super luxury car than any other car they make. After Lutz left GM, GM showed the Cadillac Ciel convertible concept and a matching coupe. While I can’t take the ragtop completely seriously since it had no working top to show, it was as grand a conveyance as any Dawn. I sat in it. I watched it run and drive. I love the video (on YouTube).

2006 Chrysler Imperial Concept

2006 Chrysler Imperial Concept

But GM’s Board shot down the Sixteen, and later the Ciel and its coupe variant, so now here we are in 2022 with no GM car, no Chrysler car, no Ford car even able to think of competing with a model that could aspire to match the majesty of those two ultimate luxury car vacancies. Kind of like the most famous restaurant in NYC closing but nobody fighting to bring their restaurant there, saying “Gee, we would like to, but sorry, we only make hamburgers,”.

Bob, where are you when we need you?

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss is the author of 18 car books and the co-host of Autotalk, which airs weekly on KUCR FM Riverside.

 
 
 

 

 

On a site called Auto Channel, in a story by Alex Kreetzer, he predicts Rolls, owned by the BMW Group, “could be developing a full-electric prototype, based on the iconic Phantom or even a brand new addition to the model lineup.”

The new car could include new electric motors from the upcoming BMW i7, despite the car most likely being double the size.

Kreetzer predicts the model could be named the ‘Silent Shadow’, a name trademarked by Rolls-Royce early last year, and could feature what he describes as “a colossal 100 kWh battery which should easily exceed 300 miles on a single charge.”

With the new BMW i7 to be officially revealed in 2022, we could see the first electric Rolls-Royce vehicle as soon as 2023.

Rolls Royce Logo

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Editorial: US Car Companies Missed An Opportunity
Article Name
Editorial: US Car Companies Missed An Opportunity
Description
GM's Board shot down the Sixteen, and later the Ciel and its coupe variant, so now here we are near 2022 with no GM car, no Chrysler car, no Ford car able to think of competing with a model that could aspire to match the majesty of the cars Rolls Royce dropped from the market.
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Comments

  1. Glenn Krasner says

    And, yet, Rolls Royce will be soon selling ‘bespoke” boat tail Rolls Royce cars here, costing multiple millions of dollars each – I have seen the estimate range from $26 million to $36 million per car. The American car companies are really just interested in selling as high a volume possible of SUVs, the more loaded with options, the better, for maximum profit margins. They don’t even want to sell bread & butter sedans anymore, let alone luxury sedans. Their strategy will end up biting them in the ass, like it always does. Glenn in Brooklyn, NY.

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