If you have been to a motor assembly plant of any vehicle, you can't help but marvel at how these powerful machines are put together; the sight indeed can be intriguing in all its technical, arcane complexity.
Of all the world's favorite cars, the Rolls Royce brand of luxury car has dominated high-end specialty cars for generation. However, have you ever wondered how a Rolls Royce is made? - It would be a magnificent scene! (This could be your reply, I guess). No doubt, watching the making of one of the world’s most iconic car brands would not only be exciting but educative.
This is because the Roll-Royce, of all car models out there, is one of the most brilliant, designed with a touch of mastery that remains the envy and standard of car makers worldwide.
Why has the Rolls Royce brand come to define ultimate luxury and quality?
1. How long does it take to make one Rolls Royce?
In as much as the finished Rolls-Royce looks terrific, producing one Rolls-Royce unit is no picnic and takes approximately two months to six months to complete! What contributes to this is that just about every task and part of this car is crafted by hand. Yep, just like the finest hand-made Italian leather shoes!
With this in mind, one can better appreciate its final look and performance, as special attention is given to each component of these cars. This also is a factor in the inflated price of the cars as the lowest priced Rolls-Royce costs about $300,000 or ₦108m, with the most expensive of them, Rolls-Royce Sweptail carrying a price tag of a mind numbing $13 million, which is a stupendous ₦4.7 billion!
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Each Rolls Royce is hand-crafted from start to finish using specialty teams
This brings us to the question: How is a Rolls-Royce made? Before we look into that, let us take a quick peek into the past of this luxury brand.
2. Brief history of Rolls-Royce luxury car brand
Rolls-Royce Motors Limited was founded in 1904 by Charles Rolls and Henry Royce. Their first ever produced car was the Rolls-Royce 10 HP. After the successful manufacture of this first finished product they decided to “roll” with the name Rolls-Royce for their vehicles, which you will notice is a brilliant mix of their surnames.
Charles Rolls and Henry Royce joined names and genius to craft the world's ultimate luxury sedan
Rolls Royce used to make plane engines
Besides making cars, these two men also produced jet engines. In 1913, the Silver Ghost was named the best car in the world after carrying out the 14,731-mile Alpenfahrt in 1913.
Who owns Rolls Royce?
In 1998, the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited was made a solely owned minor production arm of BMW after the Bavarian carmaker obtained the rights to the name and logo of Rolls-Royce PLC. Volkswagen AG retained grille and mascot. Volkswagen had acquired those rights from acqiring Rolls Royce/Bentley.
BMW then obtained from Volkswagen AG the rights to the Spirit of Ecstasy and Rolls-Royce grill and mascot trademarks. BMW began to make Rolls Royce cars under the subsidiary name, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited. Even though the Rolls-Royce brand has been in use since 1906, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is a sub-division of BMW AG, and has no direct association or relationship to Rolls-Royce exclusive vehicles produced earlier than 2003.
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Rolls Royce has been making cars since 1906 as this early model shows
However, the Bentley subsidiary of Volkswagen AG is the uninterrupted beneficiary to Rolls-Royce Limited and other several forerunner entities that made Rolls-Royce and Bentley branded cars. In 2003, the first Rolls Royce completely built by BMW was manufactured.
Which country buys the most Rolls Royce cars?
Of all the countries, the United State is the company's most popular buyer, and they are followed by China. Following this are other markets like Canada, North America as about one-third of all commissions came from them last year. For purchase, buyers of the car have a waiting period of five months to a year. Hong Kong however has the most Rolls Royce density of any city worldwide.
A Rolls Royce on a US street, the United States is the brand's biggest customer
3. How are Rolls Royce cars made?
About 4000 units of Rolls-Royce are produced yearly in the company's factory in Goodwood in England. Here all the parts of the cars are put together except the car's frame and engine. Working together to produce this car, the company has about 1,800 workers from all nationalities, and they comprise engineers, design teams, and communication teams.
Since the cars are manually produced, every single Rolls-Royce car goes through 60 professional highly skilled workers, who work jointly to see that the vehicle gets to the owner in the condition customers expect of a Rolls car. A typical Rolls body has as many as 44,000 different shades of color.
Décor and lighting
Depending on the purchaser’s choice, every part of the car can be customized on demand; these include the leather, ceiling lining, seats, and even the stitching. The buyers also have the privilege of choosing interior lighting of their choice.
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Every detail on Rolls-Royce is customized to buyer's order
The interior takes about 17 days to complete and has about 450 pieces of leather in it. These leather pieces are hand stitched and have nine hides obligatory for each of the unit’s interior. It generally takes more than two weeks to complete the interior of a unit.
Leather or hide
Customers have the option of upholstery between Stingrays, Ostrich, Crocodile, Rabbit pelt, and Shark hide or leather. All of these are of course legally obtained. The hides are preshrunk and drum dyed for uniform color circulation and to make it feel softer and last longer.
Intricate craftsmansip goes into each Rolls Royce interior
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The wooden craves in the cars come from a single tree to make the cabin and dashboard flawless, with a matching pattern. For these also, customers have the choice of design. The Inlays are decorated with cross banding to syndicate complementary 42 different parts of veneers with delicate inlaid boxwood beading.
It takes a whole day to make a Rolls-Royce radiator, which later takes about 5 hours to polish while the radiator grille is also made by hand with no measuring instruments used in the process. The painting of the coach line of every Rolls-Royce requires a special treatment without the involvement of machines or robots.
Instead, it is done by only one man: Mark Courts. To do this job, Mark Courts requires extreme focus as there is no eraser for correction if a mistake is made. This is the final design bit before delivery to the customer.
Only Mark Courts is trusted to execute the intricate paintwork in the coach line
Rolls Royce cars have a well deserved reputation. If you can afford one, then you will be buying into more than a hunred years of traditional automotive excellence.
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