Rolls-Royce Motor Cars have marked 20 years of production at Goodwood with a landmark survey that reveals the company’s full and extraordinary impact on both local and national economies.
The independent study, led by Dr Alexander Grous of the London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE), is the first commissioned by Rolls-Royce in its history and includes figures up to and including 2022.
By putting exceptional products into the hands of the world’s most influential people, Great Britain secures its place as a centre of design, craft and engineering excellence on the world stage.
Overall Economic Contribution
According to the LSE report, Rolls-Royce has contributed over £4 billion to the UK economy since production began at Goodwood in 2003.
Rolls-Royce invests around £10 million every year in its facilities and operations to support its production, reflected in a series of ‘record years’ peaking to date in 2022 at over 6,000 motor cars sold worldwide. This contribution is long-term and sustainable, making Rolls-Royce a flagship of the nation’s luxury and automotive sectors, and crucially, ‘UK PLC‘. Rolls-Royce is also one of the largest employers in West Sussex, England.
Locally and Nationally Rolls-Royce employs more than 2,500 people at the Home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood, including 150 jobs created in 2022 alone. The company also supports more than 7,500 additional full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs within its wider national supply chain.
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Rolls-Royce did not make a single redundancy, making it one of very few UK manufacturers to maintain its workforce entirely intact.
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has a substantial positive impact on the local economy, with around 20% of its total annual contribution generated directly within West Sussex and bordering counties. The company also operates its Technology and Logistics Centre (TLC) eight miles away in Bognor Regis, which supports a further 1,000 direct and indirect jobs.
Indirect and Intangible Contributions
Rolls-Royce contributes to the local and national knowledge economies through its leading-edge R&D in fields including hardware, software, electrification, digitalisation and vehicle connectivity. These activities are growing rapidly in both scale and importance, with Rolls-Royce committed to all-electric propulsion by the end of 2030.
The LSE study notes that Rolls-Royce encourages significant innovation, development and improvements within its wider supply chain. Many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have adopted new technologies, processes and practices to meet Rolls-Royce’s exacting requirements, raising standards and boosting competitiveness across a wide swathe of the UK’s manufacturing base.
Rolls-Royce also produces important intangible benefits for the local economy and population. Every year, it supports more than 100 apprenticeships, graduate and intern positions, in partnership with local further and higher education institutions, leading to well-paid and highly skilled employment opportunities.
The company enjoys close ties with surrounding communities, with recent projects including developing a dedicated new car park for The March CE Primary School which adjoins the Goodwood site and supports local mentoring and work-based initiatives. In addition, employees nominate their House Charity each year, raising significant sums for local good causes.
A Continuing Success Story
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has formally announced proposals to expand the Home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood. The project’s primary objective is to upgrade the manufacturing plant, with some facilities and equipment now 20 years old and requiring replacement and upgrading.
The company is also looking to increase capacity for its Bespoke and Coachbuild operations, as well as prepare for its new generation of electric vehicles. The first customer deliveries of the all-electric super-coupé, Rolls-Royce Spectre, are due in the fourth quarter of 2023. All new Rolls-Royce models will be electric by the end of 2030.
The expansion does not, however, signal any shift in the marque’s fundamental approach or values. Rolls-Royce is not, never has been, and never will be a volume-driven business.
The new facility will reflect the fact that the marque is no longer simply an automotive manufacturer but a true luxury house creating the world’s best, most recognised and highly prized Bespoke products.
In conclusion, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars’ contribution to the UK economy is immense and far-reaching. The company’s long-term and sustainable investment in its facilities and operations, as well as its commitment to R&D and innovation, has resulted in significant positive impacts on both the local and national economies.
Rolls-Royce’s success story demonstrates how putting exceptional products into the hands of the world’s most influential people can secure Great Britain’s place as a centre of design, craft, and engineering excellence on the world stage.