Public confusion over the relationship between Rolls Royce Motor Cars and Rolls Royce Plc – maker of aircraft engines – is at its highest levels. RR CEO, Torsten Müller-Ötvös, is concerned over the recent turmoil at the jet engine division which is suffering from financial problems.
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“We know how famous the brand is, and as much as we have done to make clear that they are separate, for many people it is hard to see the difference,” Müller-Ötvö says. “When people read about turmoil at Rolls-Royce in a newspaper it causes concern.”
While Rolls Royce Motor Cars is owned by BMW, the jet engine unit is a separate listed company and a member of the FTSE 100. Fears of damage to the car maker’s brand have grown as the engineering giant has churned out a string of negative updates.
The shares have plunged more than 60pc as a result, wiping more than £10bn off the company’s market value.
At the same time, the car luxury division has been growing year-over-year with over 4,000 cars sold in a calendar year – a record for the British marque. When the aircraft and marine engine-maker first hit problems, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars issued a press release spelling out the difference between the two.
Mr Müller-Ötvös expressed sympathy for the plight of Rolls-Royce Plc, but warned that he was “determined to protect” the car maker after having “spent a great deal of time and money effectively resuscitating our part of the brand”.
He added: “It is not supporting our business in the proper way and we are watching carefully.”