Tuesday, January 12, 2016


The world’s most famous brand, Rolls-Royce, is celebrating record sales in the USA since its acquisition by BMW AG in 1998. It has been a long road back  to something like its former prominence for the iconic British marque.

In 2015, Rolls-Royce sold 3,785 cars globally, with one third of those cars finding homes in North America. Rolls-Royce executives maintain it is not a volume-driven brand, but what it has achieved is to see its average age of buyers coming down. Given that an outsiders’ view of Rolls-Royce is that they are only owned by old fogeys, this is an impressive result.

Actually, BMW did not take responsibility for Rolls-Royce until 2001 under a unique agreement between the CEO of BMW AG Berndt Pichestrieder and VWAG Chairman Ferdinand Piech.
Left to right: Berndt Pichestrieder, Ferdinand Piech, Ulrich Eichhorn, Franz-Josef Paefgen
 When VWAG swooped on Rolls-Royce and Bentley Motor Cars in 1998 it scooped up Bentley, the workforce and facilities at Crewe, England. However, the Rolls-Royce copyrights, brand name, Flying Lady and associated goodwill were actually owned by Rolls-Royce plc (the jet aircraft engine division).

Rolls-Royce plc was in a joint venture with BMW Aerospace, and to spite Piech, it sold the rights for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars to BMW AG for just £60 million – after VWAG had paid £430 million for what it thought was ‘the lot’.

After a private meeting between Pishetsreider and Piech on a frosty morning in September 1998 on a golf course in Nurnberg, Germany, the two executives finally agreed that VWAG would be the ‘steward’ for the Rolls-Royce marque, until 2001 when BMW AG expected it would assume full design, manufacturing, production and sales responsibilities for the brand.

In February 1999 I was invited to a meeting in Wolfsburg with Dr. Piech where he outlined our responsibilities for the care and feeding of Rolls-Royce, until it was handed over to BMW AG.

The brand was to be treated with dignity and respect and ‘cared for’ so that it would be handed over with its integrity intact.
1906 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost (AX 201), insured for £40 million! The car is still owned by Bentley Motors.
In the course of the next three years we developed, and launched a convertible we named Corniche.
2001 Rolls-Royce Corniche, the last Rolls-Royce developed in Crewe, UK

We held a number of dealer promotions and worked with the Rolls-Royce Owners Club in the USA, to ensure the brand’s visibility and credibility was maintained.
Rolls-Royce Owners Club meeting, Louisville, Kentucky, 2000

Together with the RROC we introduced the ‘Last of Line’ Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph to great acclaim.

Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph 'Last of Line', the last Rolls-Royce built in Crewe, UK.
 I was not sorry when we handed over responsibilities to Rolls-Royce USA, because Bentley Motors North America had its own challenges, launching into a market which essentially had no knowledge of the Flying Lady’s ‘other brand’,

In hindsight we were quite successful, lifting Bentley sales of 830 cars in 1998 in the USA, to almost 5,000 cars a year during my last year with the company in 2006.

VWAG has benefitted in both dollar terms, and a boost to its obvious business acumen, with its steady hand, support, and ongoing investment in Bentley.

Barnato(back left)
Bentley (back right)
Le Mans 1927
The company is now far stronger and more successful than W.O. Bentley or its later Chairman Woolf Barnato could ever have dreamed.

However, Rolls-Royce is also better for being a key part of BMW AG. BMW has invested heavily in new product, and a purpose-built factory at Goodwood in England. Both brands are good for each other, and I am confident Rolls-Royce will continue to enhance its esteemed image for years to come.


  1. Excellent publish from specialist also it will probably be a fantastic know how to me and thanks very much for posting this useful data with us all. startup branding agency

  2. As I website owner I conceive the content material here is rattling excellent , thanks for your efforts. top branding company

  3. Just like the old saying goes, within the pro’s head there are few options, however , for a person with the beginner’s brain, the world is open up. best logo designers

  4. Oh my goodness! an excellent article dude. Thank you However I’m experiencing problem with ur rss . Do not know why Cannot register for it. Could there be any person getting identical rss difficulty? Anybody who knows kindly respond. Thnkx website design company nyc

  5. After study several of the web sites on your own internet site now, and I really appreciate your technique of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark internet site list and will be checking back soon. Pls consider my website likewise and told me if you agree. branding agency sf

  6. bike racks could really help you secure your bike when you leave it ~ branding agency new york

  7. web marketing would be the next trend in advertising. there are millions of potential costumers on the internet;; brand strategy los angeles

  8. nice post, I really love your concept, keep posting, great day! branding firms los angeles

  9. I am glad to be a visitor of this gross weblog, appreciate it for this rare info! brand agencies nyc

  10. Preferably, when you gain knowledge, are you able to mind updating your website with an increase of information? It is very ideal for me. brand agencies nyc

  11. yahoo mail sign in Yahoo mail is an web based email service. Yahoo mail service can be accessed through different devices including computer, tablets, smart phones, and more. Users with a valid Yahoo account can sign into Yahoo com to access the features of Yahoo mail. A smile web browser can be used to sign into Yahoo.com. Users can also download Yahoo app to their mobile phone and login to their account.

  12. Leading online upscale fashion boutique in London for women's outerwear. Selecting designers such as Canada Goose, Mackage, Rino & Pelle and ... Annette Gortz

  13. I’m calling it, the people behind this portfolio are the masters of brand naming. WOW, so many A-listers.

  14. It should be noted that whilst ordering papers for sale at paper writing service, you can get unkind attitude. In case you feel that the bureau is trying to cheat you, don't buy term paper from it. rolls royce dealership chicago

  15. This is why it is better that you should linked review before developing. It is possible to post superior send that way. Best Graphic Design

  16. It was wondering if I could use this write-up on my other website, I will link it back to your website though.Great Thanks. commercial electrical services

  17. Building an Access information base typically begins with chipping away at the tables first and getting the right sorts of informational index in your application from the beginning saving you a ton of time and cerebral pains later when computing and alluding to numeric qualities somewhere else.numbers information

  18. Wow, What an Outstanding post. I found this too much informatics. It is what I was seeking for. I would like to recommend you that please keep sharing such type of info.If possible, Thanks. rebrand

  19. I am always searching online for articles that can help me. There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also. Keep working, great job name for company