Rolls-Royce is a British brand of high-end luxury automobiles. Founded in 1906 by Henry Royce and Charles Rolls, the company also made engines for planes until 1973 when the divisions were split into separate companies. Rolls-Royce purchased rival Bentley in 1931, and the two operated together until the Volkswagen Group bought both in 1998. The Rolls-Royce name, however, was not part of the sale. BMW licensed the Rolls-Royce name from its original owner and currently operates the brand.