In an unprecedented move, Rolls-Royce shut its headquarters and manufacturing plant in the UK so that its workers could watch the World Cup semi-final match between England and Croatia earlier this week.
Rolls-Royce, based in Goodwood, England, shut its doors on Wednesday night, just for the evening. This meant production of its vehicles halted during the downtime, simply so workers could watch the big game. The Goodwood plant is the company’s only production facility in the world, which meant no vehicles were made.
The company, which is actually owned by BMW in Germany, has a British heritage that stretches as far back as 1904. It was originally a producer of aviation engines. However, the business of car manufacturing begun in 1904; founder Henry Royce made his first car, the Royce 10. It was soon picked up by a motor car dealership owner named Charles Rolls. Charles Rolls agreed to take all vehicles that Royce made, to sell them at his dealership under the name Rolls-Royce.
All of this happened in Manchester, England, which is on the other side of England from where Rolls-Royce is headquartered now, in West Sussex. But as you can see, the company has a huge heritage in the country, so it makes sense the brand would allow its workers to watch the game. In a statement before the game, company CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös said:
“The Rolls-Royce family is incredibly diverse and cosmopolitan: we have almost 50 nationalities represented at the Home of Rolls-Royce. But as a proudly British company, based in West Sussex, we felt it was right, and important, to honour England’s success. Closing our doors early means a large group of people, who would otherwise have been working, have the chance to watch the game and share in the sense of national pride that comes with this great occasion.”
As football fans may have seen, England ended up losing to Croatia 2-1. This means Croatia is through to the final. It will play France on Monday, July 16. As for Rolls-Royce, it’s back to business as usual as far as we know. Although, there might be a few sad faces in the factory over the next few weeks.