GM Krisda Sawamiphakdi, on the future of Rolls-Royce

We sat down with Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Bangkok GM, Krisda Sawamiphakdi, to talk about the future of the brand, going electric, and why 2023 will be a pivotal year for the ultra-luxury brand.

It’s official. Rolls-Royce’s first all-electric car will arrive at the end of 2023. Although that wouldn’t have happened new news for the always up to date Rolls-Royce enthusiast, it’s undeniably exciting all the same. Aptly titled “Specter”, the model of the same name draws inspiration from the ephemeral and almost wonderful appearances that are beyond our world – a fitting title for the next era of Rolls-Royce.

General Manager Krisda Sawamiphakdi

As we prepare for what will inevitably be a new era for the brand, we had the pleasure of sitting down with Krisda Sawamiphakdi, General Manager of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Bangkok. With over 20 years of experience in the capital markets, it has been more than 3 years since the educated British Krisda took the reins of Rolls-Royce Bangkok, where he now heads one of the many business units under the auspices of MGC Asia. . Always charismatic, lovable and a true visionary, Krisda shared his views on the future of Rolls-Royce, as well as the dawn of the world’s first truly ultra-luxury electric vehicle.

Rolls-Royce does not chase volume – Rolls-Royce strives to do so perfection

“We sell luxury and deliver customer experience. We don’t just sell cars, ”says Krisda, explaining that every Rolls-Royce is designed to appeal to all five senses, even the air you breathe. “Everything has been thought of, to the point that when you open the door it doesn’t rain on you. When you step into a Rolls-Royce, you will breathe the cleanest air of any car.

“Our cars are designed to be your private sanctuary, whether you drive or drive yourself. The Phantom, for example, is our flagship product. It’s the quietest, most luxurious and arguably the best car in the world. ”He goes on to say that the Rolls-Royce New Ghost took five years to prepare and was the result of interviewing existing Ghost and Rolls-Royce owners from around the world. . “We asked them what they wanted in the New Ghost to make it even more luxurious. We updated our technology to make our cars quieter and smoother, like driving above the clouds. It’s known as the magic carpet ride, that’s what that our customers wanted and is only available here at Rolls-Royce. “

Rolls-Royce’s future is electric

“For Rolls-Royce, electric cars are coming and they’re here to stay,” Krisda tells us, “The Specter is just the first of other models that will inevitably follow.” She further explains that the move was due to a combination of two things. “The first thing is the legal requirements. By 2030 in Europe, all new cars sold will need to be electric. The move is also to answer the call of our increasingly young clientele who demand – who is want – an electrified Rolls-Royce.

As for why the brand decided to switch from combustion engines to fully electric, skipping the idea of ​​a transitional hybrid model altogether, Krisda explains that it’s due to the Rolls-Royce philosophy. “What Rolls-Royce will never do is rename an existing model,” he simply says, “we will never take the engine off an existing model and just put a load of batteries in the bottom.”

Each Rolls-Royce model has been painstakingly designed to meet the very specific needs of its target segment, and Rolls-Royce’s first ultra-luxury electric vehicle would be no different. “We are already taking pre-orders now, for customers who are familiar with Rolls-Royce or for those who want their car early. We hope to have some cars in our showroom by the fourth quarter of 2023. Preparations need to be done sooner, of course. We must be an EV certified dealership capable of selling electric vehicles. We will need certified technicians who can repair these vehicles and the dealership will need to be equipped with battery chargers and other necessary facilities. “

From the burning deserts to the Arctic Circle, Specter will have seen it all

“I’m not going to mention anything about the specs because I’m not the designer, and this information hasn’t been revealed,” Krisda admits with a cheery smile, “but here’s how the Specter designer put it. It will be the most luxurious electric vehicle in the world. It will feel comfortable, look and feel like a Rolls-Royce in every inch, with performance to match. “

Krisda continues to share that planning, research and ultimately testing are all taken very seriously by Rolls-Royce. “We are the only car manufacturer that produces over 90% of hand-made cars, built in just one place in the world, which is at Goodwood in West Sussex, England.” Indeed, in early May, Krisda was lucky enough to be one of the first 300 people in the world to see the Specter at Goodwood, the home of Rolls-Royce. “It was at our annual worldwide dealer conference,” he tells us, “there’s only one Specter out there at the moment, and it’s been withdrawn from its global testing for us to see. The Specter will have to travel 2.5 million. miles across the world in all conditions, and it came to us from the arctic circle at -40 degrees centigrade.

According to Krisda, that mileage equates to 400 years of average Rolls-Royce use. “You learn more from testing in monsoon rain, in the desert or on all kinds of different terrain. Any tweaking and tweaking that needs to be done will not be overlooked, so it will be nothing short of perfect when launched. This is how we do things. “

Every launch of a new Rolls-Royce model was a success, as was The Specter

“Each model has its place in the product range, which is why with each new model, Rolls-Royce has never had a failed launch in its history. When we launched The Cullinan, named after the largest diamond in the world, we knew we had to be in the SUV space because the demand for SUVs would always increase and that demand continues to grow today. The All-New-Ghost 2020 has been our most successful model to date and I am absolutely 100% confident that The Specter will eclipse it.

Krisda’s trust is entirely understandable. A two-door coupe, The Specter is likely to appeal to both current Rolls-Royce owners and a young and successful target segment. “It was specially designed to answer the call of their driving, usage and lifestyle habits.”

Rolls-Royce is the pinnacle of luxury

Taking bespoke services and personalization to new heights, each Rolls-Royce car has been painstakingly designed to meet the very specific needs of each individual customer. “You can choose from 44,000 colors,” Krisda shares. When we ask ourselves why, he follows with a fascinating tidbit of information. “It is because this is the entire spectrum of colors that the eyes can see. Anything beyond 44,000 colors, which I think is enough, the eyes can’t differentiate anymore. ”

Of course, for discerning customers who simply want to do things their way, Rolls-Royce offers the option of creating a completely new, bespoke shade. At Rolls-Royce, the possibilities are endless. “For example, a customer got success mining granite and asked Goodwood to turn the first piece of granite he had ever excavated into a bespoke watch.” Crisda continued. “Let’s say, for example, you were born on January 1, 1980. We can get the constellation of stars over Bangkok at that precise moment and reproduce it for you with thousands of hand-stitched fiber optic cables under the canvas in your machine. One of our signature options. Our bespoke services are unmatched by any other automobile manufacturer in the world. “

You become a Rolls-Royce owner when you are ready

One interesting thing we learn from Krisda is that the Rolls-Royce clientele is constantly evolving. “There is a change,” she explains, “the people who buy our cars are getting younger and requiring more customization, more individuality. Our clients are entrepreneurs who are achieving success first. We have a huge number of young and wealthy entrepreneurs who aren’t afraid of owning a Rolls-Royce at an early age. We are also seeing more female owners. You become a Rolls-Royce owner when you are ready, regardless of age, regardless of gender. “

After Covid-19, now more than ever is the time to live your life

Interestingly, the pandemic hasn’t hindered Rolls-Royce. Rather, Krisda tells us that 2021 was the brand’s most successful year in its 118-year history, delivering 5,586 cars worldwide. “A number of automakers in the upper segment, along with luxury brands, have all had pretty good years. I think what Covid-19 taught us is, live your life, don’t hesitate. You deserve it, so why wait.

As the pandemic begins to shift towards an endemic, the enigmatic CEO believes people will only travel more and willing to indulge. “You have to erase that perception you may have had, that you have to wait up to 50 years to own a Rolls-Royce. No, the pandemic has taught us to live our life. You are not ready for something when you reach a certain age, you will know when you’re ready.”

To learn more about the Rolls-Royce Specter, visit rolls-roycemotorcars.com.