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About Rolls-Royce Motors Cars
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is a British manufacturer of luxury automobiles based at the Goodwood plant in West Sussex, 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 in Goodwood, West Sussex, England. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of BMW.
The history 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.
The characteristic RR badge on the front of the grill changed from red to black in 1934 upon the death in 1933 of Henry Royce. 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.
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 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 on the Goodwood Estate close to Chichester, West Sussex.
Rolls Royce Motor 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 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 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, Sussex. The cars are available in normal and extended wheelbase, and prices start at about £250,000.
2007+ Phantom Drophead Coupé (convertible)
2008+ Phantom Coupé (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 F01 7 Series, and it will be positioned below the Phantom and with a price range between US$250,000 and US$280,000.
Rolls-Royce Limited vehicles
1904–06 10 hp
1905–05 15 hp
1905–08 20 hp
1905–06 30 hp
1906–25 40/50 Silver Ghost
1925–29 40/50 Phantom
1929–35 Phantom II
1936–39 Phantom III
1946–59 Silver Wraith
1949–55 Silver Dawn
1950–56 Phantom IV
1955–66 Silver Cloud
1959–68 Phantom V
1965–80 Silver Shadow
1968–91 Phantom VI
1971–96 Corniche I–V
Bentley models (from 1933)
1933–37 Bentley 3½ L
1936–39 Bentley 4¼ L
1940–40 Bentley 4¼ L Mark V
Rolls-Royce Motors vehicles
1980–98 Silver Spirit/Silver Spur
Bentley models were produced mostly in parallel with the above cars. The Bentley Continental coupés (produced in various forms from the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s) did not have Rolls-Royce equivalents. Very expensive Rolls-Royce Phantom limousines were also produced.
1998–2002 Silver Seraph 2000–02 Corniche V