Rolls-Royce CEO compares Spectre EV to first Apple iPhone; flipping is prohibited

Don’t try flipping the new Rolls-Royce all-electric Spectre, or you may get blacklisted from the brand. While comparing the automaker’s first EV to the first Apple iPhone, Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös says flippers will be “immediately on a blacklist.”

In October, Rolls-Royce unveiled the Spectre, its first fully electric car, calling it the world’s first ultraluxury EV super coupe.

Despite releasing the EV just last year, electrification has been a part of the company’s history for over 100 years. Rolls-Royce Founder Charles Royce explained in 1900, “The electric car is perfectly noiseless and clean. There is no smell or vibration, and they should become very useful when fixed charging stations can be arranged.”

With charging stations rolling out at a record pace, Rolls-Royce has no more excuses. The number of charging ports in the US increased more in 2022 than in the previous three years combined.

In addition, thanks to government and private funding, the US is on track to deploy a network of 1.2 million EV chargers by 2030, up from almost 130,000.

Rolls-Royce introduced the Spectre as the next generation of the brand and successor to the Phantom Coupe.

Rolls-Royce Spectre EV reminiscent of the first iPhone?

In a recent interview with Car Dealer Magazine, Müller-Ötvös explained, “Many buyers see Spectre as the very first proposition in the ultra-luxury segment to go electric, and that is quite something,” with 40% of buyers new to the brand. He added:

It’s a similar kind of feeling as in 2007, to carry your very first iPhone in your pocket to be seen behind the wheel of a Spectre.

Unlike the iPhone, Rolls-Royce will not allow its electric Spectre super coupe to be traded like a phone. Müller-Ötvös told dealers that buyers looking to flip the Spectre for a profit would be banned from buying another Rolls-Royce model for life.

Rolls-Royce Spectre electric super coupe (Source: Rolls-Royce)

At a launch event in California, the brand’s leader said you first need to qualify for the car, and “then you might get a slot for an order.” If buyers try to resell for a profit, he says:

They’re going immediately on a blacklist and this is it – you will never ever have the chance to acquire again.

The first Rolls-Royce EV goes on sale this summer, with deliveries beginning in the fall. Prices start around $424K (£330,000), but according to the report, most will leave the factory with a price tag upward of $578K (£450,000).

Rolls-Royce Spectre illuminated fascia (Source: Rolls-Royce)

Despite the claims, some have already lined up buyers. Supercar dealer Tim Hartley, known for selling used secondhand Rolls-Royce vehicles, said he has already agreed to two $65K (£50,000) premiums for Spectre models.

Hartley disagrees with the brand’s leader, saying:

Money talks and manufacturers will never stop successful entrepreneurs, businessmen and aristocrats from selling their cars.

He says he doesn’t believe it’s “fair for car makers to tell customers who have spent close to half a million pounds on a car what they can do with it.” He added, “It’s not right. People’s circumstances change, they could have a genuine reason for the sale, such as financial problems.”

Electrek’s Take

I get where Müller-Ötvös is coming from, as he wants to protect the legacy of the brand’s first all-electric model, but to blacklist people for flipping is a little extreme.

As Hartley explains, the new Spectre will have a premium, or a window where you can sell it for more than you bought it, but it will only be a short time, and “some owners will want to cash in on that.” Many Rolls-Royce buyers are in business, and “in that world sometimes a healthy profit talks.”

What do you all think? Is Rolls-Royce out of line for blacklisting customers for flipping its first EV for a profit? Or is Müller-Ötvös on to something? Let us know in the comments.

Image credit: Rolls-Royce

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