Fleet News

Rolls-Royce brand 'will be nurtured'

BRITAIN'S most-revered car marque is to be 'nurtured and developed' until it is handed over for a new life under BMW in 2003. That was the pledge made by Volkswagen AG chairman Ferdinand Piech when the latest model to emerge from the beleaguered Rolls-Royce car factory made its debut at the Paris Motor Show.

Under the terms of the badge deal BMW will continue to supply Rolls-Royce Motor Car with engines and allow Volkswagen to use the Rolls-Royce name on cars until December 31, 2002. After that, Volkswagen will sell vehicles under the Bentley brand name and BMW will use the Rolls-Royce name, radiator grille and Spirit of Ecstacy emblem.

'It has been our strategy to penetrate the top luxury segment and the purchase of Bentley and Rolls-Royce and the acquisition of Lamborghini has given us an accredited position,' said Piech at the launch of the Bentley Continental Sedanca Coupe. 'The agreement reached with our Bavarian competitor has finally banished the uncertainty concerning the future and we are confident that our action has been pragmatic. As befits a company of this standard and quality, we will tend and develop the Rolls-Royce marque until it is handed over.'

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