Rolls-Royce has launched the new Phantom in France exactly 100 years after the first Rolls-Royce made its debut at the Paris Salon of 1904.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Paris, will be the first Rolls-Royce dealer in France since the company’s renaissance in January 2003 and will officially open for business, in the 16th arrondissement, over the coming days.

Karl-Heinz Kalbfell, Chairman and Chief Executive of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said: “We are delighted to announce the opening of this new showroom in such a wonderful city. Rolls-Royce has a long and celebrated history in France, and we are particularly pleased to be able to announce our new Paris dealership during our celebrations of 100 years of the marque.”

Dealer Principle, Eric Neubauer, said: “It is a great honour to be chosen to represent Rolls-Royce in Paris. We have already had a good deal of interest from potential customers and I am confident that the Phantom will be a great success here.”

Rolls-Royce has a strong French connection. From the earliest days of the company new models were tested in France – chosen for its long straight roads, virtually free of traffic. In 1924 a permanent test facility was established at Chateauroux, 155 miles south of Paris. Sir Henry Royce had a personal love of France and spent the winters at his villa in La Canadel on the Cote d’Azur from 1911 until his death in 1933. And of course the name Corniche, used for many of the famous open-top Rolls-Royce models, came from this same region in the south. The connection continues to the present day as the new Phantom is equipped with PAX run-flat tyres, developed and produced specifically for this latest Rolls-Royce by Michelin.

Equally, many famous French men and women are among the list of Rolls-Royce owners from Brigitte Bardot to Coco Chanel to Baron Bich (of Bic Biro fame).

The 1,000th Phantom was built at the new Goodwood home of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars this month. Each motor car is built to order and the unique wood trim and a range of bespoke features ensure that no two models are the same.