April 10, 2024

Torsten Müller-Otvos, the current Chief Executive Officer of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, will retire on 30 November 2023. Chris Brownridge, the current Chief Executive Officer of BMW UK, will succeed him.

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  • Torsten Müller-Otvos, CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, announces his retirement.
  • Torsten is Rolls-Royce’s longest-serving CEO since Claude Johnson – the man who was known as ‘the hyphen of Rolls-Royce.’
  • Rolls-Royce has been a luxury house for 14 years, and during that time, it has evolved from the pinnacle of automotive manufacturing to a true luxury brand.
  • During his tenure, the sales of ‘UK plc grew six-fold, bringing economic benefits worth millions to ‘UK plc.’
  • The first all-electric Rolls-Royce was introduced in the 120-year-old history of the marque and opened the door to an all-electric future for Rolls-Royce by 2030
  • The brand is now in a strong position on the market, with ambitious plans to expand the headquarters of the marque at Goodwood, West Sussex.
  • Chris Brownridge, the current Chief Executive Officer of BMW UK, will succeed him on 1 December 2023.

Torsten Müller-Otvos, the current Chief Executive Officer of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, will retire on 30 November 2023. Chris Brownridge, the current Chief Executive Officer of BMW UK, will succeed him.

Torsten became the Chief Executive of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, a company he joined in 2010. He is the longest-serving CEO since Claude Johnson – the man who was known as ‘the hyphen’ in Rolls-Royce.

Torsten commented on the announcement: “Leading Rolls-Royce over the past 14 years has been my greatest professional privilege and pleasure.” It has been an amazing adventure to grow the company with its world-class employees and get it to where it is today, the pinnacle in the luxury industry. “I am proud of my team’s and my contribution to the UK’s economy and global recognition for Britain’s ability in producing the best luxury products in the world.”

Oliver Zipse is the Chief Executive Officer of BMW Group. He said: “Rolls-Royce Motor Cars are a jewel on our crown.” Torsten’s leadership, unwavering commitment, vision, and ability to build an exceptional team have made Rolls-Royce a world-class luxury company. “We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

Torsten has transformed Rolls-Royce from an automobile manufacturer into a true luxury brand, renowned worldwide for its exquisite motor vehicles, unmatched Bespoke capabilities, and a deep understanding of the needs, tastes, and desires of international clients.

This transformation has led to a remarkable commercial success. The annual sales of Rolls-Royce have risen from 1,000 cars in 2009 to more than 6,000 by 2022. Every Rolls-Royce, which leaves the Global Centre of Luxury Manufacturing Excellence at Goodwood in West Sussex, has been made bespoke, according to the wishes of the customer who commissioned it.

Rolls-Royce has always been a leader in luxury thanks to its constant focus on Bespoke. This is achieved through the highest level of craftsmanship, artistic and technological creativity, and innovation. Torsten has led the marque to produce some of its most iconic one-of-a-kind motor cars. These include several that were co-created by world-renowned artists, fashion designers, and luxury houses. Coachbuild, the company’s bespoke division, has re-invigorated traditional coachbuilding techniques for a modern era. The most recent example of this is the Droptail, revealed in August.

Torsten’s appointment was made when Goodwood only produced two models: Phantom and Ghost. Rolls-Royce Wraith, Dawn, and Cullinan were all introduced under his leadership. Spectre is the first ultra-luxury, electric super coupe in the world. It marks the beginning of the transition of the marque to a completely electric product portfolio by 2030. Torsten was also responsible for the conception and launch of Black Badge, an edgier Rolls-Royce alter-ego. This bold move has increased the appeal of the brand.

Rolls-Royce’s success has been boosted by the introduction of new models, the expansion of Bespoke, and the strategic shift to super-luxury. These factors have attracted a whole new generation of customers to the brand. In 2010, the average Rolls-Royce cost was around EUR250,000, and the average customer was 56 years old. Today, the average Rolls-Royce costs around EUR500,000. The average Rolls-Royce owner is only 43.

The rejuvenation of the marque is part of an industry-wide reshaping that has taken place over the last decade. Torsten’s leadership is based on his willingness to embrace new technologies and think differently based on Rolls-Royce’s understanding of the tastes and desires of its customers. The unique Private Office boutiques and the Whispers App, a digital membership club for owners of a Goodwood-era Rolls-Royce, illustrate the way Rolls-Royce delivers the brand to clients all over the world.

Torsten stated, “Whether I was with them in person or virtually via Whispers, the time spent with the inspiring people on whom the brand is built has been a great joy and an education. It gave me a unique, finely tuned understanding of the way luxury is defined all over the world.”

Torsten has led Rolls-Royce to such success that it now contributes more than half a billion dollars to the UK’s economy each year. The company is one of the biggest employers in West Sussex. Its team has grown from 300 employees to over 2,500, with more than 50 nationalities.

Torsten continued, “I think the company is ready for the future and all of its opportunities.” Recently, we submitted plans to expand our Goodwood facility to meet the demand for more Bespoke products and Coachbuild. These are the areas that make us unique, and I’m extremely proud of them.

When I leave Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, I am looking forward to new professional challenges and having more time to explore the great fly-fishing river systems of the world! Chris Brownridge is the new leader of this amazing marque, and I wish him all the best. We have assembled a team of some of the most innovative, talented, and dedicated minds in the automotive and luxury industries over the past 14 years. “I’m confident they will continue to add remarkable chapters to a story like no other.”

Chris Brownridge, who has been Chief Executive Officer at BMW UK since 2021, will join Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. Oliver Zipse commented on Brownridge’s appointment: “Chris Brownridge has a wealth of experience and a proven track record. I am confident he will continue to build on Rolls-Royce Motor Cars’ success, and lead Rolls-Royce Motor Cars forward into an all-electric future.”

Chris has been with the BMW Group for almost 30 years, beginning as a 1995 graduate. Chris was a member of different roles of the UK Board since 2011 before he became CEO. These included Sales Director BMW UK as well as BMW UK Marketing, and MINI Regional Director UK and Ireland.

Chris stated, “I am both humbled and honoured by my new position.” It is a great privilege to be asked to lead the British brand at this pivotal time in its remarkable and long history. Rolls-Royce, one of the most recognizable, desired, and influential brands in the world, is held in high regard and affection. This is a testament to Rolls-Royce’s magnificent products, its close relationship with clients, and, most importantly, the outstanding team that I am about to join. I am also aware of the incredible legacy of which we’re the proud custodians and that all we do adds and builds on that unique heritage.

“It’s a great honor to succeed Torsten as CEO. Rolls-Royce today is in a strong position and confident for the future thanks to Torsten’s vision and ambition over the past 14 years. I am thrilled to be a part of Rolls-Royce’s story, and look forward in embracing the opportunities and challenges that await us all .”

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