Rolls-Royce CEO concedes supply chain issues are a “daily concern”

In worrying news for the wider industry, the head of one of the most famous names in luxury motoring, Rolls-Royce has confirmed that supply chain issues are a “daily concern” for the brand and parent company, BMW.

Speaking with Bloomberg, Rolls-Royce CEO, Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes, said: “Supply chain is something that worries us, I would even say daily. With all these port lockdowns in China, we also see certain constraints now; if only one part is missing, I can’t finish the product.”

While this isn’t anything new for the wider industry, it’s an important revelation from perhaps the world’s most prestigious, low-volume manufacturer that shows no manufacturer is immune from the supply chain crisis.

Interestingly, the report states that BMW has been prioritising deliveries of key components like semiconductors specifically for Rolls-Royce to maintain a steady production rate, even going as far as importing some items by air to escape the impact of port lockdowns in places like China.

Rolls-Royce is coming off the back of a record-setting year in 2021, having delivered 5586 units, marking a 49 per cent growth rate and the largest single year of deliveries in its 117-year history.

As we’ve reported throughout the past few years, manufacturers have had to slow down or stop production entirely as supply chain shortages for components like semiconductors cripple their manufacturing rates.

A modern vehicle can have as many as 3000 semiconductors to monitor everything from engine performance through to the infotainment system, while luxury vehicles with their array of premium features require even more, which is obviously proving a problem for Rolls-Royce.

The insight comes as Rolls Royce looks toward an all-electric future from 2030 onward, as it transitions from internal combustion engines to battery electric vehicles throughout this decade.