Page last updated at 16:04 GMT, Wednesday, 20 May 2009 17:04 UK

Rolls-Royce cars creates 150 jobs

Rolls-Royce leather worker
Some of the new recruits will be skilled artisans.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has created 150 new manufacturing jobs at its factory in Goodwood, West Sussex, raising the total workforce to 900.

Rolls-Royce is expanding because more workers are needed to produce the Ghost, its latest model.

In contrast, luxury carmakers Bentley and Aston Martin have been scaling back production during the recession.

Formula One team McLaren shares Rolls-Royce's optimism, though, and is planning to produce a sports car.

Rolls-Royce Ghost (concept)
We now need to put people in place to bring the car to market
Tom Purves, chief executive, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

"This is good news for the British car industry at a time when it is struggling," said Rolls-Royce chief Tom Purves, who has himself responded to the economic crisis in recent months, laying off 40 temporary workers and temporarily closing the factory.

"Britain has an exceptional talent for automotive production," Mr Purves added, insisting he would "fill all positions within the next few months... drawing on the considerable pool of highly skilled automotive industry personnel available in the UK".

New assembly line

The Rolls-Royce recruitment drive will boost the BMW-subsidiary's manufacturing workforce by 50%, to about 450 workers.

Rolls-Royce factory, Goodwood
The car will be produced in the factory at Goodwood.

In total, by the end of this year some 900 people will work for Rolls-Royce, a near doubling of its overall workforce in two years.

"Our new model, the Ghost, has enjoyed an extremely positive international response and we now need to put people in place to bring the car to market," said Mr Purves.

Many of the new recruits will man a new assembly line, built to facilitate the production of the Ghost. Others will be skilled artisans who will be employed in the wood and leather areas of the factory, or in the paint shop.

"I am delighted that Rolls-Royce, an iconic British company, is providing new, highly skilled manufacturing jobs despite the economic downturn," said Lord Mandelson, the business secretary.

Production of the Ghost will start during the autumn and the car will go on sale early next year.



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