Rolls-Royce celebrates centennial of Indianapolis operations
Rolls-Royce Chief Executive Officer Warren East and President of Aerospace Tony Wood, along with other company leaders, joined the celebration with Indiana Governor Mike Pence and thousands of Rolls-Royce employees, retirees, STEM students and other guests. The event was held at the Indianapolis International Airport, and included displays of approximately 20 aircraft powered by Rolls-Royce or Allison engines.
Marion Blakey, CEO of Rolls-Royce North America, said, “The aircraft on display here symbolize not only the great technology created in our Indianapolis operations, but our Centennial event also highlights how so many talented and dedicated people over the years turned Indianapolis into a leader in the aerospace industry. Many of our innovative Rolls-Royce products are designed and built in Indianapolis and nowhere else in the world.”
Phil Burkholder, President Defense Aerospace North America, said, “I would like to acknowledge and thank all employees and retirees who have contributed to the great success of Rolls-Royce in Indianapolis. The past century of innovation is remarkable, and made possible by all of those who have gone before us. We pledge to continue our focus on innovation and on our customers, and look forward to the next century and all that lays ahead for our Indianapolis operations.”
The company’s roots took hold in 1915, when Indianapolis businessman James Allison founded his engine shop. Soon, he had entered the rapidly growing aerospace industry. The Allison company worked with Rolls-Royce from near the beginning, and collaborated on several aerospace ventures over ensuing decades, following GM’s acquisition of Allison. Rolls-Royce eventually purchased what had been the Allison Engine Company in 1995, and has been serving the aerospace and marine industries with innovative, customer-focused products from its Indianapolis operations over the last 20 years.
More than 4,000 Rolls-Royce team members work in Indianapolis, designing and producing engines for a wide range of military and commercial aircraft as well as marine propulsion systems.
The celebration occurred just two days after company executives, UAW officials, Gov. Pence and Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard announced the company’s nearly \\$600 million investment to modernize manufacturing operations in Indianapolis and conduct technology research. It is the largest investment by the company in Indianapolis since its original purchase here in 1995.
The modernization plan will upgrade outdated facilities and introduce new and advanced manufacturing methods of gas turbine engines, laying the groundwork for a second century of innovation. The five-year modernization plan, which is in-line with the Group’s ongoing investment plans, will consolidate operations and significantly reduce utility costs.
In September, Rolls-Royce announced it will invest in the Purdue Research Park Aerospace District in West Lafayette. Rolls-Royce is the first company to announce it will move into the research park.
About Rolls-Royce Holdings plc
- Rolls-Royce’s vision is to create better power for a changing world via two main business divisions, Aerospace and Land & Sea. These business divisions address markets with two strong technology platforms, gas turbines and reciprocating engines. Aerospace comprises Civil Aerospace and Defence Aerospace. Land & Sea comprises Marine, Nuclear and Power Systems.
- Rolls-Royce has customers in more than 120 countries, comprising more than 380 airlines and leasing customers, 160 armed forces, 4,000 marine customers including 70 navies, and more than 5,000 power and nuclear customers.
- Our business is focused on the 4Cs:
- Customer – placing the customer at the heart of our business
- Concentration – deciding where to grow and where not to
- Cost – continually looking to increase efficiency
- Cash – improving financial performance.