Rolls-Royce owners from across North America are gathering this week in Troy, MI, for their annual meet, trading stories about their cars, the brand and its history. Last year’s event was in Lake Tahoe, CA.
In addition to the Saturday car show at Troy city park, club members are visiting the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant in Detroit, Yankee Air Museum in Belleville, the General Motors Heritage Center, Henry Ford Museum and Ford Rouge plant in Dearborn.
Many Rolls-Royce owners will be attending and displaying cars this weekend at the Concours d'Elegance of America in nearby Plymouth.
On Wednesday, Martin Fritsches, president of Rolls-Royce Motor Car Americas, visited the event to talk with owners and journalists about the brand, which dates to 1906 and sold a record-setting 4,107 vehicles in 2018. He says the brand is having another strong year, having sold about 2,500 vehicles in the first half.
For the first time ever, Rolls-Royce has five vehicles in its lineup: Phantom flagship, Ghost sedan, Wraith coupe, Dawn convertible and, for the past year, the Cullinan SUV. The Cullinan went on sale in May 2018, and the first models were delivered in November.
Rolls-Royce sales plummeted in the 1970s and 1980s due to lack of strategy and increasingly poor product. But BMW Group acquired the naming rights in 1998 and has operated Rolls-Royce as a subsidiary since then.
For the eighth-generation Phantom and new Cullinan, BMW designed a dedicated architecture for Rolls-Royce vehicles that is scalable and will underpin future vehicles.
All Rolls-Royce vehicles are assembled in Goodwood, U.K., essentially by hand.