How China's Rich Are Souping Up Their Rolls Royces
From built-in fridges to partition walls, Rolls Royce owners in China are investing a sizable sum of cash to soup up the interiors of their ultra-luxury vehicles, the company's CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos said.
"In China, people are investing quite substantial money in the interior in the cars - not so much flashy colors on exteriors - very much interior driven: fridges, (safe) boxes, humidors, partition walls, are attractive in the market," Muller-Otvos told CNBC on the sidelines of the Shanghai Auto Sow on Friday.
Outside the mainland, he added, some high net worth individuals are going to even greater lengths to embellish their Phantom or Ghost, pointing to extravagances including starlight headliners, customized embroidery of family crests, jewelry boxes and champagne coolers as the most popular.
Muller-Otvos noted that while China - the company's second largest market after the United States - has witnessed a pullback in sales following the government's recent crackdown on conspicuous consumption among government officials, he is not worried about the slowdown in demand.
"We have seen a certain slowdown in demand. It may be a temporary effect, let's wait and see, I'm not really worried," he said.
Taking into account the growth in ultra-high net worth individuals in the world's second largest economy, that should signal a "bright future", he concluded.
China's ultra-high net worth population is expected to increase by 9 percent to 12,250 in 2013, while the combined net worth of these individuals will rise by 8 percent to reach $1.7 trillion, according to data from wealth intelligence firm Wealth X.