In 1998 BMW acquired the rights to use the Rolls-Royce brand name, logo, Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament and grille shape. In 2003 an all-new facility opened on the grounds of the Goodwood Estate in West Sussex, England. Since then, the fortunes of this once foundering prestige automaker have taken a remarkable turn. We visited this factory that insiders refer to as “an oasis of calm in a very busy world.” There are currently 1,500 employees – the average age being 34 and three quarters are British, living within fifteen miles of work.
We visited the factory, and two things stand out after this enlightening experience: 1) we need to thank BMW for saving the brand, and 2) Rolls-Royce motor cars are expensive for a reason.