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Rolls-Royce Is Bustin' Out All Over, Part 2: Now It's The FACTORY That's Expanding

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On: Tue, Sep 13, 2011 at 1:35PM | By: Andrew W Davis


Rolls-Royce Is Bustin' Out All Over, Part 2: Now It's The FACTORY That's Expanding

It’s true: the global financial crisis is not only over, it’s been drawn, quartered, salted, burned, and cast to the winds. How else could ultra-luxury carmaker Rolls-Royce have not only hit its maximum plant capacity, but exceeded it?

Here’s their PR department's typically understated (read: "English") way of saying it: “The Home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood in West Sussex is to expand in the months ahead. The news follows significant growth in worldwide sales over the last 18 months and a greater demand from customers for highly personalised Rolls-Royce Ghost and Phantom models.”

Or: Makin’ a killin’ is their business, and business is GOOD….

Yes, those crazy cats in Goodwood town—who look upon the $246,500 Ghost as their “economy” model—have more business than they can handle, necessitating the expansion of their manufacturing facility on the heels of their already announced increase in capacity of their “Bespoke” personalization arm.

They explain the guts of their plan—and how it relates to that “Bespoke” business—thusly:

“The expansion includes an increase in size by more than 2500 square metres for the Assembly Hall, completing the final phase of development from original site plans for the production area. A new extension will also increase the Surface Finish Centre by more than 640 square metres. Total investment in the project will be about £10 million.

“This development follows record sales in 2010 and growing demand across all markets, both at home and internationally. The company is also expanding its dealer network, with several new dealerships recently launched in North America, Asia Pacific and Europe and more are planned in the balance of the year.

“The new space, and a number of additional infrastructure changes, will allow the company’s manufacturing and Bespoke operation to expand significantly. Bespoke allows Rolls-Royce customers the luxury to commission motor cars that suit their personal lifestyles and creative desires, transforming super-luxury cars into unique hand-crafted masterpieces which are as individual as their owner’s fingerprint. This year, Rolls-Royce has seen a significant increase in demand for personalised bespoke models, and the company recently announced a doubling in the number of Bespoke experts throughout the business.”

And, in case you forgot that Rolls-Royce is now actually a German company, here are some (potentially non-German) umlauts to put a face—or at least a “voice”—on their plans:

“Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said, ‘I am very pleased to announce our expansion plans. We continue to see increased demand from customers all over the world and the new facilities will allow us to increase the capacity for our hand-built, highly personalised motor cars. This investment demonstrates our confidence in this unique brand, our commitment to our Home at Goodwood—the only place in the world where Rolls-Royce motor cars are built—and signals the next phase in the development of our company.’”

History buffs—or the merely bored scrolling through R-R’s Media site—will note that a similar bulletin was released around this time back in 2007, when “ROLLS-ROYCE CONFIRMS EXPANSION PLANS FOR GOODWOOD” referred to their need to accommodate building all the non-sedan Phantoms the world was clamoring for at that time.

[Wait. That was “pre-crash.” Did the “crash” actually happen at all in Rolls-Royce’s eyes?]

Now, despite it being uncouth to say so, I will mention the fact that if they started building Rolls-Royce models with MSRPs of one fewer digit they could sell a gazillion of them, and therefore would have to practically build their own Rouge plant to accommodate the demand.

So, it’s no coincidence that this increase in demand for Rollers came at the same time as the arrival of the low(er)-priced Ghost, but, still, if you can get lots of people to spend pre-crash-American-mortgage-money on your “lowest-price” model, more power to you.

Just take it from, well, every other carmaker in the world: Stay away from SUVs. I don’t care how much money you can get “Bespoke-d” for one; just say no. Trust me—I mean us. After all, you already build CARS that weigh several “tonnes,” so a ‘ute would just be redundant…


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