Rolls-Royce executives have picked some interesting places to open dealerships as part of a global growth strategy.
The ultraluxury brand plans to open five more dealerships worldwide, for a total of 70, and three of the locales are expected to be Paris, Kiev in Ukraine, and somewhere in India, according to Automobilwoche.
Paris you can understand. It's the City of Light and playground of the chic. It's a wonder there isn't already a Rolls dealership on the Avenue de la Grande Armee or the Champs Elysees.
Kiev also makes sense. Business is doing well in many of the former Soviet bloc countries and there's already a Rolls store in Moscow, so why not one in Kiev? One Rolls exec says the company sees almost as much potential for the Russian market as there is in China, two former socialist economies.
It's interesting that one of the most opulent symbols of conspicuous consumption and capitalist decadence sees so much growth potential in Russia and China.
In the early 1900s, when India was under British rule, Rolls-Royce was a popular brand of motor car for those Indians who could afford them, such as the maharaja and his next of kin.
That changed along with many of the socioeconomic and political conditions.
A few years ago there was a marketing urban legend that there are more millionaires in India than there are people in Australia. Not even close, according to a recent survey conducted by the investment firm Merrill Lynch with the Capgemini consultancy.
Australia has a population of about 20 million. By comparison, Capgemini found 7.7 million millionaires worldwide. That includes:
But that number is rising quickly. The number of Indian millionaires rose 22 percent in just the past two years, much of it based on growth in the electronics industry there.
But India? Of course India.
That's the power of a market economy.