As Rolls-Royce Motor Cars marks two decades of production at Goodwood, a landmark survey reveals the company’s full and extraordinary impact on both the local and national economies.
- Rolls-Royce Motor Cars unveils results of landmark Economic Impact Analysis
- Total contribution to the UK economy since 2003 stands at more than £4bn
- Annual contribution to economy now exceeds half a billion pounds Sterling
- Rolls-Royce is one of the largest employers in West Sussex, supporting 2,500+ full-time equivalent jobs
- A further 7,500 jobs are supported in the wider supply chain
- Major intangible and spill-over economic and community benefits
- Includes training and education, knowledge and skills transfer within supplier companies and support for local charities and social enterprise
- Independent study undertaken by London School of Economics (LSE)
The independent study, the first commissioned by Rolls-Royce in its history, was led by Dr Alexander Grous of the London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) and includes figures up to and including 2022. Furthermore, this study is clear proof that, 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 and, by extension, the nation benefits.
Overall economic contribution
The LSE report shows that since production began at Goodwood in 2003, Rolls-Royce has contributed more than £4 billion to the UK economy, serving as a flagship of the nation’s luxury and automotive sectors and, crucially, ‘UK PLC’. This contribution is long-term and sustainable. Rolls-Royce invests around £10m 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. Rolls-Royce is also able to confirm its standing as one of the largest employers in West Sussex, England.
Supporting jobs locally and nationally
More than 2,500 people are employed 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. Importantly, Rolls-Royce did not make a single redundancy during the Covid-19 pandemic – one of very few UK manufacturers to maintain its workforce entirely intact.
As one of the largest employers in West Sussex, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has a substantial positive impact on the local economy. Around 20% of its total annual contribution is generated directly within West Sussex and bordering counties, including salaries and wages of staff employed at the Home of Rolls-Royce. In addition, 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. For example, every year it supports more than 100 apprenticeship, 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: recent projects include developing a dedicated new car park for The March CE Primary School which adjoins the Goodwood site, and supporting 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. It has acquired land to the east of the current site and planning permission will be sought later this year.
The project’s primary objective is to upgrade the manufacturing plant; some facilities and equipment are now 20 years old and require replacement and upgrading. The company is also looking to increase capacity for its Bespoke and Coachbuild operations, as well as preparing 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.
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