Rolls-Royce races to catch up to demand for Cullinan SUV

Fritsches, 41, stepped into his role in September after Pedro Mota’s departure to Porsche. Fritsches had joined Rolls-Royce in 2018 as vice president of sales for the Americas region.

The German-Argentine executive has been with BMW Group since 1999 and has held several positions in sales, marketing and dealer development across the group’s other brands.

While 2019 marks the first year since 2012 that Rolls-Royce will not launch a new or redesigned product, the Cullinan arrived just after the redesigned Phantom flagship sedan in 2017, capping an influx of fresh products for its dealers.

The updated lineup has motivated many of Rolls-Royce’s 44 dealerships in the Americas region to invest.

“Most of them, they are doing refurbishment and increasing workshop capacity,” Fritsches said, noting that around half of the brand’s dealers invested in renovations or new stores in the past 12 to 18 months. “The dealers are really heavily investing.”

Nine dealerships will open new showrooms this year, including those in Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Atlanta and Chicago. Last year in Canada, three of the four Rolls-Royce dealers opened new buildings.

And as important as the Cullinan is for attracting new U.S. customers, it’s even more relevant in Canada, where the colder climate is ideal for the vehicle.

“It is also a 4×4 that will really make the difference in that country,” Fritsches said.

Last year, Rolls-Royce sold around 100 vehicles in Canada. He expects the Cullinan to lift that number to around 150 this year.

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