Currently reading: Rolls-Royce eschews British-built V12 engines
Rolls-Royce chooses to keep using German-built V12 engines instead of bringing production to the UK

Rolls-Royce will continue to use German-built V12 engines rather than invest in a British assembly line, unlike rival Bentley, which is ramping up local production of W12 engines.

Frank Ludwig, production head at Rolls' Goodwood plant, said: “To make engines, you need a lot of expertise and at the moment the best place to source the V12 is from Germany.” 

Thanks to the introduction of the Wraith coupé, Rolls-Royce increased car output last year to about 3300 units, a number that cements Goodwood as the biggest user of V12 engines in the BMW group.

Despite this growth in production at Goodwood, Ludwig said the industrial logic of building engines in Germany remains unchanged because the development of 'V' engines needs to be concentrated in one place to ensure that maximum learning can be applied to design and development.

Rolls shares the basic hardware of the BMW V engines. However, the bulk of the parts in the 6.8-litre naturally-aspirated V12 in the Phantom and 6.6-litre twin-turbo engine in the Rolls-Royce Ghost and Rolls-Royce Wraith are unique. They are developed alongside BMW versions, allowing learning to cross-pollinate from the mainstream development programme to Rolls’ lower production-volume units.

Because Rolls’ Goodwood site is already pushing the perimeter of the land area available, there are also practical limits to adding more facilities to the site to cope with both production and development.

Bentley aims to build about 9000 W12 engines by 2017-2018 for the whole Volkswagen Group, up from around 5000 units historically. 

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noluddite 30 June 2014

No expertise here?

So Rolls Royce doesn't have the expertise to build engines. Right. I think it's more likely the case that the majority of the V12s built by the group are used in BMWs.
Winston Churchill 12 May 2014

A non story

Was there ever a specific choice that had to be made here or is this a contrived story by a journalist without copy for a deadline?

Rolls Royce in not changing shocker! In other news, Ferrari have NOT decided to swap all their engines and replace them with Ford Focus engines.

Driving 12 May 2014

digitized engine

BMW have some of the best track record for building engines so their decision would have merit although in this digital era they can build the engine in the UK if they wanted to and remain as good. Bring back the old R-R V8!