RREC Central Southern Section

21 November 2000

The 60 million UK-based investment will create the world's most exclusive car plant with initially 350 new jobs and an all-new Rolls-Royce luxury sedan from 2003 onwards.

Greatest emphasis is put on sensitive landscaping and the use of latest production technology in terms of environmental effects.

The BMW Group has submitted a planning application to Chichester District Council for a new manufacturing plant and head office for its Rolls-Royce project, to be built at Goodwood, near Chichester, West Sussex.

The 60 million development is part of a major investment in Rolls-Royce by the BMW Group, which acquired the rights to the car brand in 1998 and takes over full business and production responsibilities in 2003. The new manufacturing facilities will produce an entirely new luxury saloon - the first model of a new generation of authentic Rolls-Royce automobiles, with a modern interpretation of the traditional values associated with this most famous of British car marques. The new home of Rolls-Royce will directly employ about 350 people, producing 1,000 cars a year on average.

The Managing Director of the Rolls-Royce project, Karl-Heinz Kalbfell, said: 'We are on track and on time with all aspects of this exciting project to create the world's most exclusive car manufacturing plant and to bring a new Rolls-Royce model to the market in 2003, which has been designed in the UK and will be built by craftspeople in the UK.'

The site of the new Rolls-Royce manufacturing plant and head office is adjacent to the Goodwood Estate and vehicle testing will be carried out on the nearby Goodwood Motor Circuit. Because of the essentially hand-crafted nature of the production process, only about five cars a day will be manufactured in surroundings reflecting the exclusivity and heritage of the UK motor industry's most famous name.

The choice of the location was announced in May this year after a thorough examination of alternative UK sites. Since then, there have been extensive discussions and consultations with local agencies, community groups and individuals with an interest in the scheme ahead of the formal submission of the planning application.

The location provides a unique combination of available specialist skills - many associated with the area's bespoke boat-building industry - and excellent transport links to airports and seaports. Customers from all over the world will be pleased to find many opportunities for cultural entertainment, sight-seeing and sports activities such as golf, sailing, flying, horse racing, and last but not least the famous historic motoring events at Goodwood.

Subject to the granting of planning permission, construction work on approximately ten acres of the total 30-acre site will start in the Spring of next year. The building phase will create a further 300 temporary jobs in the region, giving a boost to the local construction industry.

The design of the new Rolls-Royce facilities is the result of a competition, which was won by a leading firm of UK architects, Nicholas Grimshaw and Partners, who have been responsible for many award winning projects. The majority of buildings will be located partly below ground level in an area created by gravel extraction. The site will be extensively landscaped and screened and will have minimal impact and match the topography of the land.

The main roof will be a 'living green roof', which when viewed from outside will blend into the surrounding countryside. A specially constructed lake at the front of the buildings will receive rainwater from the roof and the site, which will be recycled.

As well as setting new and imaginative design standards for such a project, the complex will be the home of the future company for Rolls-Royce cars, employing approximately 350 people in 2003 in development, design, production, marketing and sales, as well as commercial and office operations. Customers will be encouraged to see their cars being built and it is expected that they and other visitors from throughout the world will visit the new Rolls-Royce headquarters, which will, in turn, benefit the local and regional economies.

(Munich) BMW Group - Project Rolls-Royce