British carmaker Rolls Royce continues to make inroads into China’s car market with its new Pinnacle Travel Phantom car featuring its customization program, Bespoke. Beginning with its debut in Beijing in April, Rolls Royce is now bringing back its “Signature Journey–National Test Drive Roadshow” event in Chengdu, where its full line of Bespoke cars will ride on China’s three ancient trade routes.
“As the continuation of the Pinnacle Travel Phantom event this year, Signature Journey—National Test Drive Roadshow 2014 is going to showcase Rolls Royce’s prowess for Bespoke and present the ultimate enjoyment for Chinese customers during the journey,” said Henrik Wilhelmsmeyer, director of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars China, in a press release provided to China Daily.
The event will be a test drive on the historic trade routes of the Tea-Horse Road, the Silk Road, and the Shanxi Merchants Road. This event began in Chengdu, Sichuan province 2013, and returns this year. According to the press release, the ancient routes historically not only connected eastern and western China for trade but also helped merge different cultures.
This China-exclusive event also makes it symbolic for Rolls Royce’s booming venture into China—in 2013, it managed to outperform other premium car brands such as Lamborghini and Ferrari with more sales for cars costing $200,000 and up, despite a general slump in the luxury industry.
Furthermore, the British brand reported an 11 percent growth in China from 2012 to 2013, and according to consulting firm McKinsey & Co., the annual growth rate of the luxury car industry is projected to be 12 percent through 2020. Rolls Royce’s 2013 financial figures showed that China contributed 28 percent of the brand’s global sales of 3,630 vehicles, making the country its top market for the second time in three years, beating out the United States for the top spot. As a result, the British carmaker is planning on adding five more China dealerships this year to its current 20.