Rolls-Royce celebrates 80th showroom at Auto Shanghai 2007

Rolls-Royce announced at Auto Shanghai that the company’s 80th showroom in the world has just been opened in Chengdu. The opening of the fifth Rolls-Royce showroom in Greater China signifies the company’s confidence in the region’s continued growth.

The appointed Rolls-Royce Motor Cars dealer is Chengdu Sanhe Automobile Technique Co., Ltd which will operate a new 400 sq.m. showroom at the Singapore Industrial Park located in the Hi-tech District in Chengdu. The other Rolls-Royce showrooms in Greater China are located in Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Ian Robertson, Chairman and CEO, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said, “We are delighted to announce the opening of our new showroom in Chengdu. China is a very important market for Rolls-Royce, with sales in 2006 growing by more than 60 per cent, making the region our third largest market in the world behind the USA and the UK. We anticipate further growth in China and expect to open further showrooms later this year.”

Mr Robertson unveiled the new Phantom Drophead Coupé at Auto Shanghai, the first time the new convertible has been seen in the Asia Pacific region. Production of the new model will begin at the company’s UK manufacturing plant at Goodwood, England in the summer.

The two-door, four-seat convertible is a less formal interpretation of classic Rolls-Royce design than its four-door stable mate, the Phantom. Using the lightweight rigidity of an all-aluminium spaceframe, it marries modern technology to a sleek, streamlined convertible body.

Some of the special design features of the Phantom Drophead Coupé are:

An optional brushed steel bonnet and rear teak deck. The bonnet is machine brushed before being hand finished to ensure a uniform grain throughout;

An advanced aluminium spaceframe. Lightweight and exceptionally strong, it requires over 120 metres of hand-welding;

A picnic boot with a split tail compartment which opens in two parts, giving easy access to 315 litres of space. The lower tailgate provides a comfortable seating platform for two adults when lowered;

A fabric hood which is the largest of any modern convertible car and uses five layers of material to insulate the interior;

Power supplied by a 6.75 litre naturally aspirated V12 engine giving brisk performance and a 0-60mph time of 5.7 seconds.

Hand-built using the finest quality materials to the exacting standards of Rolls-Royce, the new Phantom Drophead Coupé is exciting customers around the world and attracting large numbers of new buyers to the brand. More than half the orders placed for the car are from customers who have never owned a Rolls-Royce before.

Listening to the A5’s heartbeat and horn

Audi has done a great job of staying in the news lately, and the one product that’s gotten the most face time is the brand-new A5. From the minute pictures of Audi’s newest coupe were released to the media dogs, the A5 has been everywhere. We’ve posted several times on the A5 and S5, and about possible convertible and RS models. You’ve all seen the pics, but most of us hasn’t heard the roar of the engine, or the sound of the… turn signal? Continue reading Listening to the A5’s heartbeat and horn

Altima coupe on sale in May

We recently told you about the pricing of the new Altima Coupe. What we didn’t know at the time was when we would see the sharp fwd coupe on showroom floors. Well, now we do. The release date has been announced as May 25. Just in time for summertime buyers to get out and enjoy stretching the legs of this G35-for-the-common-man-or-woman. As we reported, the new coupe will start at $20,490, plus a $625 destination charge, making G35-coupe-like looks easily attainable. Continue reading Altima coupe on sale in May

Shanghai Auto Show: Geely Mybo II concept

We showed you spy shots of this car earlier in the week, but our man on the floor in Shanghai met up with the Geely Meirenbao II on the show floor today. Apparently the Meirenbao on display today is the second generation of an earlier concept produced by Geely. The new model’s front clip has been compared by some to an R34 Nissan Skyline. We’ve got plenty of live shots showing the car from every angle, so we’ll let you be the judge of whether or not the Skyline has influenced Geely’s designers. This the first time we’ve seen the rear of the Meirenbao, and it appears as disconnected from the vehicle’s overall design as we guessed. We also noticed it would take a good arm to swing a suitcase or grocery bag up over that extremely high trunk lid.

Like most Chinese automakers, Geely exclaims its intent on entering the North American every chance it gets. We’re wondering what kind of reception a design like this would receive cruising down Woodward Ave. Either way, Geely gets an E for effort.

[Source: Autoblog Chinese]

Chrysler workers making long shot bid to buy automaker

The Detroit News is reporting that a group of 25 Chrysler employees in Toledo have formed a group called the “Employee Buyout Committee” and are actively exploring the necessary steps required to see the fate of Chrysler end up in the hands of its employees. Their proposal would give Chrysler employees a 70% stake in the automaker, with DaimlerChrysler retaining the remaining 30%. Continue reading Chrysler workers making long shot bid to buy automaker

Shanghai Auto Show: Buick Riviera Concept officially unveiled

GM publicly pulled the wraps off its Riviera concept car in Shanghai, releasing an avalanche of photos, sketches, and renderings, as well. The Riv was designed at the General’s China-based Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC), and according to design honcho Ed Welburn, it is a rolling showcase of design themes that we should be seeing on the next generation of midsized Buick sedans. Continue reading Shanghai Auto Show: Buick Riviera Concept officially unveiled