4 minute read - 28th April 2023
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars marks 20 years of production at Goodwood
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is marking two decades of production at Goodwood with a landmark survey revealing the company’s full impact on both the local and national economies. The independent study, the first commissioned by Rolls-Royce in its history, was led by Dr Alexander Grous of the London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) and includes figures up to and including 2022. The company says the study is clear proof that, by putting exceptional products into the hands of the world’s most influential people, Great Britain secures its place as a centre of design, craft and engineering excellence on the world stage and, by extension, the nation benefits.
The LSE report shows that since production began at Goodwood in 2003, Rolls-Royce has contributed more than £4bn to the UK economy. This contribution is long-term and sustainable. Rolls-Royce invests around £10m every year in its facilities and operations to support its production, reflected in a series of ‘record years’ peaking to date in 2022 with over 6,000 cars sold worldwide. Rolls-Royce is also able to confirm its standing as one of the largest employers in West Sussex.
More than 2,500 people are employed at Goodwood, including 150 jobs created in 2022 alone. The company also supports more than 7,500 additional full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs within its wider national supply chain. Importantly, Rolls-Royce did not make a single redundancy during the Covid-19 pandemic.
As one of the largest employers in West Sussex, Rolls-Royce has a substantial positive impact on the local economy. Around 20% of its total annual contribution is generated directly within West Sussex and bordering counties, including salaries and wages of staff employed at Goodwood. In addition, the company also operates its technology and logistics centre eight miles away in Bognor Regis, which supports a further 1,000 direct and indirect jobs.
Rolls-Royce contributes to the local and national knowledge economies through its leading-edge R&D in fields including hardware, software, electrification, digitalisation and vehicle connectivity. These activities are growing rapidly in both scale and importance, with Rolls-Royce committed to all-electric propulsion by the end of 2030.
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The LSE study notes that Rolls-Royce encourages significant innovation, development and improvements within its wider supply chain. Many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have adopted new technologies, processes and practices to meet Rolls-Royce’s exacting requirements, raising standards and boosting competitiveness across a wide swathe of the UK’s manufacturing base.
Rolls-Royce also produces important intangible benefits for the local economy and population. For example, every year it supports more than 100 apprenticeship, graduate and intern positions, in partnership with local further and higher education institutions, leading to well-paid and highly skilled employment opportunities. The company enjoys close ties with surrounding communities: recent projects include developing a dedicated new car park for The March CE Primary School which adjoins the Goodwood site, and supporting local mentoring and work-based initiatives. In addition, employees nominate their House Charity each year, raising significant sums for local good causes.
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has formally announced proposals to expand its Goodwood site. It has acquired land to the east of the current site and planning permission will be sought later this year.
The project’s primary objective is to upgrade the manufacturing plant; some facilities and equipment are now 20 years old and require replacement and upgrading. The company is also looking to increase capacity for its bespoke and coachbuild operations, as well as preparing for its new generation of electric vehicles. The first customer deliveries of the all-electric super-coupé, Rolls-Royce Spectre, are due in the fourth quarter of 2023.
The expansion does not, however, signal any shift in the marque’s fundamental approach or values: Rolls-Royce is not, never has been and never will be a volume-driven business. The new facility will reflect the fact that the marque is no longer simply an automotive manufacturer, but a true luxury house creating highly prized bespoke products.
Torsten Müller-Ötvös, chief executive officer of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said: “Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is a Great British success story. As we mark 20 years of production at our Home in Goodwood, we do so in the knowledge that not only have we produced some of the world’s most significant super-luxury products, we have also made a major economic contribution to the English county we are based in and, crucially, ‘UK plc’. Today, I am delighted to unveil the exceptional results of the first ever independent survey of our company’s economic impact locally in Chichester, in the surrounding area and nationally.
“Conducted for us by the London School of Economics, the study confirms that Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is a major economic contributor and one of the largest employers in West Sussex. As the nation enters a new era with the coronation of His Majesty King Charles III, we are proud to represent the very best of British excellence and endeavour. Through our rare crafts and craftsmanship, international customer base and products admired and cherished worldwide, we are sustaining thousands of skilled jobs and playing a key role in promoting the UK’s reputation as a hub of creativity and innovation.”