British luxury car manufacturer Rolls Royce launched an NFT series associated with six new Phantom Series motorcars. The company teamed up with artist Sacha Jafri for this venture: the interiors of each car include unique hand-painted artwork by the artist representing one of six elements – Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, Air, and Humanity.
The Six Elements project began in 2020 and the cars were unveiled last month. The NFTs are sold with the car, and the owner can sell the NFT independently of the car. The royalties raised through trading the NFT are saved in a digital wallet to raise funds for charity. In its latest announcement in December 2022, the company said it has already surpassed its goal of raising over $1 million for charitable purposes.
“I am delighted with the success of this project. We and our dealer partners in Dubai and Abu Dhabi embarked on an amazing journey with a specific goal, which I am delighted we have not only achieved, but have surpassed,” said César Habib, Regional Director, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Middle East & Africa, in reference to the cars being sold to customers in the Dubai and wider Middle East region.
Other luxury car companies have been pursuing similar collaborations with artists to create NFTs. In Jan 2022, Lamborghini launched an NFT collection featuring a set of digital space keys modeled on a carbon fiber composite that was sent to the International Space Station. McLaren collaborated with InfiniteWorld to launch NFTs based on McLaren’s luxury cars. And BMW announced a metaverse-inspired concept car, with digital windscreen displays that projects a virtual world.
The Volkswagen group has been investing in its digital strategy, with its investment reflected in its brands Porsche, Audi, and Skoda. Audi launched fractional NFTs, which sell parts of a single piece of art. Volkswagen’s South African subsidiary also launched NFTs through OpenSea, as part of an advertising campaign for the new Polo car. Most recently in Nov 2022, Porsche announced its first official marketplace for NFTs, which would contain 7,500 customized art pieces of the Porsche 911 model. Porsche also incubates mobility technology startups. Forward31, a company started by Porsche Digital, launched Fanzone in 2021, a platform for digital trading cards that uses blockchain technology.
With the metaverse projected to have an impact of $5 trillion by 2030, several sectors are seeking value in the metaverse. The initiatives listed are indicative of the automotive industry creating unique virtual experiences for deeper digital engagement of their projects. Consequently, executive reports indicate that the automotive industry is amongst the leaders in current metaverse adoption. Seventeen percent of the sector plans to invest a significant portion of their digital budgets toward the metaverse.