Rolls Royce in Australia:Dawn of a new era

File photo dated 11/04/13 of a general view of the Rolls Royce logo at the Learning and Career Development Centre at Derby. The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has opened a criminal investigation into bribery and corruption allegations at Rolls-Royce.. Issue date: Monday December 23, 2013. The disclosure comes a year after Rolls said it was co-operating with the SFO after its own investigations identified matters of concern involving intermediaries in overseas markets. See PA story CITY Rolls. Photo credit should read: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Rolls Royce, traditionally the plaything of the well-to-do man about town, hopes to attract more women.

The car maker on Wednesday took to Sydney Harbour to launch its new convertible Dawn’ as it moves to get more females behind the wheel of the world’s most prestigious car brand.

Sydney car enthusiasts were the first in the Asia Pacific to catch a glimpse of the new soft-top, two-door prototype, with the car unveiled to the media on top of a luxury super yacht sailing the harbour.

The car is a departure from the formal models Rolls Royce is known for, like the Phantom and Ghost.

As a result, the customers that are lining up to buy Dawn aren’t your usual Rolls Royce faithful.

‘What we see from early indications is that almost two thirds are really new to Rolls Royce as a brand,’ Rolls Royce Asia Pacific general manager Michael Schneider told AAP.

‘So they might have considered Rolls Royce previously, but now they’ve made that decision, made that step to order Dawn because it gives them what they see as essential in a car.

‘Marketed as a ‘social’ car – a car for everyday use, Dawn will be fully customiseable, offering customers a chance to be a part of the process.

Dawn project manager, Jonathan Shears, says he’s had customers look through their family photos and try to recreate memories through their car modification team Bespoke.

‘The customers really latched on to that, and said actually I really want to tell my story.

‘Last year, all of the cars sold in Australia came with some sort of customised item.Considering the base ticket price for Dawn is $749,000 on road, the modifications won’t come cheap.

The British car maker, who is owned by BMW, is keen to expand its female customer base, saying for the first time, there is an equal share between male and female customers coming to the dealerships.

‘Rolls Royce is not a man’s brand anymore,’ Mr Schneider said.’They (women) won’t shy away from driving a car like this.

‘While the company is staying tight lipped on how many pre-order buyers it has already secured for Dawn since its September global launch, it is saying sales are above expectations.

Since 2009, the company’s global sales have more than quadrupled.

Rolls Royce Dawn in numbers: Price: $749,000 on road 0-100km/h in 4.9

seconds Top speed: 250 km/h Engine: 6.6L V12 Horse power: 563 hpAAP

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