We’re in great shape, really, says Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

We’re in great shape, really, says Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

MADAM Wheels nearly passed out on reading news in the Financial Times this week that Rolls-Royce was preparing to lay off significant numbers of its workforce as part of a major reorganisation brought on by a failure somewhere in the business. About 4600 jobs were set to go as part of cuts to mainly managerial and administrative staff in the UK.

Did that somehow put at risk that company’s ability to continue producing the world’s most prestigious motor vehicles? Would treasured members of the local Rolls-Royce team end up at risk?

As it turns out, all is well because the restructure and layoffs were happening in a completely different company to the prestige automotive group which just happens to share part of the name, Rolls-Royce plc.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars was quick to dampen down fears that it had somehow missed its mark. The troubled company produces Rolls-Royce aero engines, not cars, and is in strife because of new problems with its defective Trent 1000 engines, which power Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner aircraft. More than 30 aircraft have been grounded as a result, and analysts reckon the bill for fixing the problems and compensating affected airlines could cost up to £1 billion ($A1.78b).

In response to “a lot of confusion in the global press”, Rolls‑Royce Motor Cars issued a statement clarifying its robust health and ongoing global success across its model range. There are no plans for job reductions, it says.

“We are, of course, a completely separate company from Rolls-Royce plc,” a spokesman says. “The super-luxury car firm is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the BMW Group.”

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has customers in almost 50 countries. Its eighth-generation flagship Phantom is selling well, and the company will start delivering to customers its new SUV, Cullinan, towards the end of the year. 

“Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is not restructuring its business nor is it announcing any job losses – the contrary is true,” the spokesman says.

Goodwood, the Home of Rolls-Royce, employs more than 1800 skilled employees, a five-fold increase since the company launched in 2003. A record intake to its Apprenticeship Program further demonstrates its long-term commitment to supporting future talent, the statement says. Fifty young people are currently learning skilled trades at Goodwood, and record numbers of graduates and interns also recently joined the company.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös says the company is enjoying a period of sustained success, underlined by its stated long-term, sustainable growth strategy. 

“The company is in great shape and I applaud the skilled men and women in the Rolls‑Royce family at Goodwood and around the world that design, develop, hand-build and support the ‘best car in the world’,” he says.