Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited is a British luxury automobile maker which has operated as a wholly owned subsidiary of BMW AG since 2003 – as the exclusive manufacturer of Rolls-Royce-branded motor cars. The company's administrative and production headquarters are located on the Goodwood Estate in Goodwood, West Sussex, England, United Kingdom.
From 1906 to 2003, motor cars were manufactured and marketed under the Rolls-Royce brand by Rolls-Royce Motors. The Rolls-Royce Motor Cars subsidiary of BMW AG has no direct relationship to Rolls-Royce-branded vehicles produced before 2003, other than having briefly supplied components and engines. The Bentley Motors Limited subsidiary of Volkswagen AG is the direct successor to Rolls-Royce Motors and various other 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 BBC called Rolls-Royce "probably one of the most recognised icons in the world", and that "the name Rolls-Royce entered the English language as a superlative." A marketing survey in 1987 showed that only Coca-Cola was a more widely known brand than Rolls-Royce.
The company's line of vehicles includes the Phantom, a four-door saloon first offered in 2003 as well as its extended wheelbase two-door coupé and convertible variants; the smaller Ghost four-door saloon; Wraith two-door coupé; Dawn convertible; the Cullinan SUV, and the forthcoming 2023 Spectre, the first all-electric Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited was created as a wholly owned subsidiary of BMW in 1998 after BMW licensed the rights to the Rolls-Royce brand name and logo from Rolls-Royce Holdings plc, and acquired the rights to the Spirit of Ecstasy and Rolls-Royce grille 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 fate of the brand diverged between 1998 and 2003. In 2003, the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars subsidiary of BMW AG, which had been a major supplier to the brand up to 2003, began manufacturing vehicles with the Rolls-Royce name. Volkswagen AG took ownership of the Bentley name as well as previous Rolls-Royce production facilities and previous Rolls-Royce designs.
Current chief executive Torsten Müller-Ötvös joined the company in January 2010, with a pledge to regain the quality standards that made Rolls-Royce famous. That year sales in China increased by 600%, making it the company's second largest market after the US.