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Rolls-Royce in Chichester
... News from Goodwood - Archive 2007

1 January 2007

Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé 1   Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé 2
Photos: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd

In 2004, Rolls-Royce unveiled 100EX, a striking experimental drophead built to celebrate 100 years of arguably the most famous automotive brand in the world. Built without compromise, it encapsulated a century of elegance and engineering, and, in an instant, defined the future direction of the brand.

In its two world tours, 100EX garnered positive comments from customers and the media alike. Such was the strength of the reaction that, in the autumn of 2005, Rolls-Royce announced that a production version would be available by 2007. In the interim years, the team at Goodwood have worked tirelessly to turn the experimental car into a reality.

Launched at the Detroit Motor Show 2006, the Phantom Drophead Coupé is the second new model from Rolls-Royce since BMW Group became custodian of the marque in 1998. The two-door, four-seat convertible is a less formal interpretation of classic Rolls-Royce design. Using the lightweight rigidity of an all-aluminium spaceframe, it marries modern technology to a sleek, streamlined convertible body.

Its exterior lines echo the timeless styling of the great Rolls-Royce cars: a long bonnet, large-diameter wheels, short front and long rear overhangs and the quintessential dynamic line descending along its flanks. Inside, the design emphasises the airy openness of top-down motoring, embracing the elements and creating a stunning, social environment.

The Phantom Drophead Coupé has been carefully crafted to be aesthetically pleasing, yet practical too. Wood, leather, chrome and brushed steel have been used where most appropriate. Form and function have equal billing. The simplicity of the design belies a car built to provide years of effortless service.

The Phantom Drophead Coupé offers owners an unparalleled convertible experience, combining compelling driveability with exceptional engineering, technology and design - hand-crafted from the finest materials to an exceptional level of quality.

9 March 2007
RR Drophead Phantom Coupˇ   The new Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé made its European debut at the Geneva motor show this week. Production of the new model will begin at the company's UK manufacturing plant at Goodwood in the summer.

The two-door, four-seat convertible is a less formal interpretation of classic Rolls-Royce design than its four-door stable mate, the Phantom. Using the lightweight rigidity of an all-aluminium spaceframe, it marries modern technology to a sleek, streamlined convertible body.

Hand-built using the finest quality materials to the exacting standards of Rolls-Royce, the new Phantom Drophead Coupé is exciting customers around the world.

Speaking ahead of the Geneva show, Graeme Grieve, Sales and Marketing Director, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said, "The reaction to the Drophead Coupˇ has been phenomenal. This year's production has already been allocated and there are currently only a few build slots left in 2008. We are delighted that more than half of the orders are from customers who have never owned a Rolls-Royce before, so the new model is significantly expanding the appeal of our products."
Photos: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd

10 March 2007
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has produced the 3000th Phantom since the launch of the company in January 2003. It was commissioned by a UK customer through Rolls-Royce Motor Cars of London and has been delivered today.

The car's new owner collected the Diamond Black Phantom from the showroom in Berkeley Square. Mrs Tchenguiz-Imerman, a London based socialite, said that she was delighted with her new car as she accepted the keys from Rolls-Royce Chairman and Chief Executive, Ian Robertson.

Mr Robertson said, "Our home market has always been very special to us. It remains one of the most important for the company and our London dealer in particular has been consistently ranked as one of the top three in the world since we launched the Phantom in 2003. It is fitting that they have sold such a significant car."

  3,000th RR Phantom built.
Ian Robertson, Chairman and Chief Executive with the new owner of the 3000th Phantom.   Photo:Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd

Mrs Tchenguiz-Imerman's Phantom features Black Ash veneer with silver inlay, black leather trim with contrasting stitching and two 12-inch DVD screens in the rear. A discreet plaque in the glovebox acknowledges the car's special status.

2 May 2007
Charlie Dimmock   The competition was arranged in partnership with the Sussex Wildlife Trust, an organisation of which Rolls-Royce is a Gold member. This programme offers scope for children to develop their creative skills within the National Curriculum and to develop understanding of the environment. The brief was to create a garden which provides habitats for creatures like butterflies, ladybirds and spiders, as part of the food chain for the many varied wildlife species that are frequently seen at the Goodwood site. These include swans, ducks, geese, moorhens, cormorants, terns, badgers, deer, foxes and owls. The Fishbourne school children will return regularly to tend the garden and see which animal species have colonised it.

Rolls-Royce employees lent a hand too, preparing the ground and planting specially selected shrubs to encourage insect colonisation as part of the biological food chain at the 42-acre site. Rolls-Royce has already established over 400,000 trees and shrubs to encourage biodiversity and to ensure that the buildings blend in with the surrounding landscape.

The main buildings at the Rolls-Royce manufacturing plant feature a 'living roof' which is planted with a variety of sedum plants. It extends to eight acres and is believed to be the largest in the UK. As well as acting as an ideal habitat for flora and fauna the roof also provides insulation in the winter and evaporative cooling in the summer, which cuts energy bills. A number of breeding pairs of skylarks were spotted nesting on the roof last summer. The grounds also feature a number of lakes which act as a heat sink for the climate control systems in the head office buildings, resulting in savings over the cost of air conditioning.

A custom-made owl box was placed in the grounds last December and more boxes are planned for the future.

Ian Robertson, Chairman and Chief Executive, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars said, "We are committed to encouraging biodiversity by integrating the facilities here into the beautiful surrounding landscape. We were delighted to work with the children from Fishbourne CE Primary School and their garden, which will contribute to our longer term effortsto help ensure local wildlife is preserved."

Dr Tony Whitbread, Chief Executive of the Sussex Wildlife Trust, said, "It is one of the Trust's main objectives to educate children about wildlife and the need to take care of the environment. It is vital that the next generation of decision-makers realises the importance of our local natural habitats and the wildlife that depends on them. We applaud the efforts of companies like Rolls-Royce which are contributing so much towards that aim."

Fishbourne CE Primary School
Fishbourne CE Primary School go wild at Rolls-Royce. Photos:Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd

20 July 2007
Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupés
Photo: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd
The first customer Phantom Drophead Coupés have today left the company's head office and manufacturing plant at Goodwood. The five cars are destined for customers around the world.

Each car is hand built to specific requirements and features individual wood veneer, leather and paint finish choices. The first five customers have also specified the optional steel bonnet and rear teak deck. The bonnet is machine brushed before being hand finished to ensure a uniform grain throughout. The deck is made up of separate solid teak slats, hand sanded and waxed to give a 'just cut' finish.

The two-door, four-seat convertible is a less formal interpretation of classic Rolls-Royce design than its four-door stable mate, the Phantom. Using the lightweight rigidity of an all-aluminium spaceframe, it marries modern technology to a sleek, streamlined convertible body. Hand built using the finest quality materials to the exacting standards of Rolls-Royce, the new Phantom Drophead Coupé is attracting new and existing Rolls-Royce customers worldwide.

Ian Robertson, Chairman and Chief Executive of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars said, "The reaction to the Phantom Drophead Coupé from customers, the media and enthusiasts around the world has been phenomenal. We are delighted that the first cars are being delivered to customers and we are now in full production to meet demand. The passion and dedication that our workforce has shown in delivering this new model has been inspiring."

23 October 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.   Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Manufacturing Plant
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Manufacturing Plant and Head Office at Goodwood.      
Photo: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd

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 forty 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 wellinto 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."

Rolls-Royce in Chichester   -  News and pictures from the first plans to the latest announcements homebacknext
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