Europe's car factories have grounded to a halt.
Rolls-Royce is coming off its best sales year ever in 2019, moving 5,152 units thanks to the massive popularity of its first-ever SUV model, the Cullinan. This represented a 25 percent increase in sales for Rolls-Royce. The UK automaker was looking to continue this growth in 2020 with the reveal of an all-new Rolls-Royce Ghost that was seen in spy shots, though that reveal may now have to be pushed back.
Auto manufacturing plants in Europe have been shutting down left and right due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak. Today, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has announced it will be the latest automaker to close down its Goodwood-based manufacturing plant.
Rolls-Royce says the plant will be closed for two weeks starting on Monday, March 23. The plant will remain closed for an additional two weeks for an Easter maintenance shutdown that was previously scheduled. This means the company won't be resuming production until May at the earliest. Rolls-Royce says its day-to-day operations will be handled by employees at its Goodwood Estate in West Sussex who will come into the office when needed or work from home on a rotational basis. Social distancing measures have been introduced across the company to prevent the spread of the disease.
"This action has not been taken lightly, but the health and well-being of our exceptional workforce is first and foremost in our minds. We are a tight-knit community at the Home of Rolls-Royce and I have no doubt that our resilience will shine through during this extraordinary time," said Torsten Muller-Otvos, Chief Executive Officer of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. "As a deeply customer-focused company, we are aware that this decision to pause our production will possibly cause some discomfort or inconvenience to a few of our esteemed patrons, for which we apologize while seeking their understanding at this difficult time."
On the bright side, if Rolls-Royce isn't building cars, there will be fewer examples available for Mansory to ruin.