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Ghost a recession buster for Rolls-Royce

High Roller: The Rolls-Royce Ghost has become the workers' friend, providing much-needed employment in the UK.

Rolls-Royce ramps up workforce ahead of Ghost production

25 May 2009

ROLLS-ROYCE is continuing to buck the economic downturn, announcing last week that it will increase its manufacturing workforce by 50 per cent to meet the expected strong worldwide demand for its forthcoming Ghost model.

Although the BMW-owned British luxury marque laid off temporary workers late last year and idled its production plant in Goodwood, West Sussex, for a short period, Rolls-Royce is now ramping up after a rush of orders for the Ghost following its official confirmation at the Shanghai motor show last month.

Australian orders placed through authorised dealer Trivett are still to be confirmed.

Ghost production is due to start in the final quarter, soon after the production model makes its official debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September.

By the end of 2009, Rolls-Royce expects to have a workforce of 900 employees at Goodwood, which represents an increase of almost 400 positions in less than two years.

Most of the new positions will be based in the wood, leather and paint shops, as well as in assembly areas. New white-collar jobs will also be created.

Rolls-Royce chief executive Tom Purves said it was good news for the struggling British car industry.

“Our new model, the Ghost, has enjoyed an extremely positive international response and we now need to put people in place to bring the car to market,” he said.

Based on the near-production 200EX concept, the Ghost will be the smallest model in the Rolls-Royce line-up, but, with at least 500hp (373kW) on tap from a new 6.6-litre turbocharged V12, it will be more powerful than the current Phantom.

Rolls-Royce’s worldwide sales increased 20 per cent in 2008, with the 1212 total marking the hallowed brand’s fifth consecutive annual sales increase since the Phantom was launched in 2003. While it is not immune to the global financial downturn, sales in February were up 18 per cent and, once Ghost deliveries commence early next year, annual sales volume is expected to at least double.

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