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Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited
Type Private Limited Company
Founded 1904 (March 1998)
Founder(s) Henry Royce
Charles Stewart Rolls
Headquarters Goodwood, England
Key people Tom Purves, CEO
Industry Automotive
Products Automobiles
Parent BMW Group
Website Rolls-RoyceMotorCars.com

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is a British manufacturer of luxury automobiles based in Goodwood, England. It is the current producer of Rolls-Royce branded automobiles, whose historical production dates back to 1904. The factory is located across from the historic Goodwood Circuit in Goodwood, West Sussex, England. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of the BMW Group.

Contents

History

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd began manufacturing cars in 2003. The factory at Goodwood is the fifth Rolls-Royce UK based automobile production facilty since the company was founded in 1904. The previous four were located in Manchester, London, Derby, and Crewe.

Previous iterations of the company include Rolls-Royce Limited and Rolls-Royce Motors.

In 1998, owners Vickers decided to sell Rolls-Royce Motors. The most likely buyer was BMW, who already supplied engines and other components for Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars, but BMW's final offer of £340m was beaten by Volkswagen's £430m.

A stipulation in the ownership documents of Rolls-Royce dictated that Rolls-Royce plc, the aero-engine maker would retain certain essential trademarks (the Rolls-Royce name and logo) if the automotive division was sold. Rolls-Royce plc chose to license not to VW but to BMW, with whom it had recently had joint business ventures. VW had bought rights to the "Spirit of Ecstasy" bonnet (hood) ornament and the shape of the radiator grille, but it lacked rights to the Rolls-Royce name necessary to build the cars. Likewise, BMW lacked rights to the grille and mascot. BMW bought an option on the trademarks, licensing the name and "RR" logo for £40m, a deal that many commentators thought was a bargain for possibly the most valuable property in the deal. VW claimed that it had only really wanted Bentley anyway.

BMW and VW arrived at a solution. From 1998 to 2002 BMW would continue to supply engines for the cars and would allow use of the names, but this would cease on 1 January 2003. From that date, only BMW would be able to name cars "Rolls-Royce", and VW's former Rolls-Royce/Bentley division would build only cars called "Bentley". The Rolls-Royce's Corniche ceased production in 2002.

Cars

Rolls-Royce Phantom
  • 2003+ Phantom (saloon) — Launched in January 2003 at Detroit's North American International Auto Show, this is the first model from Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited, a BMW Group subsidiary having no corporate connection with the previous Rolls-Royce Motors company apart from the trademarks mentioned above.

The car has a 6.75 L V12 engine sourced from BMW, but most other components are unique to the car. Parts are sourced from Continental Europe and the UK. Assembly, leather work, wood work, and finishing is done in a new factory in Goodwood near Chichester, Sussex. The cars are available in normal and extended wheelbase, and prices start at about £250,000.

  • 2010+ Ghost (saloon) - Rolls Royce announced in September 2006 that it will develop a new 4-door model named Ghost. The Ghost shall be smaller than the previous Rolls Royce automobile installment, the Phantom. Only 20% of the components would be sourced from BMW F01 7 Series, and it will be positioned below the Phantom and with a price range between US$250,000 and US$280,000.[1]

For earlier models, see the Rolls-Royce vehicles page and the timeline below.

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Prototypes

See also

Further reading

  • Richard Feast, Kidnap of the Flying Lady: How Germany Captured Both Rolls Royce and Bentley, Motorbooks, ISBN-7603-1686-4
  • John Rowland and Martin Henley, The Rolls-Royce Men the Story of Charles Rolls and Henry Royce, Publisher: Lutterworth Press (1968); ASIN: B000COH9WQ

References

External links


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