Oxford Gets Rolls-Royce Plant; BMW to Build beside Cowley Site Business Staff

By O'Brien, James | The Birmingham Post (England), May 12, 2000 | Go to article overview
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Oxford Gets Rolls-Royce Plant; BMW to Build beside Cowley Site Business Staff


O'Brien, James, The Birmingham Post (England)


BMW will choose Oxford for the site of its Rolls-Royce car plant.

The plant assembling the cars will not be part of the existing BMW Oxford plant at Cowley.

The German car maker has already said that Rolls-Royce would not be identified with any existing production plant.

An official announcement will be made by BMW before the middle of June. Five sites were under consideration for the plant but this has gradually been reduced to two sites. The other is believed to be Derby.

Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council have been canvassing hard to keep Rolls-Royce production at Crewe. Earlier possible sites included Birmingham, Staffordshire and Northamptonshire - and up to six weeks ago local authorities were still contacting BMW and asking their Rolls-Royce team to view sites.

But Oxford has long been a site well in favour with BMW.

The company believes it has a traditional, high quality style that fits with the Rolls-Royce image.

Under a 1998 agreement with BMW, Volkswagen acquired the licence to the Rolls-Royce name until December 31, 2002, with BMW agreeing to supply parts and components for Rolls-Royce at the Crewe works. After that date, Volkswagen's Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd business will be renamed Bentley Motor Cars Ltd and a new Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd will be set up by BMW.

Union leaders at Cowley have stepped up their campaign to urge BMW to take the production of Rolls-Royce to Oxford.

Mr Tony Woodley, the Transport and General Workers' Union chief negotiator, said the future of the Cowley plant had been secured by BMW's intention to build the new Mini there.

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