Dealereships

Houston dealership earns prestigious Rolls-Royce honor

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Houston was a big winner at this year's Rolls-Royce World Dealer Conference.

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Houston

Rolls-Royce boutiques have been thriving even as the world went into lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its award ceremony at the virtual Rolls-Royce World Dealer Conference featured a number of North American dealerships, including one from Texas.

"Our dealer partners are the foundation of our extended worldwide Rolls-Royce family," said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. "They are the face, voice and living proof of our brand and its promises to our customers. These global awards recognise and celebrate their outstanding achievements, and inspire greatness in all of us. I extend my congratulations to all the winners, and my personal thanks to every individual in our dealer network around the world."

2020 Rolls-Royce Cullinan Dubai A Rolls-Royce Cullinan took on desert terrain in the United Arab Emirates in October. Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Rolls-Royce dealerships in Munich, Germany; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Tokyo, Japan; Houston, Texas; and Shanghai Pudong, China received Regional Dealer of the Year awards. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Houston is part of the larger Post Oak Motor Cars boutique. Post Oak Motor Cars is owned by businessman Tilman Fertitta, CEO of Fertitta Entertainment. It is the Gulf Coast's largest authorized Rolls-Royce dealership.

In 2018, Post Oak Motors began accepting bitcoin cryptocurrency as payment for vehicle purchases. This month, the company announced that it would begin allowing payments made in dogecoin.

Other Rolls-Royce award winners include:

  • Global Sales Dealer of the Year: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Shanghai Puxi (China)
  • Global Most Improved Dealer of the Year: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Saint Petersburg (Russia)
  • Global Ownership Services Dealer of the Year: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Seattle (United States)
  • Global Provenance Dealer of the Year: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Beverly Hills (United States)
  • Global Bespoke Dealer of the Year: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Sunningdale (United Kingdom)
  • Global CRM Excellence Award: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Fort Lauderdale (United States)
  • Social Media Excellence: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Doha (Qatar), Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Busan (South Korea), Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Hangzhou (China)

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What was your best car-related experience this year?

Chris Teague

This year has been a lot of things, but it hasn't been boring. Even if we focus only on the car world, there's plenty to talk about, from microchip-related new vehicle shortages to the wave of new electric vehicles hitting the market. That leaves us with a question for all of you: What was the best or most memorable car moment for you in 2021? I'll get the conversation started.

Porsche Cayenne GTS My SoCal Cayenne śaw snow for the first time in its nearly 200k-mile life last week.Chris Teague

I'd spent a good portion of 2021 wanting a new-old car to drive when I wasn't testing a new vehicle. That's harder than you'd think for someone who thinks, talks, and writes about cars all day, because there are so many interesting, risky, and downright funky options out there in every price range. The added headache for me was that I'd chosen to shop for a "fun" car in one of the most volatile car markets ever seen. Even the extremely high-mileage "untouchable" European cars I wanted to buy were commanding ridiculous prices.

After a solid few months of waffling between various rattletrap Mercedes-AMG, BMW M, and Audi S/RS cars, I landed on an option that had escaped me before: The Porsche Cayenne. First-generation Cayennes are a real bargain now, but the 955/957 (Porsche's internal code for the SUVs) can experience major problems that occur with or without regular maintenance and care. I was determined to buy one, and wasn't overly concerned about mileage, as long as I could count the number of owners on one hand. There was a beautiful 2009 Cayenne GTS with 90,000 miles but nine owners, a gorgeous 2004 Cayenne Turbo with a concerning engine tick, and many more just like them. Finally, I decided to risky-click a 196,000-mile Cayenne GTS in Southern California. It had one owner and one dealer-owner for a month or two prior to sale, its condition looked decent in photos, and I was able to negotiate a reasonable enough price that shipping it from San Diego to Maine wasn't a huge problem.

Porsche Cayenne GTS The pics look great, but hands-on tells another story.Chris Teague

I had two traveling Euro mechanics check the car out, and both confirmed that it was well-worn but mechanically sound, so I jumped. Ten days later, on a snowy, icy, dark Maine afternoon, the Cayenne arrived. Cosmetically, there were a few things the dealer and mechanics failed to mention, but overall, it looked good. The SUV passed Maine safety and emissions testing without problem, got a new set of Michelins, and I was on my way.

Porsche Cayenne GTS I'm in danger, but thankfully this should be a reasonable fix.Chris Teague

A few days of driving revealed what I was really in for. A check engine light revealed a camshaft position sensor error and the Cayenne displayed a nasty vibration at idle. A new sensor and motor mounts, and I'm on my way. I'll update you as more things break or miraculously work, but I want to hear your memories from 2021.

Email me at chris@automotivemap.com, and I will compile the best and most interesting stories for a story on New Year's Day. May you all have a wonderful 2022.

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Electric vehicles

NHTSA looking into Tesla's in-car video games

Some owners have discovered that their car's video games work when the car is moving.

Tesla

Tesla's vehicles are among the most advanced and forward-thinking products of any kind, but serious innovation doesn't come with tradeoffs. The automaker has been in the news recently because of issues with how its advanced cruise control systems function, and now, Autoblog reports that the NHTSA is asking questions about Tesla giving drivers the ability to play video games and browse the internet while driving.

Tesla Arcade hands-on: the Model 3 is your video game console youtu.be

The feature is intended to be used while the car is parked, such as while charging, so the discovery that people can use them while driving is a serious one. Vince Patton, the person who filed the complaint with the NHTSA, tested his car and found that he could play Solitaire and a fairly involved action game while it was in motion. Internet browsing was also possible, meaning the driver could take their attention completely off the road ahead for extended periods of time.

Tesla Model 3 Tesla's screens offer advanced functions that many others do not. Tesla

Tesla was already under investigation over crashes involving its Autopilot feature. Several collisions have occurred between Teslas and emergency vehicles stopped on the side of the road. Following the initiation of that investigation, the NHTSA raised other questions with the automaker over a buggy software update that was pushed out, retracted, fixed, and reissued outside of the normal recall process. Despite their names, it's important to clarify that neither the Autopilot nor Full Self-Driving features are capable of driving the cars without driver awareness and input.

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