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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Rolls-Royce turns 104. Yeah, Detroit probably missed that one.

Detroit may have invented the modern assembly line as we know it, but Rolls-Royce (launched, March 15, 1906), seems to have been the more consistent automaker since that time. The Spirit of Ecstasy (or “Emily”, or “Silver Lady” or “Flying Lady” hasn’t changed the way that a Pepsi changes a logo either. Having worked on the brand, those are names that come to define the logos, not unlike the names other brands give theirs. One of the things you notice beyond that though is the uncompromising focus on quality. How wood for the interior is shaped by hand. The limited number produced each year—which sell out ahead of time.

You know. Quality.

You could say they know their market the way Ford knows a Focus appeals to certain customer in the U.S. Maybe though it’s that a Rolls-Royce always knew its target and what they expected, and delivers against it without diluting its brand. No bling for the urban market. No Minivan knock-off. It’s obvious that the heritage of the brand is always front and center. You also find out quickly that the name is never written or said as just Rolls. Like a few other luxury brands, they have guidelines in place for not just how a word is to be used, but also the tone of writing.

Maybe it’s that singular focus on quality in every aspect of what they do that has kept them top of mind for so long when it comes to the idea of luxury. Or maybe it’s trivia like how you can supposedly drive from The North Pole to the Equator and the inside temperature will not vary plus or minus one degree.

Pretty sure a Charger isn’t doing that.

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