You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Factory Tour: Inside the Rolls-Royce Motor Car Facility

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 9/28/2014 Megan Stewart

Rolls-Royce is one of the most prestigious automotive marques in the world, and the brand owes a good deal of that reputation to the factory where the cars are built. While on a trip with the BMW Group, we had the chance to go behind the scenes and see what it is that makes the Rolls-Royce brand so unique.

The Plant is NOT Open to the Public

If you're wandering around the streets of Goodwood in Sussex, chances are you've come across the Rolls-Royce factory. But don’t think they let just anyone take a peek into what they've got going on. Only invited guests get that opportunity. Customers looking to purchase a new model, guests of the company, and select parties are the only ones who are lucky enough to see what makes this brand stand out from its competition. 2014 rolls royce wraith: 2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith

Each Car is Hand-Assembled

You won't be seeing any machines putting these vehicles together. Thanks to a highly-productive assembly line, each car is hand-assembled by a group of talented workers who can turn out four to five models each day. And while this may seem like a very small number, it's a pretty good turnover rate when you think about all the work that has to go into making sure each model is perfectly assembled without the use of machines. However, there's one part of the process that will see the use of some helping hands. The paint is the only part of the vehicle assembly process that takes advantage of a machine's precision. But Rolls-Royce also has a team of talented artists to hand-paint each desired decal to the customer's specifications.

"The Car Didn't Break Down; It Failed to Proceed"

While on the tour, we kept hearing these little phrases that made us chuckle. The factory seems to have its own language to showcase just how upscale the vehicles they produce really are. Like the example above, the company emphasized that no model of theirs has ever broken down. Instead, they just fail to proceed. Another example of this that we heard was when they described the paint area. It wasn't such a common place, but instead it was the "Surface Finish Center." Although many would consider this an arbitrary point, it's little touches like this that make the entire experience feel just a bit more upscale and special. 2014 rolls royce wraith: 2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith

Each Car Uses the Same Tree for all Wood Finishes

To have a measure of continuity throughout the entire cabin, the Rolls-Royce lineup uses one tree per car. And while this helps to maintain the amount of discarded raw materials, it also keeps the color and texture consistency of the wood throughout the cabin. Each tree has a unique pattern, texture, and color, and when you're dropping $300,000 or more for a completely customized car, it's nice to have everything match up. Along with that, all the wood choices available to the customer are sustainable and not endangered.

Continuity for Every Surface

Even when it comes to the leather, Rolls-Royce seems to go above and beyond to make sure all the materials are of the highest quality. Just like using one tree per car, the company uses a set of hides from a specific type of bull that are raised a specific way, fed a specific diet, and are of the same age. Rolls-Royce doesn't use cows, as they have stretch marks on their skin from childbirth. And while the bulls are originally bred for their meat, because they live such an easy, relaxed life, their hides are left undamaged and of high quality, perfect for the automotive industry. It takes 11 to 13 hides to outfit one model. 2014 Rolls Royce Wraith: 2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith

Many Customers Leave the Factory with a More Expensive Car than Planned

Perhaps the most interesting fact about visiting the Rolls-Royce factory is that those customers who walk through the doors thinking they know exactly what they want end up leaving with something a little different. According to our tour guide, around one third of customers who visit the shop to go over how they want their vehicles end up with further customizations than planned. The company prides itself on being able to exceed the expectations of its customers and their wishes, and showing all the different options, from the hand-crafted decals to the unique wood trims makes them go for something truly unique. Want the paint to match your lipstick or pair of shoes? Done. Want to use a different type of animal skin? Done. There's little that the company will refuse to do, or isn't able to do.

2014 rolls royce wraith: 2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith
AdChoices
AdChoices

More from Motor Trend

Loading...

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon