It’s a small sign that life in Europe is starting to return to some form of normality, a number of car manufacturers are re-commencing production incrementally from today. For Rolls-Royce the 4th of May is also the anniversary of the first meeting between founders The Hon Charles Rolls and Henry Royce in Manchester, England on 4th May 1904.
Ferrari – Maranello, Italy
Ferrari has launched the “Installation Lap” phase, safety training primarily for employees involved in the resumption of production from Monday 4 May.
The Company has dedicated several days to this crucial phase. It has decided to put before the start of production the training sessions for workers, in particular, on the best precautionary measures to take against any health risk, in line with the “Back on Track” programme.
The Company will provide checks at the entrances to the workstations, PPE and rules for sharing common areas. It has reorganised its environments and has provided the best tools to its staff for a smooth and safe return to work. For example, workers are offered voluntary serological tests before going back to work.
In line with the government’s recent indications, Ferrari will gradually restart its Maranello and Modena plants on 4 May. They will return to full production on Friday 8 May. Over the coming weeks, all business activities that can be carried out through remote working will continue as usual in this way.
Lamborghini – Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy
Automobili Lamborghini is set to resume its production activities from 4 May, in accordance with the Italian Prime Minister’s decree of 26 April. The Sant-Agata Bolognese company is currently completing all preparatory measures to ensure its people return to work in conditions of maximum safety.
While company activities were temporarily suspended, Lamborghini repurposed some of its departments to produce medical protection masks and visors for St. Orsola Hospital in Bologna, and established a partnership with SIARE Engineering International Group for co-engineering and manufacturing breathing simulators.
The preparation for the 4 May reopening has been the subject of ongoing discussion and definition within the Joint Committee of the Company and Trade Unions on the COVID-19 emergency, set up in the wake of the temporary suspension of company activities on March 13. Over the last weeks, the parties have worked together on a precise safety protocol governing the procedures for returning to work and the equipment to be used in order to ensure the maximum safety of Lamborghini’s workforce, starting with a comprehensive educational campaign.
Rolls-Royce – Goodwood, United Kingdom
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars records another chapter in its long story today. It was on this day in 1904 that The Hon Charles Rolls first met Henry Royce at the Midland Hotel, Manchester – an encounter after which the motor car, and the world of luxury, would never be the same again. It is with a fitting sense of historical symmetry that production resumes at the Home of Rolls-Royce today, 4th May, on the anniversary of Rolls first declaring of Royce, “I have met the greatest engineer in the World”.
For the current generation of the Rolls-Royce family, working from home has been a new experience. For Sir Henry Royce, however, it was entirely normal. Indeed, some of his most influential designs were produced in the private studio he maintained at his home – Elmstead – at West Wittering, just eight miles (12.8 kilometres) from the present-day manufacturing plant and global Head Office.
Royce clearly found inspiration and creative energy in the peace, quiet and solitude that working away from the bustle of the office and factory provided. Famously, while walking on the nearby beach one day, he sketched the initial design for the R-series aero engine in the sand with his walking-stick. A later development of that design, the Merlin, would earn everlasting acclaim as the engine which powered the legendary Supermarine Spitfire.
Royce’s home studio was also the birthplace of another, perhaps less storied engine that nevertheless occupies an important place in the annals of aviation achievement. In 1919, his Eagle VIII provided the power for the first-ever transatlantic flight, from St John’s, Newfoundland to County Galway in Ireland, by British adventurers Captain John Alcock and Lieutenant Arthur Brown. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars commemorated the centenary of their astonishing feat, and the engine that made it possible, in the spectacular Wraith Eagle VIII Collection Car, limited to just 50 examples, released in 2019.
Photographs by Driven Women Magazine