Looks like quite a few nuggets came out of the Shanghai Auto Show this week, many of them from BMW. BMW already scored some bigtime headlines with their CS Concept, but it looks like there was big news from corporate cousin Rolls-Royce, too. Chairman and CEO Ian Robertson told reporters that Rolls-Royce plans to launch its new "smaller" model by the end of the decade. Talk of a baby Roller has persisted, but this appears to be the first public acknowledgment of an entry-level model with some specific time frame and pricing info.
"We are working on a smaller car," Robertson said, "A relatively smaller car." We don't know how much smaller it will be than the Phantom, but the pricetag is expected to be one-third smaller. The car should slot in between the Phantom and 7-Series, at least until a production version of the CS appears. A smaller, cheaper Rolls could help the company double their current sales volume of about 800 cars annually. A second assembly line will be added in an update to the Goodwood plant to handle the new model. Shanghai was an appropriate locale for the announcement as China has the second largest dealer network behind only the United States. The number of Chinese dealers will grow to seven when two more are added in the next year or so.