ROLLS-ROYCE ARTISTRY: BESPOKE DESIGN AND BESPOKE CONVERSATION IN BEVERLY HILLS AT THE VARIETY STUDIO…

28 Jun 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on ROLLS-ROYCE ARTISTRY: BESPOKE DESIGN AND BESPOKE CONVERSATION IN BEVERLY HILLS AT THE VARIETY STUDIO…

History [link]

Predecessors [link]

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 automobile production facility since 1904. The previous four were located in Manchester, London, Derby, and Crewe.

BMW ownership of Rolls-Royce marque [link]

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, 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 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 a new manufacturing plant on the Goodwood Estate close to Chichester. West Sussex .

Recent [link]

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. [ 1 ]

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