The long-awaited Rolls-Royce Cullinan, which enjoys its world launch today, is expected to bolster an already buoyant sports utility vehicle (SUV) market in South Africa.
However the Cullinan, which was conceived four years ago in the form of an idea and sketch, will undoubtedly propel this market to even greater heights,” he predicts.
Rolls-Royce’s first-ever SUV has special significance to the South African market because it is named after the world-famous Cullinan diamond, discovered by mine superintendent Frederick Wells on January 26, 1905. The 3 106-carat stone was named after Sir Thomas Cullinan, the owner of the diamond mine in which it was found.
Naturally the Cullinan is a niche vehicle. “It is expected to represent the ultimate in luxury. And, when it arrives in South Africa, we know that it will carry a hefty price tag. However we are certain that many South African motorists will search for this vehicle – because it is enormously aspirational,” Mienie says.
While the Rolls-Royce Cullinan is expected to be at the very top of its game – in true Rolls-Royce tradition – the vehicle will be up against some stiff competition from established SUVs. Mienie reveals that, “when it comes to SUVs with a R1-million plus price tag, the BMW X5 rules the roost. It is the most searched-for SUV in this sector over the past 12 months (March 2017 to Mar 2018). It is followed by the Mercedes-Benz GLE, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Range Rover Sport,” he says.
This is the full list of most searched-for premium SUVs:
1 BMW X5
2 Mercedes-Benz GLE
3 Jeep Grand Cherokee
4 Range Rover Sport
5 BMW X6
6 Audi Q7
7 Porsche Cayenne
8 Maserati Levante
9 Mercedes-Benz G-Class
10 Toyota Land Cruiser 200
According to Marek Letowt, GM of Rolls-Royce Sandton, the distributor of Rolls-Royce in South Africa, four Cullinans will arrive in South Africa in November 2018. Pricing has yet to be announced.