Rolls Royce Limited was founded in 1906, nationalized in 1971 and divided into Rolls Royce Motors and Rolls Royce plc. The Rolls Royce motor company has undergone many changes through the years.
In 1973 the British government sold the car company so that it could concentrate on manufacturing jet engines. In 1980 the company was purchased by Vickers. It was resold 18 years later to Volkswagen. Rolls Royce plc decided to license the company’s name and logo to BMW whom the company had entered into business with. Volkswagen did hold rights to the Rolls Royce grille and mascot but could not build cars under the Rolls Royce name.
The two companies managed to come to an agreement and it was decided that Volkswagen would be allowed to use the names from 1998 to 2002 and BMW would continue to supply engines for the cars, and on January 1, 2003 only BMW would be allowed to manufacture cars under the Rolls Royce name. Volkswagen would then continue to manufacture cars under the Bentley name.
The BMW company continues to manufacture high-end BMW’s to this date.