Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited
|Founded||United Kingdom (March 1998 (1998-03))|
|Headquarters||Goodwood, England, United Kingdom|
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
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 Vickers PLC and the 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 the other various 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 AGin 1998 after BMW licensed the rights to the Rolls-Royce brand name and logo from Vickers PLC and the 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 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, Vickers' Rolls-Royce plc subsidiary 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 vehiles 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.
- 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 2007 – Phantom Drophead Coupé (convertible)
- From 2008 – Phantom Coupé
- From 2010 – Ghost 4-door sedan. 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.
- 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.
- Rolls-Royce Mulliner Silver Dawn Drophead Coupé (1953)
- Rolls-Royce 100EX (2006)
- Rolls-Royce 101EX (2006)
- Rolls-Royce Hyperion (2008)
- Rolls-Royce Mini (June 2009)
- Rolls-Royce 200EX (2009; known as ″RR04″ also)
- Rolls-Royce 102EX (2010)