Monday, June 4, 2012

Hello Volkswagen

In 1998 the company which built Rolls Royce and Bentley motor cars was on the brink of extinction. It's owner, Vickers, needed to sell quickly, preferably to BMW which built the engines for the latest models. Believing they had a done deal, BMW submitted a low ball bid for the company, but were outbid by Volkswagen.

In the early '70's Rolls Royce split itself into 2 companies; RR Limited which builds aircraft engines and RR Motors which builds RR and Bentley cars. Oddly, the aircraft company owned all rights to the name Rolls Royce, the Spirit of Ecstasy mascot, and the trademarked grill design, and leased them to the automobile maker. The car company owned the car factory, parts business and all the assets of Bentley Motors.

BMW didn't take losing to Volkswagen well, and got their evens. When the sale of Rolls Royce and Bentley to Volkswagen was announced, on this date in 1998, BMW approached their aircraft partner, RR LTD. with an offer to purchase the Rolls Royce name, logos, and trademarks, which was accepted, leaving Volkswagen with Bentley, an opportunity for selling parts for older RR cars and an old factory.

BMW won the name but not the heritage.

Today RR's are built by BMW at a new factory in England, Bentley's are built by Volkswagen at the site of the old RR plant in Crewe. Both are each doing very well thank you.


1 comment:

Kerstin Shed said...

It is good to know that the two car giants are doing well. There is always a stiff competition in the auto world. They always find a way to up their competition. But the good news is, the new and quality cars keep on coming.