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Wednesday, August 12, 1998 Published at 13:04 GMT 14:04 UK


Business

Rolls may be on the move

Rolls Royce management favours Crewe

Rolls Royce car production could be moved back to its original location in Derby, according to the marque's new owners, BMW.

BMW Chairman Bernd Pischetsrieder is believed to favour moving Rolls Royce Motors from its current site at Crewe in Cheshire when his company takes over production in 2003.

A spokesman for BMW said that it would be "some time" before a decision was taken. "Obviously we have ideas, but there are no firm plans," he said.


[ image: The Spirit of Ecstacy cost BMW £40m]
The Spirit of Ecstacy cost BMW £40m
Rolls Royce Motors has already made clear that it would like production to remain at Crewe. A spokesman for the company said: "We take comfort from the fact that Mr Pischetsrieder has used the words 'should we decide to move'."

Rolls Royce cars were built at Derby from 1910 to 1939. The company moved to Crewe in 1946 when it resumed car production after the Second World War.

BMW recently lost a nine-month battle with Volkswagen to buy Rolls Royce Motors from its British owners, Vickers.

VW paid £479m for the luxury car maker, but in a surprise deal BMW bought the Rolls Royce marque - separately owned by aero-engine manufacturers Rolls Royce plc - for £40m.

The deal allows VW to use the Rolls Royce name free of charge until 2003. It will then relinquish the name to BMW and produce cars under the Bentley marque.

Chief Executive of Rolls Royce Motors Graham Morris resigned on 31 July in protest at suggestions that Rolls Royce car production could be moved from Crewe.

He had already expressed dissatisfaction with the decision to sell the Rolls Royce marque to BMW.



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