Home | City | star What's On | Special Events | Maps | Travel | City Walls | Old Photos | Old Films | Cathedral | Churches | Hotels | B&B | Self-Catering | Campsites
Eating Out | Pubs | Shops | Weddings | The Area | Attractions | Free Guide | Harbour | Panoramas | Sport | Weather | Business | Health | Property | Cars
Rolls-Royce | Schools | Art | Music | Dance | Photo Gallery | Advertise | Web Design | Feedback | Archive | Councils | Contact Us | Content Search | Links

Rolls-Royce in Chichester
... News from Goodwood - Archive 2004

6 January 2004

The Rolls-Royce Phantom was unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in January 2003 and now returns to Detroit in 2004 to celebrate its first full year of production. This occasion also marks the beginning of the 100-year anniversary celebrations of Rolls-Royce. Charles Rolls and Henry Royce first met in May 1904 and agreed to go into business together, laying the foundations of this world-renowned marque.

At Goodwood, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars' head office and manufacturing plant in England, production was gradually being ramped-up over the year, from one car a fortnight to the current level of five cars per day - the planned full production running-rate. The approach was to ensure absolute quality every step of the way.

The company finished 2003 having built 481 Phantoms, 200 of which in November and December, each one to the specific requirements of its new owner. Many of these motor cars are still in transit as they head to all points of the globe, but in 2003 300 customers took delivery. North America is by far the biggest market for the Phantom and accounted for approximately half of retail sales last year. Cars have been sold in 24 different countries in total, as far afield as Australia, Malaysia, Russia and Thailand. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars currently has a network of 61 dealers worldwide, which will rise to 70 in the coming months.

Speaking in the run-up to the Detroit show, Rolls-Royce Chairman and CEO, Tony Gott, said, 'I am extremely proud of what we have achieved in our first year. It was an enormous challenge to launch a totally new car, in a new plant, built by a new team and sold by a new dealer network, but we did it and on time. One of the most gratifying things about the past year has been the wonderful reaction to the Phantom both from the media, customers, Rolls-Royce Owners' and Enthusiasts' Clubs and the general public whenever the Phantom has made a public appearance.'

13 January 2004

Employees at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars were in celebratory mood today as they marked the completion of the 500th Phantom to be built at their home in Goodwood.

Everyone at the manufacturing plant and head office gathered together for a group photograph alongside the 500th Phantom. Employees then put healthy-eating new-year's resolutions aside and tucked into a huge cake, made especially for the occasion.

Tony Gott, Chairman and Chief Executive of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said, 'It has been an incredible twelve months for everyone at Goodwood. The team has produced tremendous results in an extraordinarily short space of time and we are all rightly proud of what has been achieved. We are now looking forward to another successful and exciting year.'

The Phantom was unveiled for the first time at Goodwood in January 2003. In the following twelve months production at the state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Goodwood was slowly ramped up from the initial rate of one car per fortnight. By November last year the plant was operating to schedule and at the full running rate of five cars per day. Around one thousand Phantoms a year will be built at Goodwood on average over the life-cycle of the car.

2 March 2004

Rolls-Royce 100EX   Rolls-Royce 100EX
Click for more pictures Photos: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd  

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has unveiled an experimental motor car - the 100EX - at the Geneva motor show today. This special model has been designed to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Rolls-Royce, which falls on 4 May this year. It will appear at various events throughout 2004 to help mark the centenary.

Based on a lightweight aluminium spaceframe, the 100EX is an open-top, four-seat, two-door drophead and is the first experimental motor car to be produced by Rolls-Royce since the launch of the all-new Phantom in January 2003.

The exterior design of the motor car plays between large surfaces and fine detailing, featuring the characteristic dynamic rise in waistline over the rear wheels and graceful lines that sweep up towards the front. A polished aluminium waist rail surrounds the passenger compartment, set off against Dark Curzon paintwork. Coach doors, hinged at the back like the rear doors on the new Phantom, add to the elegant side profile, while allowing exceptional access to the rear seat.

At the front, a solid silver Spirit of Ecstasy sits atop a more progressive version of the Rolls-Royce grille. This blends into the bonnet and windscreen surround, both of which have been milled from solid blocks of aluminium before being hand polished.

Forming part of a strong maritime theme that runs throughout, bleached teak decking is used on the exterior and interior of the 100EX, notably on the tonneau cover, in the boot and in place of carpeting in the passenger cabin. 'The overall impression is intended to be of an elegant motor yacht at speed', said Marek Djordjevic, Chief Stylist, Exterior Design.

The rear of the motor car tapers into a boat-tail style and features the 'countryman' boot - split to give a separate lower tailgate which, when down, provides a completely flat surface, ideal for picnics or as an elevated platform with its inlaid fibre matting.

A tailored soft top made from a new advanced material, featuring fine metallic threads, protects passengers from the elements. Inside, the hood is lined with the familiar cashmere/wool blend fabric seen in the Phantom. Painstaking design of the folding mechanism means the hood can be concealed in an extremely small storage area, keeping intrusion into the luggage and passenger space to a minimum.

Figured Mahogany is used for the interior cabinetry, complemented by a special metallic finish which is used in a swathe across the dashboard and in the finer detailing. Sculptured seats are finished in rich Dark Curzon leather, with additional leatherwork in contrasting aniline tan.

Shorter than the Phantom by 165 mm (6.5 in) and 71 mm (3 in) lower, the 100EX sits upon 21-inch wheels finished in Meteor Silver. Power is supplied by a 9-litre V16, 64-valve naturally aspirated engine.

Speaking at the Geneva Motor Show, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Chairman and CEO, Tony Gott, said, 'It is always exciting to unveil something new at a motor show, but particularly something as fresh and innovative as the 100EX. In wanting to mark this very special year we decided that there would be no better way than to revive the EX motor cars philosophy and produce something unique to show around the world.'

Watch out for it in June at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. There is no plan to produce the 100EX as a series model.

26 March 2004 - Goodwood
  Fred Fruth
Fred Fruth, General Manager Public Affairs, is to leave Rolls-Royce Motor Cars after three years in the UK. Fred played a vital role in preparing the ground for the establishment of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars at its new location in Goodwood, Chichester. He was the first member of the Rolls-Royce team to be based permanently in the UK and immediately began building relationships with local and central government bodies, the media and the wider Chichester community.

Fred will now return to BMW Group Headquarters in Munich, Germany, at the end of his three-year expatriate placement in Goodwood to take up a new role of VIP Coordinator within the BMW Group Corporate Affairs Department.

Fred Fruth, first member of Rolls-Royce team in Goodwood.      Photo: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd

30 March 2004 - Moscow
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is pleased to announce today the opening of its latest site, situated at number 1 Red Square, Moscow. Housed within a converted museum, these very special premises sit next door to the Kremlin and opposite St Basil's Cathedral on the north side of the square.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Moscow, will welcome visitors and customers to this unique site where they will be able to appreciate the new Phantom and also view the Rolls-Royce that belonged to Lenin, which is on special loan. This motor car famously had bespoke tracks fitted during the winter months to cope with the heavy Moscow snowfall.

  Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Moscow
Photo: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd

Monday 10 May 2004

Chamber members at Rolls-Royce Head Office
Photo: Ian Burt
On arrival members were warmly welcomed by Paul Cartwright, Customer and Visitor Services Manager, on behalf of the Rolls-Royce management. Refreshments were provided and a short meeting was held to conduct the formal business of the Chamber.

A presentation show entitled 'The Journey to Goodwood' introduced us to a brief history of Rolls-Royce, the construction of the manufacturing plant, and the design stages and launch of the new Rolls-Royce Phantom motor car.

The number of visitors was limited to thirty on this occasion. Our party was divided into three groups and Paul, together with his assistant hosts, Ray Tanner and David White, commenced the guided tours. We were given a running commentary as we made our way around the plant from the point of delivery of the aluminium space frames to the finished motor cars.

Interesting statistics flowed from the 'mine of information' of our guides. Starting with the 'green architecture', the roof area is covered in sedum plants creating the largest single span 'living' roof in Europe, and the grounds are landscaped with 400,000 shrubs and trees. We moved to the paint shop where we learnt that every car has six coats of paint (the early Phantoms had sixteen), there is a choice of eighteen standard colours with others, including two-tones, available on bespoke vehicles. Moving on to the hide department, eighteen hides, laser-cut into 450 pieces of leather, go in to each car. In the veneer department no fewer than six different veneers are available and each car has sixty wooden panels beautifully crafted with the wood grain book-matched - the right and left are mirror images of each other. In various bays waterproofing checks and running tests on different road surfaces, simulated by hydraulic rams, are carried out.

Facts about the motor car include: top speed 149mph, 0-60mph in 5.7 seconds, 6749cc engine, total weight 2 1/4 tons, cost £253,000. The wings are moulded composites, the boot lid is steel and the rest of the body is aluminium. Also of interest is that the boot easily holds four golf bags, the car is narrower than a Range Rover, a veneered panel housing the clock swivels to reveal a monitor for vehicle settings, satellite navigation, on-board television and telephone system. Every car is built to order, 55% are sold to America, and the Spirit of Ecstasy is made in Portsmouth.

Known as the 'silent factory' because the motor cars are moved by hand on the assembly line, four to five are produced each working day, the 600th was reached during February and 1000 will be achieved by the end of the year. Each car has 2000 parts assembled using Just-In-Time principles and there are 450 staff in total. New markets in Russia and China are expected to open up in the coming months.

Ian Burt

Aluminium space frame body   Drive train and body united   Assembly line
Photos: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd

25 to 27 June 2004

The internationally renowned Goodwood Festival of Speed is the biggest historic motor sport event in the world, and the focus of this year's Festival was a celebration of the Centenary of Rolls-Royce. It has been one hundred years since engineer Henry Royce and the Hon Charles Rolls first met, which led to the formation of the world famous company.

Centrepiece of the event   1935 Bluebird car
Schneider Trophy sea-plane
Bluebird K4 boat
The centrepiece of the event was a large sculpture designed by Gerry Judah, which was the most ambitious construction ever for the Festival. Encompassing world speed records on land, on water and in the air, the three most famous Rolls-Royce powered world record-breakers had been mounted on a specially-designed structure high above Goodwood House: Sir Malcolm Campbell's 1935 Bluebird car, Flt Lt LR 'Batchy' Atcherley's Supermarine S6/6A 'N248' Schneider Trophy sea-plane and an exacting replica of Sir Malcolm Campbell's and his son Donald Campbell's Bluebird K4 boat.
Photos: Ian Burt
Click for more pictures of the Goodwood Festival of Speed Rolls-Royce Motor Cars 1904-2004 at the Festival

15 September 2004 - Goodwood
1000th Phantom   The one thousandth Rolls-Royce Phantom has just been built to customer order at the company's new manufacturing plant in Goodwood. To mark the occasion, 1,000 balloons were released from the company's central courtyard with Rolls-Royce employees looking on.

Company Chairman and CEO, Karl-Heinz Kalbfell, said, 'We are celebrating another landmark achievement in the history of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, an achievement made possible by the small but talented team of people working at Goodwood. This occasion helps mark the success of the renaissance of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, since it became part of BMW Group.'

Photo: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd

23 September 2004 - Goodwood
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars launch the new Phantom in France today at the 2004 Paris Motor Show exactly 100 years after the first Rolls-Royce made its debut at the Paris Salon of 1904.

Karl-Heinz Kalbfell, Chairman and Chief Executive of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said, 'We are delighted to announce the opening of a new showroom in such a wonderful city. Rolls-Royce has a long and celebrated history in France, and we are particularly pleased to be able to announce our new Paris dealership during our celebrations of 100 years of the marque.'

Today sees the stylish arrival of a Rolls-Royce Phantom at the opening of the Monaco Boat Show. Featuring as part of the standard specification of the Euro 75 million luxury yacht Utopia, the Phantom is carried on the helipad, lifted into position by the yacht's own crane. For longer sea passages or during inclement weather the Phantom has a fully enclosed garage in the bow of the vessel.

  Phantom carried on the yacht Utopia
Photo: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd

29 October 2004 - Goodwood
RR Manufacturing Plant   The Goodwood home of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has been presented with a regional award by The Royal Institute of British Architects as part of the 2004 architecture awards.

Designed by British Architects Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners (designer of the renowned Eden Project in Cornwall) the new Rolls-Royce plant is located on part of the Goodwood Estate, close to the Goodwood Motor Circuit, on a site of natural beauty. The contemporary building complex is sunk partly into the ground and features a 'living roof'. Plant life, combined with landform and drainage features, have a major part to play in structuring the site and integrating the whole complex into the surrounding habitat. In total over 400,000 trees and shrubs have been planted as part of the landscaping.

Photo: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd

Projects by Frank Gehry, Studio Daniel Libeskind and Foster and Partners were amongst the RIBA 2004 winners. The awards were announced at a special dinner in London in the run up to Architecture Week 2004.

In presenting the Rolls-Royce award the judges said; 'The attention to detail is stunning and the building is wonderfully inspirational, exuding confidence and pleasure. This is clearly a building worthy of the famous Rolls-Royce marque and equal in quality to the cars produced there.'

10 November 2004 - Goodwood
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has today confirmed that a new model is to be built at the company's manufacturing plant at Goodwood. The new motor car, a two-door, four-seat convertible, is expected to be unveiled in 2007.

Codenamed RR02, the new model will be based on the same engineering principles as the Phantom and built using similar aluminium space-frame chassis technology. Its design is inspired by the Rolls-Royce Centenary experimental car, named 100EX, which was unveiled at the Geneva motor show in March 2004 - although it will be slightly smaller. Power will come from a 6.75 litre, V12 engine, which the new model will share with the Rolls-Royce Phantom.

RR 100EX Centenary experimental car
RR 100EX Centenary experimental car
Speaking at Rolls-Royce Head Office at Goodwood, sales and marketing director, Howard Mosher, said, 'This is a wonderful day for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and another milestone in the brand's history. The success of the Phantom has given us a solid foundation for the future from which we can now take this next important step. Convertible motor cars have always played a central part in the 100 year history of Rolls-Royce and I am delighted that we can take this tradition forward with a cutting edge, 21st century design.'
The Rolls-Royce 100EX Centenary Experimental Car.
Photos: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd.

'Rolls-Royce', the 'Rolls-Royce' badge and the linked 'RR' are registered trademarks of Rolls-Royce plc.
'RREC' is a registered trademark of R.R.E.C. Limited trading as the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts' Club.
Copyright of articles is normally vested with the authors. Copyright of photographs belongs to the respective photographers.
The information contained in this website is displayed in good faith. This website contains links to other websites over which we have no control.
We do not accept responsibility for the accuracy of the information and no endorsement of a particular service or product is implied or intended.
Copyright 2000-2014: ChichesterWeb. Webmaster: Ian Burt.