Despite tough economic times Rolls-Royce Motor Cars reckons there is plenty of scope for sales of its super high-end vehicles in New Zealand.
The 107-year-old carmaker officially opened its first Kiwi showroom, in Auckland, last night.
"We believe there's demand for our product and we think it's appropriate to - for the first time in Rolls-Royce's history - have an official showroom here," said company sales and marketing director Jolyon Nash. "It provides the right environment to deal with Rolls-Royce customers."
But he would not predict how many of the vehicles, which can cost more than $700,000, might be sold in New Zealand annually.
"There are certain things we try to keep commercially confidential."
The dealership, in Great South Rd, is owned by Team McMillan BMW, which has been providing Rolls-Royce owners with service and workshop facilities for seven years.
Director Bob McMillan said market research had been done to ensure the showroom would be viable.
The Ghost and Phantom Rolls-Royce models would be on display.
Customers will be able to order cars - configured to their personal preferences using colour, wood and leather samples - from England.
Nash said Rolls-Royce had a record year last year, selling 3500 cars.
Emerging markets are driving the firm's growth, with China now its biggest market, just ahead of the United States.
McMillan said sales staff would not be sitting in the Newmarket showroom waiting for prospective customers to appear.
"We're purposefully going out and talking to people and showing and providing the product for 24-hour, possibly 48-hour and even longer test drives."
Rolls-Royce Ghost, extended wheel base
Engine: 6.6-litre V12 twin turbo producing 563 horsepower
Acceleration: 0-100km/h in five seconds
Top Speed: 250km/h
Fuel consumption: 13.6 litres per 100km