The Rolls-Royce brand is over a century old, having been founded in 1906. But in the late 1990s it required the help of a saviour, which took the form of BMW. Since 2003, the British firm has been a division of the German automotive giant.
The luxury carmaker has prospered over the past 15 years, and it recently made its first foray into the world of SUVs in the form of the Cullinan. But behind the rosy picture lie some harsh truths, as we recently learned. With the support provided by BMW, Rolls-Royce would almost certainly no longer exist.
This is not hearsay either. This was a declaration made by the CEO of Rolls-Royce, Torsten Müller-Ötvös. Speaking with Australian website Go Auto, he iterated his happiness at being part of the BMW family, because otherwise "we would never exist anymore".
For one thing, BMW’s resources mean that Rolls-Royce is no longer forced to go it alone in meeting the various norms that exist across the industry. But more importantly, it can borrow some of the parent company’s technologies and innovations, for example those to do with the electronics and multimedia systems. Doing this allows the company to then focus on doing what it does best: making highly luxurious interiors and paying attention to the tiny details to please its demanding clientele.