Here's Why This Filipino Chose to Buy a P50 Million Rolls-Royce Cullinan


Let the good times roll. 

Rolls-Royce sold more cars in 2021 than in any other year in its 117-year history. The ultra-luxury automotive brand from Goodwood released a report on Monday (January 10) saying that sales went up 49 percent last year compared to 2020. That was enough to beat its 2019 sales record.

Even while the world is still reeling from the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Rolls-Royce maintained its lead in its segment of the automobile market, delivering a total of 5,586 vehicles to its clients. It also set all-time records in most sales regions, including Greater China, the Americas and Asia-Pacific, as well as in many other countries across the world.

Photo by Rolls-Royce.

Rolls-Royce said there was particularly high demand for its Ghost and Cullinan SUV models. It also reported record numbers for bespoke commissions, with orders already extended up to the third quarter of 2022, prompting the company to increase the number of its skilled apprentices to 37 by September.


In the report, Rolls-Royce said work capacity is currently near-maximum, with production working on two shifts at 18 hours a day to ensure on-time deliveries. Bespoke commissions include the Phantom Oribe, which is co-created with Hermès; the Phantom Tempus; Landspeed Black Badge Wraith; and Black Badge Dawn Collection cars. The company also tapped the artisans of Coachbuild for its latest masterpiece: the Rolls-Royce Boat Tail. 

Photo by Rolls-Royce.

In addition, Rolls-Royce is finally getting on the electric vehicle trend when it announced its first all-electric motor car, the Spectre, which is scheduled to be unveiled by the last quarter of 2023. The EV model is expected to usher in the new era of a full electrified lineup by 2030. 

Who are the new buyers of Rolls-Royce vehicles?

All this got us asking who the buyers are of Rolls-Royce’s exceptional vehicles. In the Philippines, few would willingly step up and admit to owning a multi-million-peso car. But at least one person we spoke to was willing to share with Esquire Philippines why he chose to buy a Rolls-Royce.

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Surprisingly, it’s not just business tycoons or industrialists who roll on a Rolls these days. Streetwear icon and art gallery owner Bigboy Cheng represents the new breed of patrons for the ultra-luxury car label. The unassuming 40-something may be a scion from old money, but he is also making moves on his own. Aside from his real estate business interests, Cheng owns Secret Fresh Gallery and has an eye for curating some of the biggest art collaborations in recent years. Clearly the new set of Rolls-Royce buyers is young, hip, and adventurous, and who wants to enjoy what they earned. Clearly a Rolls-Royce is a statement car, and you don’t let your rich dad pay for your Rolls.

Bigboy Cheng poses in front of his Rolls-Royce Cullinan

Photo by Bigboy Cheng.

“I’ve always loved SUVs, and since I am a big guy, I don’t think I will fit well inside a sports car,” Cheng said laughing when we asked why he chose a Rolls-Royce Cullinan, which is the brand’s first ultra-luxury and all-terrain SUV. “And the Cullinan is absolutely comfortable and has the best-looking interior.


“And what I love about a Rolls-Royce is its simplicity,” he added. “Nothing fancy or high-tech. It’s simply beautiful.”

Indeed, the Cullinan’s palatial and well-appointed cabin offers the ultimate jet-set experience. And it should. After all, word on the street is that, depending on the customization and specs, the car is worth about P50 million.

The interior of Bigboy Cheng's Rolls-Royce Cullinan

Photo by Bigboy Cheng.

Photo by Bigboy Cheng.

Cheng said he uses the Cullinan daily and drives it around himself to nearby places, like to his Secret Fresh Gallery in San Juan.

“Whenever I am inside the Cullinan, I feel like I’m flying first class in (an airline like) Emirates,” Cheng said. “Owning one also brings back a lot of good memories when I was traveling as a kid. My mom used to point to the car and say, “That’s a Rolls-Royce,” whenever we went to Hong Kong. So this is a dream come true for me.” Incidentally, Hong Kong has the highest number of Rolls-Royce per capita in the world.

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