Adrian Hallmark, marketing chief at Rolls-Royce and Bentley Motor Cars, has a message for BMW AG: You can have our name, but you can't have our people.
They will be needed after BMW takes over the Rolls-Royce brand name on December 31, 2002. After that the factory in Crewe, England, will produce Bentleys under Volks-wagen ownership.
'BMW can't take any of the skilled craftsmen we employ,' said Hallmark. 'These people are our real asset.'
Rolls-Royce and Bentley spokes-man Richard Charlesworth admitted the companies could get into a bidding war over people. 'I hope it doesn't come to that,' he said.
They spoke as Rolls launched the new Corniche convertible at the Los Angeles auto show.
New Corniche displays quality of craftsmanship Hallmark wants to keep at Crewe.