Rolls-Royce resumes production and celebrates 116 years of history

By CARSIFU | 5 May 2020

LONDON: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has reached a ripe old age of 101 years but even more significantly was May 4, 1904 - the precise date when The Honourable Charles Rolls met Henry Royce in Manchester, England.

To mark the occasion, the company has announced that production has resumed at its Goodwood-based manufacturing plant.

Last year, the company celebrated its centenary with the release of the Wraith Eagle VIII Collection Car - limited to just 50 examples.

Sir Henry Royce-min
Sir Henry Royce

The significance was that in 1919, Royce's Eagle VIII engine provided the power for the first transatlantic flight, from St John’s, Newfoundland to County Galway in Ireland, by
British adventurers Captain John Alcock and Lieutenant Arthur Brown.

Royce’s home studio was the birthplace of the engine that now occupies an important place in the annals of aviation achievement.

It so happened that the engineer in Royce had a desire for perfection and an innate work ethic that later became the pillar of the company's philosophy - “Take the best that exists and make it better.”

Rolls, on the other hand, was an aristocrat and an accomplished motorist with experience in selling imported foreign motor cars.

The Honourable Charles Stewart Rolls
The Honourable Charles Stewart Rolls

His business partner, Claude Johnson, stepped into the role of Managing Director of Rolls and Royce’s venture and expanded the fledgling company’s reputation.

The company they founded has faced extraordinary challenges and difficulties throughout its 116-year history.

Though it was still in its infancy in 1918, it managed to endure the greatest pandemic of the 20th Century - the Spanish Flu.

A decade later, it again stood firm when the Great Depression laid waste to the global economy as it did during the financial crash of 2008

And so while Covid-19 is possibly the biggest test the company has ever faced, it is certainly not the first.

“We are living through historic times. Our primary focus is, of course, on safely resuming production at The Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, West Sussex. Our present challenges may be unprecedented, but as we look to the future, I am confident there is no company in the world better prepared to overcome them,” said Rolls-Royce Motor Cars chief executive officer Torsten Müller-Ötvös.