LONDON - BMW will build a new Rolls-Royce factory on the south coast of England.
BMW has applied for building permits to construct a factory at Goodwood, near Chichester in West Sussex. The factory will employ about 350 and will build about 1,000 cars per year - more than double the number of Rolls made in 1999.
The location will include offices for development, design, production, marketing and sales.
BMW plans to have the site open when it takes over the Rolls-Royce brand from Volkswagen in 2003.
The choice of location surprised many observers, who expected BMW to pick a site more associated with Rolls-Royce's tradition, such as Derby in the English midlands or Manchester in the northwest.
Karl-Heinz Kalbfell, director of BMW's Project Rolls-Royce, said the Goodwood area was appealing for several reasons. These include the Goodwood auto race circuit, where car enthusiasts gather annually for antique car rallies; the nearby ports of Southampton and Portsmouth from which cars can be shipped; and the custom engineering tradition in the area, which includes yacht building and Formula One racing.
Also important to BMW was the proximity of London, which has the largest single customer base for Rolls-Royce.