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Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

This article is about the manufacturer of Rolls-Royce cars since 1999, currently a BMW subsidiary. Its predecessors include: Rolls-Royce Limited and Rolls-Royce Motors (now Bentley Motors Limited).
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is a wholly owned English subsidiary of German automaker BMW that manufactures luxury cars at the Goodwood plant inWest Sussex, England. The factory opened in 2003 across from the historic Goodwood Circuit in Goodwood, West Sussex, England. It is the current producer of Rolls-Royce branded cars, whose historical production dates back to 1904 through Rolls-Royce Limited and Rolls-Royce Motors.

Founded
March 1998 (Predecessor: Rolls-Royce Limited 1906)
Founder(s)
Henry Royce
Charles Stewart Rolls
Headquarters
Goodwood, United Kingdom
Key people
Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO
Peter Schwarzenbauer, Chairman
Parent
BMW Group
Website

History

Rolls Royce on display in BMW Museum
Rolls Royce parade car used by British Royal Family

Predecessors

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

BMW ownership of Rolls-Royce marque

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 £340 million 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, 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 favour, as they could withdraw their engine supply with just 12 months notice, which was insufficient time for VW to re-engineer 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 their new Goodwood plant on the Goodwood Estate close to ChichesterWest Sussex.

Recent

In 2011, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars sold 3,538 cars, up 31 percent on the year before, dominated by Phantom and Ghost models sold, beating the previous record from 1978. The strong sales growth occurred in the Asia Pacific region by up 47 percent, followed by Britain with up 30 percent and Middle East sales up 23 percent.

Wraith

In 2013, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars launched a new car at the Geneva Motor Show on 5 March 2013. The new car, named the Rolls-Royce Wraith (in honour of the original Wraith built by the original Rolls-Royce Limited from 1938-1939) is a luxury coupe, with a long bonnet and a sleek roof line, and is a coupe version of the Ghost. It is powered by a 623 bhp, twin-turbocharged V12 engine connected to an 8-speed gearbox. Deliveries are expected to begin by the end of 2013. Rolls-Royce had already stated that the Wraith will be the most powerful Rolls-Royce motor car to date.

Cars

Rolls-Royce Phantom Extended Wheelbase in use at the Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong
  • From 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 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, Sussex. The cars are available in normal and extended wheelbase.
  • From 2007 – Phantom Drophead Coupé (convertible)
  • From 2008 – Phantom Coupé (coupe)
  • From 2010 – Ghost (saloon). Rolls Royce announced in September 2006 that it would 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 F01 7 Series, and it will be positioned below the Phantom.
For earlier models, see the List of Rolls-Royce motor cars and the timeline below.

List of Rolls-Royce car models

Category
Models
Current models
BMW: Ghost, Ghost Extended Wheelbase, Phantom, Phantom Drophead, Phantom Coupé
Historic models
Independent: 10hp, 15hp, V-8, 20hp, 30hp, 40/50hp (Silver Ghost), Phantom I, Phantom II, Phantom III, Phantom IV, Phantom V, Phantom VI, Twenty, 20/25, 25/30, Wraith, Silver Dawn, Silver Cloud, Silver Shadow, Corniche, Camargue
Vickers plc: Silver Spirit/Dawn, Silver Spur, Phantom V, Phantom VI, Corniche, Camargue, Touring Limousine, Silver Spirit Hooper 2 Door
VW Group: Silver Seraph, Touring Limousine, Park Ward, Corniche V
Prototypes
Mulliner Silver Dawn Drophead Coupé, 100EX, 101EX, Mansory Phantom Conquistador, Hyperion, Mini, 200EX, 102EX

Sales

The all-time high record of sales was achieved in 2012, at 3,575 cars, beating 2011 sales by 37 cars.
Calendar Year
Total Sales
1978
3,357
2005
796
2006
805
2007
1,010
2008
1,212
2009
1,002
2010
2,711
2011
3,538
2012
3,575
Last updated on 6 September 2013 at 02:10.

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