APRIL 6, 1998
A really wild rumor...
WITHIN the last few days German car manufacturer BMW has agreed terms to buy Rolls-Royce Motor Cars from its parent company, Vickers for $572m. Rolls-Royce is one of the world's most prestigious car-makers and there are rumors that the BMW management is worried that the takeover may serve to water down Rolls-Royce's image as being the luxury car for the rich and famous. BMW has said it intends to expand production from the current 2000 cars per year but reckons that the Rolls-Royce brand is strong enough to survive a little expansion.
One rumor we have heard in the last few days is that one of the best ways of keeping the brand exclusive would be for Rolls-Royce rather than BMW to enter Grand Prix racing in the year 2000 with Williams. There is a certain amount of logic in the arguments as BMW already enjoys a very sporting image and is doing very well. Other luxury car-makers such as Bugatti, Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari and Porsche have all used the sport to promote top-of-the-range machinery.
And while it may all sound ridiculous to suggest, it should be remembered that the most expensive cars ever built, which were designed only for Kings and Emperors, were the Bugatti Royales of the 1920s, which were built by a company which was firmly rooted in the sport.
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