Rolls-Royce brand cars have always been associated with luxury, prestige, comfort, and reliability. These features invariably characterize the vehicles, produced for over a hundred years. The car brand Rolls-Royce has become a true legend in our days. During the entire history of this brand, more than 20 models were issued. It makes the company different from the other car manufacturers, presented in the market, which is constantly producing new models. However, the company Rolls-Royce has always cared not about the number of models, but their quality. The brand is identified with prestige and this tendency is continued in our time. Every model, produced by the company aims to bring perfection. Because Rolls-Royce produced a few models, each one has become a legend of its time. Even if the vehicle was produced a long time ago, the car is still sold well. In the twentieth century, these British cars were very popular among the stars of show business, famous politicians, and businessmen all over the world (Bennett, 1974).
The present paper is devoted to the discussion of the history of the creation of Rolls-Royce, its mission statement, and vision, sheds some light on the history of the Rolls Royce emblem, and legend of the Spirit of Ecstasy. In addition, the marketing strategy of the company and peculiarities of its management are going to be discussed.
The founders of Rolls-Royce were Charles Stewart Rolls and Frederick Henry Royce, whose names made the brand, and their initial letters, two intertwined letter “R” on a red background, were changed to black after the death of Henry Royce (Bennett, 1974). The founding fathers put in all the stages of development of the company. It often happens that a business is organized by people, who have made friends in childhood. Here, the situation is totally different. Rolls and Royce were not only unfamiliar with each other but originated from opposite segments of society, however, they were able to unite. Thereby, they ensured the birth of the most luxurious car of the twentieth century.
The history of Rolls-Royce Limited is originated in May 1904, when Henry Royce, a successful engineer, met with Charles Rolls, owner of one of the first car showrooms, and they made a deal (Bennett, 1974). Everything else has become a legend. Cars with two-, three-, four and six-cylinder engines struck the world with the audacity of engineering and craftsmanship. The legendary car the Silver Ghost, introduced in 1907, ran almost 14,371 miles and has gained the title of the best car in the world (Bennett, 1974).
Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, 1906
Founders of Rolls Royce
Charles Rolls studied mechanical engineering at Cambridge University. He was one of the first undergraduates to own a car and soon began racing. In order to be able to fund his passion, Rolls set up a dealership, selling mostly foreign cars (Bennett, 1974). His search for a reliable supplier of English cars led to his introduction to Henry Royce. Charles Rolls was the first aviator, who managed double cross the English Channel. Unfortunately, he died in an accident at the air show in July 1910 (Bennett, 1974).
Henri Royce, known for his attention to detail and perfection, registered his first patent (the bayonet light socket) in 1887. His company produced dynamos, electrical motors, and cranes. Dissatisfied with their Decoiler, Royce decided to improve it and focused all his attention on creating the best cars in the world. In 1903, he designed and assembled his first engine, the first examples of which conquered the road in 1904 (Bennett, 1974)
History of Emblem
The emblem of Rolls-Royce, which has become one of the most prestigious in the world, appeared in 1907 (Bennett, 1974). One legend states that Royce has seen the RR emblem on the tablecloth in the restaurant and decided to buy it. At first, the letters RR logo was red, but in 1930 they were to redone into black, as, supposedly, almost all the emblems at this time were black and white (Bennett, 1974). According to another version, the change occurred in mourning after the death of Royce in 1933 (Bennett, 1974). While some sources refer to the fact that most of the Rolls-Royce cars were painted in trendy shades of Burgundy and red letters of the logo were not visible in the background of the body, therefore, the company changed their color.
Spirit of Ecstasy
The Spirit of Ecstasy is another inherent attribute of the Rolls-Royce cars. In 1909, Sir John Montagu, Lord Bellew bought one of the Rolls-Royce vehicles for personal use (Gillings, 2011). He was the first person, who compiled the first tutorial for driving and was the head of the British Royal automobile club for a long time (Gillings, 2011). Body for the Lord’s vehicle was made in the atelier “Barker”. It was Phaeton; however, to distinguish the car from the total flow, the Lord ordered his friend, the sculptor-modernist Charles Sykes the design figurine mascot (Gillings, 2011). The artist found a simple solution: he created bat- deity-figure, directed forward, with his hands tilted back, waving in the wind. It descended on the hood of a Rolls-Royce and was fixed there to convey the spirit of the car: a reasonable speed, grace, and beauty, the spirit in which does not have any sign of vulgarity, frivolity, and rage (Gillings, 2011). Originally the official name of the figure was “a symbol of speed,” but later, Sykes sold his copyright of Rolls-Royce, and it was renamed to Spirit of Ecstasy. There were several modifications of figures; one of which, kneeling, was produced in 1934 (Gillings, 2011). The flying lady is still the symbol of the company Rolls-Royce.
Rolls Royse Vision Statement
One of the most important and central elements of the company’s approach to technology attainment is the three-phase Vision Program. Rolls Royce pays much attention to the development of new technologies and generating a vision of what the customers want to see and have in their cars.
Vision 5 is related to the technologies, which are currently unused at Rolls-Royce plants but are going to be incorporated into new products. Rolls-Royce plans to use them in the aero Trent XWB gas turbine. Vision5 will ensure the current models of Rolls-Royce products remain successful leaders in the market in each aspect of their performance and will be associated with reliability, and cost (Ingvarrson & Prasad, 2013).
The Next Generation
Vision 10 is related to technologies, which are currently at the validation stage. However, Rolls-Royce sees them be the basis of their future products in ten years or more. In other words, the company cares about the next generation of cars.
Rolls Royce Mission Statement
The company strives for providing mobility, comfort, style, and speed anywhere. It is done in order to delight the customers by providing outstanding sales and after sales service.
The Intricacies of Creating Luxury
The company has its own values, rules, and principles. Convenience is first and foremost one. In spite of modern tendencies, door handles, speakers do, for the convenience of the doorman to open the door. The second principle of the company is to emphasize the feature. The quality is the main competitive advantage of the brand. In 1960, the advertisement video was launched in the U.S. and it increased sales of the company by 50% (Bennett, 1974). Creative and usefulness are another principle of the company. Purification from the ashes, cigarettes and cigarette butts in the car Rolls-Royce is automated. Upholstery is made by order, so the client can request any kind of exotic animal skin or choose a popular proposal. For the dashboard, one can also choose any kind of wood: walnut, Lebanese cedar or ebony. One more principle of quality is standing in a queue. The execution of one individual order takes six months. The queue is long because Rolls Royce works individually with each client (Bennett, 1974). Grinding is another principle of the success of Rolls-Royce. Creation of glass for Rolls-Royce cars takes about two weeks. Creation of glass for Rolls-Royce cars takes about two weeks. The composition of solution used is a commercial secret of the company. Each master-grinder leaves a kind of signature mark on the glass. Being beneficial and pleasant is the last principle of quality. The biggest advantage of Rolls-Royce is its investment attraction: every year the car becomes more expensive (Bennett, 1974).
English Luxury and German Precision
In 1998, Rolls-Royce was purchased by German giant BMW (Ingvarrson & Prasad, 2013). This event became famous in history as the deal of the century. Brand Rolls-Royce represents the perfection of the automotive, luxury, elegance, and sleek style. Its acquisition by BMW is a demonstration of its ability to produce the world’s best cars.
At this stage, the company’s strategy includes the expansion of the model range of Rolls-Royce that is bringing new models of cars to the market. Under the auspices of the BMW Group, the following models have been presented: new generation Rolls-Royce Phantom, Rolls-Royce Phantom Extended Wheel Base Rolls-Royce Drophead Coupe, Rolls-Royce Coupe. In addition, in September 2009, at the International motor show in Frankfurt, the presentation of a new model of Rolls-Royce Ghost was conducted (Ingvarrson & Prasad, 2013).
In addition to improvement of the model range of Rolls-Royce, BMW makes considerable investments in the company. Thus, it has invested in the manufacture of the Rolls-Royce Ghost €40 million (Ingvarrson & Prasad, 2013). The cost of Sedan Rolls-Royce Ghost is about $430500. The release of this model is the desire to attract a new, younger audience of buyers. Management of BMW is betting on a reliable brand, hoping that new model Rolls-Royce Ghost and the positive response of customers will ensure success in the current difficult situation for the entire automotive industry. The main competitors of Rolls-Royce on the world market are the Maybach and Bentley. By the end of the year, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars plant is planning to increase the quality of jobs by 50% (Ingvarrson & Prasad, 2013). Over 150 places were created after the launch of the new model Rolls-Royce Ghost.
Improving Services in Rolls Royce
The customers of Rolls-Royce need to satisfy both their future and present needs. In the past, decisions about aero-engines were largely based upon cost and efficiency. However, in today’s more competitive environment, Rolls-Royce’s customers look for a much more complete service. Buying an aero-engine is a long-term decision. In this very competitive environment, a key element is relationship marketing. Through this process, Rolls-Royce and its staff have learned to develop activities and services that build good relationships with its customers.
Customers are increasingly looking for a more complete service. Although the product will always be important, customers expect higher levels of service such as the shipping of parts, after care service and total customer care.
The Rolls-Royce share of the competitive secondary engine parts market has been growing. An emphasis upon total care is at the heart of the growth strategy. Rolls-Royce provides parts and a service for its customers that extends through the operational product life-cycle (Ingvarrson & Prasad, 2013).
Personnel Development and Introduction of Innovations at Rolls Royce
Rolls-Royce has been remaining the world leader in car production more than 100 years, bringing the best engineers in the UK. Rolls-Royce develops its employees through a system of internships and joint research projects with leading universities. The company employs over 55 000 people, 17 000 of whom are engineers (Ingvarrson & Prasad, 2013). To date, the company has transformed from purely British business into a global corporation. Earlier, the number of foreign employees in the Rolls-Royce was only 7%, now this amount is over 40% of the workforce outside the UK (Rolls-Royce Holdings plc., 2015). The company’s turnover in 2012 reached 12.2 billion pounds. At the moment, the company has orders for 69 billion pounds (Rolls-Royce Holdings plc., 2015).
Rolls-Royce pays considerable attention to the development of its employees and hires young talents that have passed the system of internships and joint research projects with leading universities. In 2013, the company employed 379 graduates (Ingvarrson & Prasad, 2013). The work of the company has received 288 trainees that have passed through the internship program Rolls-Royce. Rolls-Royce is funding a worldwide network that consists of 29 research centers based in leading technological universities (Ingvarrson & Prasad, 2013). Every year the company spends more than £ 30 million on training and retraining of employees, and more than one billion pounds for research projects (Rolls-Royce Holdings plc., 2015).
Intern Training Program
Every year the internship program of Rolls-Royce is attended by 300 future engineers. Program participants do not pay tuition, which makes it a very good alternative to traditional University education, for which the British have to give tens of thousands of pounds. The internship program gives good prospects for further career growth: according to Rolls-Royce, about 30% of the current managers in the company started as trainees (Ingvarrson & Prasad, 2013). However, not all graduates work in Rolls-Royce. Recruitment for the internship program is traditionally above the company’s needs for new employees; therefore, some graduates are employed by the Rolls Royce partners within its supply chain.
Rolls-Royce University Centers of Technology
Rolls-Royce has established a global network that consists of 29 research centers in the leading universities. The main objective of the centers is to provide engineers access to cutting-edge scientific research. Each centre is specialized in a specific direction, which has a team of professors, researchers, technicians, and students. Currently, the University centers of technology Rolls-Royce employ 350 doctors of Sciences. Usually, the centers work on the basis of 5-year agreements. The budget is also approved for 5 years, which allows the use of long-term planning in recruitment, which is especially important for the University. University employees also have access to industrialized equipment, which they usually are not able to use and accumulated a Rolls-Royce over decades of real engineering data. The centers make a significant contribution to the innovative development of the company. In 2012, 10% of patents held by Rolls-Royce were created in collaboration with University technology centers (Rolls-Royce Holdings plc., 2015).
Rolls-Royce Marketing Strategy
As for marketing strategy, in this case, the company should take into account the rapid pace of economic growth and, consequently, the ever-changing demand for the products, including automotive segment. If the company focuses on the technical quality of the car, then it should focus on innovation in the Brazilian market. Therefore, marketing course, which will be marked with the company’s leading positions in the development of new technologies will make the production of the Rolls-Royce an attractive market for consumers of Brazil, and, therefore, will place the company to a leading position in the market and, thus bring additional profit. Therefore, the most effective marketing strategy for Rolls-Royce is to build new manufacturing capacities with the production and assembly of hybrid and electric vehicles, which are gaining the popularity among eco-friendly consumers, who support sustainable car manufacturers. Thus, as an example of an advertising campaign, Rolls Royce can consider billboards with hybrid cars on the roads of Brazil, with the slogan “Innovation quality is a key to success” or “the Future is available with Rolls-Royce “. If to remember that Rolls-Royce has a limited amount of cars, such innovation will be the perfect way to shatter the market and announce its readiness to present highly qualified innovations.
In addition, the company needs to implement a number of innovative changes in the financial system, as at the moment there are several gaps in the financial strategy. First, in China, most of the cars are still sold for full payment and do not use the leasing scheme, which is more beneficial and increases the level of loyalty of the clients, as the car is usually sold for 3-4 years, and further there is a risk of change of the vehicle on a competing brand (Ingvarrson & Prasad, 2013).
Second, growing competition has been added to the level of service, design, and price leverage to the already existing primal segment. Rolls Royce competitors actively use any possible means of overcoming competitors. For example, by optimizing the financial system, Mercedes-Benz equips the whole range of their products with new led headlights, starting from the budget cars. At the same time, BMW Group set new led headlights just in the executive cars. The particular relevance of this issue is added by a new competitor Hyundai-Kia, which has grown to the premium segment over the last few years and is actively implementing technology, enabling them to produce high-quality vehicles for costs, which are significantly lower than those of competitors (Ingvarrson & Prasad, 2013)
The use of Rolls-Royce Cars in the Movies
Being a manufacturer, representing a premium cars segment, the vehicles of the company Rolls-Royce are actively used in the movies to underline the status and financial position of their owners. The Yellow Rolls-Royce (1964) is one of such movies, which follows the travels of this luxury car across Europe and depicts life and adventures of its three different owners (Landazuri, 2016). The Rolls-Royce, produced in Britain, has always been associated with the ultimate luxury, style, and quality, therefore, the film aimed to make the Rolls-Royce the car of movies: elegant and classy (Landazuri, 2016). Among a range of Rolls-Royce cars, the vehicle, chosen for the movie, was a pale blue 1930 Phantom II Sedanca de Ville, covered with 20 coats of yellow paint by the MGM technicians (Landazuri, 2016). It even manufactured the Car That Became a Star (1965), a documentary promotional short about the process of creation of The Yellow Rolls-Royce, which has provided the Rolls with the status of top billing (Landazuri, 2016).
Rolls-Royce is rightfully regarded the company, associated with quality and elegance; therefore, it has gained the position of a leader in the market. The history of the creation of this famous brand is very interesting and explains why the company has managed to gain such successful positions. In response to the rapid changes in the car manufacturing business environment, Rolls-Royce has developed its business orientation from engineering to business- and service-focused. In view of increased competition in the market, the Rolls Royce had to become more proactive and innovation-oriented, dealing with new ideas and concepts in order to create more services, new products, improve quality, and customer focus. In the past, the changes in the organization were rare and very slow, resulting in the considerable financial difficulties, as a result of which Rolls-Royce tended to follow the market trend. The structure of the company has been realigned in order to meet the increasing needs of the new customers and ways of operating.
Organizational structures identify significant relationships within the businesses and create a mechanism, which can help meet current business objectives. Since Rolls-Royce is the company with the old-fashioned structure and old-mannered devotion to quality, it has to adapt to new conditions of the market. Thus, new innovative decisions are required. A specific culture exists in the minds and hearts of the people, who work for the organization and contributes to the manner they develop business strategies and make decisions.
Rolls-Royce is a symbol of quality and beauty, therefore, the company has become the visit card of many movies, so the car can be met in numerous American films and this fact proves the global recognition of the Rolls-Royce brand name.
There is a belief that successful business is based on the synergy of two forces — creation and commerce. The ideal management is a clear delineation of obligations, in which everyone does what he likes (Rolls-Royce Holdings plc., 2015). Using this formula, the engineer Royce, and the merchant Rolls founded Rolls-Royce, which has became a worldwide symbol of luxury and status. Today, Rolls-Royce is concentrated on the production of engines and equipment for atomic power plants and is actively developing the market of South-East Asia.
Rolls-Royce is a vehicle that does not require advertisement, as its name tells for itself and is associated with quality, reliability, and individualism in the minds of thousands of people in the world. Despite recent financial difficulties and increased number of competitors, the company has strategies and visions of the future.