Accordingly, we move on to the heart of the business: tuning and upgrades. Dubai is no stranger to its supercars and – in particular – its one-offs, be they a Nissan GT-R with 1200hp lumped under the bonnet or a Rolls-Royce Phantom with a chrome foil. We’ve done our fair share of garage visits to know that, yes, the customer is always right but on occasion has to be calmed down. At BRABUS Middle East though, that doesn’t seem to be an issue.
“I’ve never said no to a customer. Whatever is technically available and we can take responsibility for, then we will do it. We like to make a customer’s wishes come true. The demand for one-offs in the Middle East is huge, but in terms of one-off cars…there are so many options to individualise our cars from the paintwork down to the alloys that we can make a one-off model for each customer.”
The line-up of optional extras wouldn’t look out of place in a Bugatti order book – “we once had a customer who wanted diamond dust laid into the trim, and we offer that now!” – and considering the owners of BRABUS models are habitually (shall we say) comfortably well off, rarely does a model roll through the door that is part of a one-car garage. Which goes a long way to explaining the other side of the business.
“As part of BRABUS Private Aviation we now offer the bespoke and tailor-made features, which for 35 years we have been offering for cars, for private jets as well. The aviation business is a very small niche market – our customers are mainly on the Forbes List – but we’re getting good feedback. I even met the president of Boeing, and he said he had never seen anything that individual or stylish. And that’s the point. Here we sell exclusivity, luxury and lifestyle.”
Exclusivity. Luxury. Lifestyle. Certainly BRABUS Middle East will be looking to prove its company mantra when its new showroom opens on Dubai’s Sheikh Zayed Road later in the year, and that’s just the first of many upcoming changes.
“If you are in the same line as Mercedes, Maserati and Ferrari, you immediately increase your awareness, so the new showroom is an important step for us. We’re also looking to spread our fingers further into the region this year. The Emirates, Qatar and Oman are covered very well, but Saudi Arabia in particular needs to be pushed. This is not a short term investment.”
From a brand synonymous with the phrase ‘if you need to ask how much it costs…’, we expected nothing less.