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March 01, 1998
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£16 BILLION (est)

Rolls-Royce (Motor Car Limited) is a British Luxury car maker that was founded in 1998 by BMW who bought the licensing rights, brand name and Logo from Rolls Royce PLC.

Rolls-Royce (Motor Car Limited) is a British Luxury car maker that was founded in 1998 by BMW who bought the licensing rights, brand name and Logo from Rolls Royce PLC.

Although Rolls-Royce dates back to 1906 and was more affiliated with Bentley, BMW has no direct association with any of the cars that were produced prior to 2003, which is when they created their first Rolls-Royce Branded car (under their acquired licensing rights).

Bentley Motors Limited (subsidery of Volkswagen) is the direct successor of "Rolls-Royce Motors" which dates back to 1973 during the de mergers of Roll-Royce Automotive business from the nationalised Rolls-Royce Limited

It is the Rolls-Royce Limited company that stems back to 1904 by the partnership ofCharles RollsandHenry Royce.  Royce was the mechanic and built the first Royce 10 in 1904. He was introduced to Rolls (who owned a car dealership CS Rolls and Co) and setup a partnership Rolls-Royce.

They began to sell cars ( Silver Ghost) with upto 30 HP for the equivalent of £92k-£95k in todays money and the mid 1920's had produced the  Phantom with 40-50 HP.

In 1931 Rolls-Royce acquired Bentley as they were entering financial difficulties, The acquistion allowed Rolls-Royce to produce a smaller type car and from then until 2002 pretty much every Rolls and Bentley looked nearly identical.

Disaster hit in the 1970's and Rolls-Royce had to liquidate due to ongoing develpment issues with the RB211 Aircrat engine. By 1971 it was liquadated and bought by the government. It would become Rolls-Royce Motor Holdings Limited which was then sold to Vickers PLC in 1980 and in turn sold it to Volkswagen in 1998. In the same period, BMW acquired the licensing rights.

Rolls-Royce as we know today still produces some of the most luxurious designed cars that only only the wealthy can enjoy.  They have expanded from the Phantom and Ghost to produce SUV's, cabriolet's and in the coming years 2023-2026 will electrify their range).

Did you know:

  1. One of the anomalies or idiosyncrasies, the Rolls-Royce center caps don't rotate. They’re on bearings and always stay put so they can always be seen.
  2. 65% of all Rolls-Royce cars ever built are remarkably still on the road today.
  3. There are more Rolls Royce’s in Hong Kong than anywhere else in the world, having the most number of Rolls Royce cars per capita in the world.
  4. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Rolls-Royces worldwide are not always driven by their owners. In fact, the prevalence of chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royces has led the company to introduce a training program to complement the experience of their more affluent customers. Known as the White Glove training program, it seeks to train future chauffeurs on etiquette and driving behavior.
  5. Even though Rolls-Royce has been around for over a century, many parts of these vehicles are still crafted by hand, all of the interior woodworking and leatherworking is still completed by hand including The “Spirit of Ecstasy”.


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