Rolls-Royce marks 116th anniversary, may slash prices

But for the COVID-19 pandemic, there would have been drum rolls and fireworks at a grand ceremony to mark the 116th anniversary of a United Kingdom-based automaker, Rolls-Royce. It started churning out super luxury vehicles to the delight of the people globally in 1904.

In line with the mood of the time, there has been a low-key celebration.

The celebration also coincides with a hint that there may be a reduction in the prices of its brand of vehicles as it increases price-cut pressure on suppliers of components for its vehicles.

Already, Financial Time of London in a report says Rolls-Royce is threatening to withdraw “support” from suppliers who do not agree to price cuts of up to 15 per cent.

Reflecting on the 116-year celebration, Rolls-Royce recalls that the journey started when Charles Rolls first met Henry Royce in 1904 at the Midland Hotel, Manchester – an encounter that defined a new world of luxury, crystallising into the establishment of the first-class luxury auto brand.

After the meeting with Royce, Rolls was said to have declared, “I have met the greatest engineer in the World.”

It was not difficult to agree on the brand name as both contributed one of their names to arrive at Rolls-Royce.

“Rolls and Royce shared a vision to make the future of motoring extraordinary. Henry Royce, an engineer, had a desire for perfection and an innate work ethic that later became the pillar of Rolls-Royce philosophy. Charles Rolls, an aristocrat, was an accomplished motorist, experienced in selling imported foreign motor cars,” says a report from Coscharis Motors, Nigeria’s representative of the iconic brand.

Although the company is said to have faced extraordinary challenges and difficulties throughout its 116 year history, its vehicles have continued to stand out and patronised by influential rulers and classy and top political leaders.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Lagos, a subsidiary of Coscharis Motors, in a statement signed by its Group General Manager, Marketing and Corporate Communications, Abiona Babarinde, notes that the brand has always risen to every challenge with ingenuity, commitment, courage and solidarity, adding that while COVID-19 is possibly the biggest test Rolls-Royce has ever faced, it is indeed not the first.

It recalls how Rolls-Royce still at its infancy in 1918 had endured the greatest pandemic of the 20th Century, Spanish Flu, which swept through the world then.

It states, “A decade later, it again stood firm when the Great Depression laid waste to the global economy. Over the years that followed, Rolls Royce has withstood the shocks of economic and political crises at home and overseas, embodying calm and constancy in a tumultuous, uncertain world.

“In its more recent history, the company weathered the financial crash of 2008 and came out the other side more resilient and determined than ever.”

The report also highlights the benefits working from home has accorded the brand.

For instance, it says, “For the current generation of the Rolls-Royce family, working from home has been a new experience. For Sir Henry Royce, however, it was entirely normal. Indeed, some of his most influential designs were produced in the private studio he maintained at his home – Elmstead – at West Wittering, just eight miles from the present-day manufacturing plant and global head office.

“Royce clearly found inspiration and creative energy in the peace, quiet and solitude that working away from the bustle of the office and factory provided. Famously, while walking on the nearby beach one day, he sketched the initial design for the R-series aero engine in the sand with his walking-stick. A later development of that design, the Merlin, would earn everlasting acclaim as the engine which powered the legendary Supermarine Spitfire.”

Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said, “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; but in marking this amazing anniversary, we are taking a moment to reflect on what 116 years have taught us.”

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