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Torsten Muller-Otvos, CEO Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Torsten Müller-Ötvös is an experienced official in the auto industry, having spearheaded project management for MINI during the years of 2000 to 2003. He was a staple ingredient in MINI's success as an international brand and auto manufacturer and also took on responsibility for central marketing and brand management at BMW in 2004. He has brought such knowledge to Rolls-Royce Motor Cars since March 2010 as the company's CEO.

3 Questions with Torsten Müller-Ötvös

1. How do you keep your work on the cutting edge?

Rolls-Royce has a rich 107-year history. But, in the 21st century our cars stand as a statement of modernity and a testament to measures we take to keep our company at the cutting edge. That can include the latest in-car technologies, such as the fully-LED headlamps fitted as standard for Phantom Series II. Or it can mean delivering creative marketing campaigns that bring the company to an entirely new audience such as the Rankin Spirit of Ecstasy photographic commission to celebrate the centenary of our iconic hood figurine. At Rolls-Royce we often say that reinvention is part of the timeless appeal of our brand. So I’d say it’s important to be open to new ideas, opportunities and market potential. And never rest on your laurels.

2. How do you reset yourself to become creative (do you have any rituals?)

That’s very easy; I take a walk along the production line at the home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood. I talk to the people I’m lucky enough to work with including the craftspeople based in our wood and leather shops. When you witness their pride, and the passion they put into creating these hand-crafted masterpieces, it’s impossible not to be inspired. That, above all, drives my creativity.

3. What is an example of a time where you have thrown away an existing idea to force yourself to find something new?

Embracing social media. In the past we were perhaps not so open to exploring the potential of channels like Facebook and Twitter. My view was that these must be part of our marketing and PR mix. Even if many of those using social media are not current Rolls-Royce customers, nor are they likely to be anytime soon, they can nevertheless be ambassadors and aspire to own one of our beautiful cars. So I felt we had to be more open. We had to understand that our customer base is becoming increasingly mobile, tech-savvy and younger, particularly our Ghost clients.
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