Currently reading: Rolls-Royce to be first car firm to resume UK production
British marque to open Goodwood facility on Monday 4 May, with 1000 staff working a single shift

Rolls-Royce will resume car making at its Goodwood factory on Monday 4 May, making it the first car manufacturer to restart production in Britain after the coronavirus shutdown

The BMW Group-owned firm will resume work on its luxury vehicles with 1000 employees on site, initially working a single daily shift instead of the usual two-shift system. As with other plants that have reopened around the world, elaborate virus-protection measures will be put in place to protect production workers. The plant has been shut since mid-March.

Staff will wear masks and other protective clothing, with social distancing rules also put in place. Goodwood’s build rate is expected to be about 50% of normal, and although the company has said annual production for 2020 will be “a long way below” recent levels, it added that it is continuing to receive a healthy flow of orders, particularly from regions like China, where the virus is either declining or running at a low level.

The firm has made no predictions about a date for a full-scale resumption of production. That will depend on government advice and the company’s own experience over the next few weeks.

Notably, the 4 May date means production will resume on Rolls-Royce’s 117th ‘birthday’. It was on that date when car builder Henry Royce and dealer Charles Rolls first met. That led to a partnership between the two, with Rolls-Royce Limited then officially founded in March 1906.

Aston Martin is due to resume production at its St Athan plant on Tuesday 5 May, with Bentley starting up its Crewe factory on Monday 11 May. Jaguar Land Rover will also resume limited production at its Solihull and Wolverhampton plants on that date.


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Steve Cropley

Steve Cropley Autocar
Title: Editor-in-chief

Steve Cropley is the oldest of Autocar’s editorial team, or the most experienced if you want to be polite about it. He joined over 30 years ago, and has driven many cars and interviewed many people in half a century in the business. 

Cropley, who regards himself as the magazine’s “long stop”, has seen many changes since Autocar was a print-only affair, but claims that in such a fast moving environment he has little appetite for looking back. 

He has been surprised and delighted by the generous reception afforded the My Week In Cars podcast he makes with long suffering colleague Matt Prior, and calls it the most enjoyable part of his working week.

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Peter Cavellini 1 May 2020

Back to work.

 Sooner or later working has to start, no production of cars or anything hurts the economy, jobs, money in your pocket etc etc, and you've got to hope gradually getting back to normal working practices has t9 happen, and hope the Virus slowly disappears too.