Rolls-Royce will continue to use German-built V12 engines rather than invest in a British assembly line, unlike rival Bentley, which is ramping up local production of W12 engines.
Frank Ludwig, production head at Rolls’ Goodwood plant, said: “To make engines, you need a lot of expertise and at the moment the best place to source the V12 is from Germany.”
Thanks to the introduction of the Wraith coupé, Rolls-Royce increased car output last year to about 3300 units, a number that cements Goodwood as the biggest user of V12 engines in the BMW group.
Despite this growth in production at Goodwood, Ludwig said the industrial logic of building engines in Germany remains unchanged because the development of ‘V’ engines needs to be concentrated in one place to ensure that maximum learning can be applied to design and development.
Rolls shares the basic hardware of the BMW V engines. However, the bulk of the parts in the 6.8-litre naturally-aspirated V12 in the Phantom and 6.6-litre twin-turbo engine in the Ghost and Wraith are unique. They are developed alongside BMW versions, allowing learning to cross-pollinate from the mainstream development programme to Rolls’ lower production-volume units.
Because Rolls’ Goodwood site is already pushing the perimeter of the land area available, there are also practical limits to adding more facilities to the site to cope with both production and development.
Bentley aims to build about 9000 W12 engines by 2017-2018 for the whole Volkswagen Group, up from around 5000 units historically
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited
||United Kingdom (March 1998)
||Goodwood, England, United Kingdom
- Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO
- Peter Schwarzenbauer, Chairman
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited engineers, manufactures and distributes luxury automobiles and automobile parts worldwide. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of BMW AG established in 1998 after BMW licensed the rights to the Rolls-Royce brand name and logo from Rolls-Royce PLC and acquired the rights to the Spirit of Ecstasy and Rolls-Royce grill shape trademarks from Volkswagen AG. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited operates from purpose built administrative and production facilities opened in 2003 across from the historic Goodwood Circuit in Goodwood, West Sussex, England, United Kingdom. Rolls-Royce Motors Cars Limited is the exclusive manufacturer of Rolls-Royce branded motor cars since 2003.
Although the Rolls-Royce brand has been in use since 1906, the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars subsidiary of BMW AG has no direct relationship to Rolls-Royce branded vehicles produced prior to 2003. The Bentley Motors Limited subsidiary of Volkswagen AG is the direct successor to Rolls-Royce Motors and various other predecessor entities that produced Rolls-Royce and Bentley branded cars between the foundation of each company and 2003, when the BMW-controlled entity started producing cars under the Rolls-Royce brand.
The Rolls-Royce Phantom 4-door sedan was the first product offered for sale in 2003. Since then, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has expanded its product line up to include an extended wheelbase version of the Phantom sedan, a Phantom 2-door coupé and Phantom convertible version and the less expensive Ghost 4-door sedan and Wraith 2-door coupé.
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited was created as a wholly owned subsidiary of BMW AG in 1998 after BMW licensed the rights to the Rolls-Royce brand name and logo from Rolls-Royce PLC and acquired the rights to the Spirit of Ecstasy and Rolls-Royce grill shape trademarks from Volkswagen AG. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited has been manufacturing Rolls-Royce branded cars since 2003.
Although the Rolls-Royce brand has been in use on vehicles since 1906, the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars subsidiary of BMW AG has no direct relationship to Rolls-Royce branded vehicles produced prior to 2003. The Bentley Motors Limited subsidiary of Volkswagen AG is the direct successor to Rolls-Royce Motors and the other various predecessor entities that produced Rolls-Royce and Bentley branded cars between the foundation of each company and 2003.
Ownership and licensing of trademarks
In 1998, 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, including the Rolls-Royce name and logo if the automotive division was sold. Although Vickers plc sold the vehicle designs, nameplates, administrative headquarters, production facilities, Spirit of Ecstasy and Rolls-Royce grill shape trademarks to Volkswagen AG, Rolls-Royce plc chose to license the Rolls-Royce name and logo to BMW AG for £40m, because Rolls-Royce plc had recently had joint business ventures with BMW.
BMW’s contract to supply engines and components to Rolls-Royce Motors allowed BMW to cancel the contract with 12 month’s notice. Volkswagen would be unable to re-engineer the Rolls-Royce and Bentley vehicles to use other engines within that time frame. With the Rolls-Royce brand identification marks split between the two companies and Volkswagen’s engine supply in jeopardy, the two companies entered into negotiations.
Volkswagen agreed to sell BMW the Spirit of Ecstasy and grill shape trandemarks and BMW agreed to continue supplying engines and components until 2003. Volkswagen continued to produce Rolls-Royce branded vehicles between 1998 and 2003, giving BMW time to build a new Rolls-Royce administrative headquarters and production facility on the Goodwood Estate near Chichester, West Sussex and develop the Phantom, the first Rolls-Royce from the new company. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited became the exclusive manufacturer of Rolls-Royce branded cars in 2003.
Rolls-Royce Phantom Extended Wheelbase in use at the Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong
- From 2003 – Phantom 4-door sedan. Launched in January 2003 at Detroit’s North American International Auto Show, this is the first model from Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited. 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.
- From 2005 – Rolls-Royce Phantom Extended Wheelbase. This car’s wheelbase is 250mm longer than that of the standard Phantom sedan.
- From 2010 – Ghost 4-door sedan. Rolls Royce announced in September 2006 that it would develop a new four-door model namedGhost. 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.
- On March 4, 2014, the new Ghost Series II was revealed to the public at the Geneva Motor Show. Its has a facelift front with new LED headlights. The interior has had an update as well.
- From 2013, – Rolls-Royce Wraith coupé. 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.
The all-time high record of sales was achieved in 2012, at 3,575 cars, beating 2011 sales by 37 cars. In 2011, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited sold 3,538 cars, an increase of 31 percent compared to 2010, beating the previous sales record from 1978. The strong sales growth occurred in the Asia Pacific region, Britain and the Middle East with sales increases of 47 percent, 30 percent and 23 percent respectively.
- Jump up^ “2010 Rolls-Royce Ghost – Specifications, Pictures, Prices”. Leftlanenews.com. Retrieved 2010-07-29.
- Jump up^ “Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II” (Press release). Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. March 4, 2014. p. 2. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
- Jump up^ Rolls Royce Wraith
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- Jump up^ Rolls-Royce Motor Cars PressClub: ‘Most dynamic and powerful Rolls-Royce in history set for debut at Geneva’, Press Release published 18 Jan 2013
- Jump up^ “1953 Rolls-Royce Mulliner Silver Dawn Drophead Coupe Images, Information and History”. Conceptcarz.com. Retrieved 2010-07-29.
- Jump up^ “2008 Rolls-Royce Hyperion Images, Pricing and News”. Conceptcarz.com. Retrieved 2010-07-29.
- Jump up^ Blanco, Sebastian. “Rolls-Royce Mini auf autobloggreen”. Green.autoblog.com. Retrieved 2011-09-26.
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- ^ Jump up to:a b http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=26820 BMW Group Achieves New Sales Revenue Record In 2006
- Jump up^ “BMW reports 90% drop in 2008 net profit to 330 million euro”. Bmwblog.com. Retrieved 2011-09-26.
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- Richard Feast, Kidnap of the Flying Lady: How Germany Captured Both Rolls Royce and Bentley, Motorbooks (2003), ISBN 978-0760316863
- John Rowland and Martin Henley, The Rolls-Royce Men: The Story of Charles Rolls and Henry Royce, Publisher: Lutterworth Press (1968); ASIN: B000COH9WQ