Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
Overview
 
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is a British manufacturer of luxury automobiles based at the Goodwood plant
Goodwood Plant
The Goodwood plant serves as the headquarters, design, manufacturing and assembly centre for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.Officially opened for business on 1 January 2003, the plant has been expanded twice since, and now covers . It presently employs 800 workers, half of whom are employed in the wood and...

 in West Sussex
West Sussex
West Sussex is a county in the south of England, bordering onto East Sussex , Hampshire and Surrey. The county of Sussex has been divided into East and West since the 12th century, and obtained separate county councils in 1888, but it remained a single ceremonial county until 1974 and the coming...

, 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
Goodwood Circuit
Goodwood Circuit is an historic venue for both two- and four-wheeled motorsport in the United Kingdom. The 2.4 mile circuit is situated near Chichester, West Sussex, close to the south coast of England, on the estate of Goodwood House, and completely encircles Chichester/Goodwood Airport...

 in Goodwood, West Sussex, England. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of BMW
BMW
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG is a German automobile, motorcycle and engine manufacturing company founded in 1916. It also owns and produces the Mini marque, and is the parent company of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. BMW produces motorcycles under BMW Motorrad and Husqvarna brands...

.
The history of Rolls-Royce began as Rolls-Royce Limited
Rolls-Royce Limited
Rolls-Royce Limited was a renowned British car and, from 1914 on, aero-engine manufacturing company founded by Charles Stewart Rolls and Henry Royce on 15 March 1906 as the result of a partnership formed in 1904....

 which started manufacturing cars in 1903.
Encyclopedia
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is a British manufacturer of luxury automobiles based at the Goodwood plant
Goodwood Plant
The Goodwood plant serves as the headquarters, design, manufacturing and assembly centre for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.Officially opened for business on 1 January 2003, the plant has been expanded twice since, and now covers . It presently employs 800 workers, half of whom are employed in the wood and...

 in West Sussex
West Sussex
West Sussex is a county in the south of England, bordering onto East Sussex , Hampshire and Surrey. The county of Sussex has been divided into East and West since the 12th century, and obtained separate county councils in 1888, but it remained a single ceremonial county until 1974 and the coming...

, 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
Goodwood Circuit
Goodwood Circuit is an historic venue for both two- and four-wheeled motorsport in the United Kingdom. The 2.4 mile circuit is situated near Chichester, West Sussex, close to the south coast of England, on the estate of Goodwood House, and completely encircles Chichester/Goodwood Airport...

 in Goodwood, West Sussex, England. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of BMW
BMW
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG is a German automobile, motorcycle and engine manufacturing company founded in 1916. It also owns and produces the Mini marque, and is the parent company of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. BMW produces motorcycles under BMW Motorrad and Husqvarna brands...

.

History

The history of Rolls-Royce began as Rolls-Royce Limited
Rolls-Royce Limited
Rolls-Royce Limited was a renowned British car and, from 1914 on, aero-engine manufacturing company founded by Charles Stewart Rolls and Henry Royce on 15 March 1906 as the result of a partnership formed in 1904....

 which started manufacturing cars in 1903. The factory at Goodwood is the fifth Rolls-Royce UK based automobile production facility since 1904. The previous four were located in Manchester, London, Derby, and Crewe.

It is a legend that the characteristic RR badge on the front of the grill changed from red to black in 1934 because of the death of Henry Royce in 1933. It was actually decided before by Henry Royce himself that black was more appropriate since the red clashed with the colour of some models.
The Phantom III of 1934 was the first Rolls Royce to display the black badge, being the first car without input from Mr. Royce.

Previous iterations of the company include Rolls-Royce Limited and Rolls-Royce Motors
Rolls-Royce Motors
Rolls-Royce Motors was created from the de-merger of the Rolls-Royce car business from Rolls-Royce Limited in 1973. The original Rolls-Royce Limited had been nationalised in 1971 due to the financial collapse of the company, caused in part by the development of the RB211 jet engine...

.

In 1998, owners Vickers
Vickers
Vickers was a famous name in British engineering that existed through many companies from 1828 until 1999.-Early history:Vickers was formed in Sheffield as a steel foundry by the miller Edward Vickers and his father-in-law George Naylor in 1828. Naylor was a partner in the foundry Naylor &...

 decided to sell Rolls-Royce Motors. The most likely buyer was BMW
BMW
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG is a German automobile, motorcycle and engine manufacturing company founded in 1916. It also owns and produces the Mini marque, and is the parent company of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. BMW produces motorcycles under BMW Motorrad and Husqvarna brands...

, who already supplied engines and other components for Rolls-Royce and Bentley
Bentley
Bentley Motors Limited is a British manufacturer of automobiles founded on 18 January 1919 by Walter Owen Bentley known as W.O. Bentley or just "W O". Bentley had been previously known for his range of rotary aero-engines in World War I, the most famous being the Bentley BR1 as used in later...

 cars, but BMW's final offer of £340m was beaten by Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Volkswagen is a German automobile manufacturer and is the original and biggest-selling marque of the Volkswagen Group, which now also owns the Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, SEAT, and Škoda marques and the truck manufacturer Scania.Volkswagen means "people's car" in German, where it is...

's £430m.

A stipulation in the ownership documents of Rolls-Royce dictated that Rolls-Royce plc
Rolls-Royce plc
Rolls-Royce Group plc is a global power systems company headquartered in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom. It is the world’s second-largest maker of aircraft engines , and also has major businesses in the marine propulsion and energy sectors. Through its defence-related activities...

, 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
Spirit of Ecstasy
The Spirit of Ecstasy is the name of the hood ornament on Rolls-Royce cars. It is in the form of a woman leaning forwards with her arms outstretched behind and above her...

" 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, as Bentley at the time was the higher-volume brand and moved twice as many cars as Rolls-Royce.

The situation was tilted in BMW's favor, as they could withdraw their engine supply with just 12 months notice, which was insufficient time for VW to reengineer the Rolls-Royce cars to use VW's own engines. 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 by VW, 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." This resulted in 2003 BMW opening a new manufacturing plant
Goodwood Plant
The Goodwood plant serves as the headquarters, design, manufacturing and assembly centre for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.Officially opened for business on 1 January 2003, the plant has been expanded twice since, and now covers . It presently employs 800 workers, half of whom are employed in the wood and...

 on the Goodwood Estate
Goodwood House
Goodwood House is a country house in West Sussex in southern England. It is the seat of the Dukes of Richmond. Several architects have contributed to the design of the house, including James Wyatt. It was the intention to build the house to a unique octagonal layout, but only three of the eight...

 close to Chichester
Chichester
Chichester is a cathedral city in West Sussex, within the historic County of Sussex, South-East England. It has a long history as a settlement; its Roman past and its subsequent importance in Anglo-Saxon times are only its beginnings...

, West Sussex
West Sussex
West Sussex is a county in the south of England, bordering onto East Sussex , Hampshire and Surrey. The county of Sussex has been divided into East and West since the 12th century, and obtained separate county councils in 1888, but it remained a single ceremonial county until 1974 and the coming...

.

Cars

  • 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
    BMW
    Bayerische Motoren Werke AG is a German automobile, motorcycle and engine manufacturing company founded in 1916. It also owns and produces the Mini marque, and is the parent company of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. BMW produces motorcycles under BMW Motorrad and Husqvarna brands...

     Group subsidiary having no corporate connection with the previous Rolls-Royce Motors
    Rolls-Royce Motors
    Rolls-Royce Motors was created from the de-merger of the Rolls-Royce car business from Rolls-Royce Limited in 1973. The original Rolls-Royce Limited had been nationalised in 1971 due to the financial collapse of the company, caused in part by the development of the RB211 jet engine...

     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 carried out in a new factory in Goodwood near Chichester
Chichester
Chichester is a cathedral city in West Sussex, within the historic County of Sussex, South-East England. It has a long history as a settlement; its Roman past and its subsequent importance in Anglo-Saxon times are only its beginnings...

, Sussex
Sussex
Sussex , from the Old English Sūþsēaxe , is an historic county in South East England corresponding roughly in area to the ancient Kingdom of Sussex. It is bounded on the north by Surrey, east by Kent, south by the English Channel, and west by Hampshire, and is divided for local government into West...

. The cars are available in normal and extended wheelbase, and prices start at about £250,000.
  • 2007+ Phantom Drophead Coupé
    Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé
    The Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé is a British handmade convertible manufactured by Rolls-Royce that debuted at the 2007 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, on 7 January 2007. The platform is based on the 2003 Rolls-Royce Phantom and has styling heavily derived from...

    (convertible)

  • 2008+ Phantom Coupé
    Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupé
    The Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupé is a British handmade luxury coupe manufactured by Rolls-Royce that debuted at the 2008 Geneva International Auto Show in Geneva, Switzerland, on 6 March 2008...

    (coupe)

  • 2010+ Ghost (saloon)—Rolls Royce announced in September 2006 that it will develop a new four-door model named Ghost. The Ghost will be smaller than the previous Rolls Royce automobile launched, the Phantom. Only 20% of the components would be sourced from BMW
    BMW
    Bayerische Motoren Werke AG is a German automobile, motorcycle and engine manufacturing company founded in 1916. It also owns and produces the Mini marque, and is the parent company of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. BMW produces motorcycles under BMW Motorrad and Husqvarna brands...

     F01 7 Series, and it will be positioned below the Phantom and with a price range between US$250,000 and US$280,000.


For earlier models, see the List of Rolls-Royce motor cars and the timeline below.

Prototypes

  • Rolls-Royce Mulliner Silver Dawn Drophead Coupé (1953)
  • Rolls-Royce 100EX
    Rolls-Royce 100EX
    The Rolls-Royce 100 EX has:*9.0 litre V16 engine*6 Speed automatic transmission*Dimensions: Height , Width and Length...

     (2006)
  • Rolls-Royce 101EX (2006)
  • Rolls-Royce Mansory Phantom Conquistador (2008)
  • Rolls-Royce Hyperion (2008)
  • Rolls-Royce Mini (June 2009)
  • Rolls-Royce 200EX (2009; known as ″RR04″ also)
  • Rolls-Royce 102EX
    Rolls-Royce 102EX
    Rolls Royce 102EX ; is an experimental Rolls Royce. Primarily designed to spark debate about whether luxury car manufacturers could and should provide cars which use electric, or other alternate drive-train technologies...

    (2011)

Sales

The marque's all time record of sales was achieved in 1978, at 3,357 cars.
Calendar Year Total Sales
1978 | 3,357
2005 | 796
2006 | 805
2007 | 1,010
2008 1,212
2009 | 1,002
2010 | 2,711

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

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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