General Manager, Canada Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
Matthew Wilson, 43, started as RollsRoyce Motor Cars’ Canada-based general manager in February, putting an executive in charge of the Great White North for the first time in the carmaker’s 116-year history. It’s a significant step for a company that typically sells a bit more than 100 ultraluxury cars a year in Canada. Rolls-Royce sells 3,000 to 5,000 vehicles a year, globally.
Why the change? It was time for the brand to carve out an identity in Canada separate from that of the United States. For Wilson — who previously was national manager of product planning for the Canadian operations of Rolls Royce’s parent, BMW — the move requires rethinking how to run a car company.
Catering to clients who demand a bespoke car that is uniquely theirs — and pay as much as a 40 per cent premium over the suggested retail price — requires a single-minded focus on the relationship and the understanding of what the client wants, and then seeing that vision through to completion with the factory in Goodwood, England, Wilson said.
IN HIS OWN WORDS:
“As soon as I saw this [job], I knew it was the right opportunity for me. This was the biggest shift, not like anything I expected. I feel like I’ve left the industry, left the group, because the business model is so different.”