Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited is a British luxury automobile maker. A wholly owned subsidiary of BMW, it was established in 1998 after BMW was licensed the rights to the Rolls-Royce brand name and logo from Rolls-Royce PLC and acquired the rights to the Spirit of Ecstasy and Rolls-Royce grill shape trademarks from Volkswagen AG. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited operates from purpose-built administrative and production facilities opened in 2003 across from the historic Goodwood Circuit in Goodwood, West Sussex, England, United Kingdom. Rolls-Royce Motors Cars Limited is the exclusive manufacturer of Rolls-Royce branded motor cars since 2003.
Although the Rolls-Royce brand has been in use since 1906, the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars subsidiary of BMW AG has no direct relationship to Rolls-Royce branded vehicles produced prior to 2003. The Bentley Motors Limited subsidiary of Volkswagen AG is the direct successor to Rolls-Royce Motors and various other predecessor entities that produced Rolls-Royce and Bentley branded cars between the foundation of each company and 2003, when the BMW-controlled entity started producing cars under the Rolls-Royce brand.
The Rolls-Royce Phantom four-door sedan was the first product offered for sale in 2003. Since then, the company has expanded its product line to include extended wheelbase, two-door coupé, and convertible versions of the Phantom sedan, as well as the smaller Ghost four-door sedan and Wraith two-door coupé.
Rolls-Royce Motors was a British car manufacturer, created in 1973 during the de-merger of the Rolls-Royce automotive business from the nationalized Rolls-Royce Limited. Vickers acquired the company in 1980 and sold it to Volkswagen in 1998.
The original Rolls-Royce Limited had been nationalized in 1971 due to the financial collapse of the company, caused in part by the development of the RB211 jet engine. In 1973, the British government sold the Rolls-Royce car business to allow nationalized parent Rolls-Royce (1971) Limited to concentrate on jet engine manufacture.
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