With healthy sales, an expanding Phantom lineup, and a new model line on the way, Rolls-Royce needed more room at Goodwood. As such, work will commence late this year on a comprehensive expansion that will see the relocation and renovation of facilities like the paint and leather shops, and the addition of a second production line that will become active later next year. Ultimately, one of the lines will be dedicated to Phantom production and the other to the as-yet-unnamed companion model. Rolls-Royce will also add staff to allow for the increased production needs. The net result: Rolls-Royce will be able to produce more of a good thing. Once we become millionaires, we're so taking advantage of this.
ROLLS-ROYCE CONFIRMS EXPANSION PLANS FOR GOODWOOD
23 October 2007, Goodwood
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has today confirmed development plans for its Goodwood headquarters and manufacturing facility. With the design for the first of a new model series approved, preparations are underway for enhanced production facilities to cope with unprecedented customer demand for the Phantom family of cars. The internal remodeling of the plant will begin in late 2007.
The purpose-built, flexible nature of the manufacturing plant will allow expansion to take place within the existing footprint of the building. The most visible change will be the addition of a second assembly line in 2008. The two lines will run simultaneously, one producing the existing Phantom models and the other building the new model series. A second working shift will be introduced in 2009.
The additional line will require the relocation of some departments, including the leather shop, which will be repositioned on a new mezzanine level constructed over the existing production area. Both the wood and leather shops will undergo significant expansion, allowing for the installation of new equipment, including new and highly advanced technology and an automated wood lacquering system.
Paint facilities are being expanded and developed and 24 hour working introduced for some specialist areas. A new handling system for the bodies and new paint application technology will be installed.
Expansion of the workforce by several hundred at Goodwood has already begun and will continue over the next two years, predominantly in the production and manufacturing support areas of the business. Training and development of talent in the automotive industry is something which Rolls-Royce believes is vital. This year sees the second annual intake of apprentices and the launch of a new graduate training scheme.
Additionally, the company student programme takes in around 40 people and acts as a talent-spotting opportunity for the company. Applications have been received from around the world from candidates who are keen to take advantage of this exceptional opportunity.
Phantom sales continue to increase, with quarterly figures showing that the company had retailed 22 per cent more cars by the end of September 2007 compared to the same period last year. Forward orders for the four-door models stretch well into 2008 with the Extended Wheelbase model accounting for a quarter of all Phantom four-door sales in 2007.
Orders for the new Phantom Drophead Coupé extend right through next year. First deliveries were made in July and August as production at Goodwood began the ramp-up process. Interest in this model remains exceptionally high.
Nine out of ten cars leaving Goodwood featured Bespoke content – specially tailored customer features which do not appear on the options list.
Sales growth is expected to continue with last week's announcement that Rolls-Royce will build a series version of the two-door, four-seat experimental car, 101EX. Production of the new coupé is scheduled to begin next summer, with the launch later in 2008.
Speaking at the 40th Tokyo Motor Show, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Chairman and Chief Executive, Ian Robertson, said, "I am delighted to announce the development plans for the Rolls-Royce manufacturing plant at Goodwood. These significant changes will ensure that we meet the challenge of exceptional customer demand and that we are ready for the launch of our exciting new model series." He continued, "Asia Pacific continues to be an important region for Rolls-Royce, with sales up more than 40 per cent than the same period last year."