Environment

Rolls-Royce HQ is buzzing with record levels of production

Workers harvest honey at the home of Rolls-Royce in England.

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

A 250,000-strong workforce is busy with production at the home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, West Sussex, England. The bees in the company's apiary are set to exceeded their 2020 volume targets for honey production already this year.

The English Honey Bees came through the winter in excellent health and have spent the spring emerging from their hives and foraging on the half-a-million trees, shrubs, and wildflowers growing across the 42-acre Rolls‑Royce site. Additionally, they fly among eight acres of sedum plants growing on the manufacturing plant's 'living roof' – the largest of its kind in the United Kingdom.

ROlls-Royce Goodwood Apiatry Rolls-Royce's factory sits on environmentally fragile landscape.Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Rolls-Royce says that, "the more adventurous bees make sorties into the surrounding Goodwood Estate, whose 12,000 acres of West Sussex countryside are among the glories of the South Downs National Park."

The Goodwood Apiary consists of six traditional, English-crafted, wooden beehives, each bearing a polished stainless steel nameplate handcrafted in the company's workshop. Five are named after cars in the Rolls-Royce product family – "Phantom", "Wraith", "Ghost", "Dawn" and "Cullinan" – while the sixth, the 'Spirit of Ecstasy', celebrates the marque's mascot.

At the end of each season, the bees' honey is harvested and hand-processed by local specialists. It is then served to guests of the marque including customers who have commissioned the bespoke automaker to craft a vehicle for them.

"The Apiary further underlines our commitment to the environment, which informs everything we do at Goodwood," says Richard Carter, Director of Global Communications at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. "Our sustainable buildings, thermal ponds, rainwater management systems and wildfowl refuge have already made the Home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood one of the UK's most eco-friendly manufacturing facilities. Through this project, which taps into the biodiversity of our site, including our huge living roof, we're making an important contribution to conserving Britain's vital bee population."

Rolls-Royce Honey The honey is served to Rolls-Royce customers and guests.Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

In recent years, bees in the U.K. have seen their habitats destroyed and populations dwindle. The Bee Lines initiative, of which the Goodwood Apiary is a part, supports farmers and landowners in creating new flower-rich 'corridors' to link areas of habitat and help bees and other pollinator species to thrive. Residents and businesses within the National Park boundaries are also being encouraged to get involved through initiatives such as planting wildflowers in gardens and grounds.

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Acura is revealing its next-gen MDX slowly, first with this, the MDX Prototype.

Photo courtesy of Acura

The MDX is the best-selling Acura in the lineup. It's also America's best-selling luxury three-row SUV. But that's not good enough.

Acura is redesigning the MDX and as it prepares to enter a fourth generation, a prototype of the new SUV will be shown on October 14. This looks to follow the same pattern as the TLX launch, which saw a prototype revealed about six months before the true model debut, just after the PMC Edition was put on sale.

Acura says that the next-gen MDX will usher in " new levels of Acura design, performance, technology and craftsmanship, assuming the mantle as the brand's new flagship model". And that's a good thing. The brand revolution that started with the RDX and continued with the TLX looks to go even further in a bid to re-establish Acura on its premium model throne.

The ofirst MDX was the industry's first three-row SUV based on a unibody platform, a design that has since gone mainstream as crossovers and lifestyle SUVs overrun a vehicle type that started as rugged off-roaders and family trucksters. Since it's debut, the MDX has garnered praise from buyers and critics alike including winning the 2001 North American Truck of the Year and 2001 Motor Trend SUV of the Year awards.

Over the past two decades, cumulative sales have surpassed 1 million units, securing MDX's place as the best-selling Acura model, accounting for roughly one-third of the brand's U.S. sales since its launch.

"We're accelerating Acura's commitment to Precision Crafted Performance and this fourth-generation MDX is the most ambitious and consequential redesign of an Acura core model in our history," said Jon Ikeda, vice president and Acura brand officer. "This all-new MDX will take us into new territory in terms of performance, prestige and emotional appeal."

The teaser image (above) and video (below) that were released today highlight the sharply sculpted beltline running the perimeter of the wider, lower and longer MDX, connecting the Jewel Eye LED headlights at the front to the Chicane LED taillights in the rear.

The MDX Prototype pulls heavily from the RDX and TLX with design nods to each. Still, it's unmistakably a three-row SUV. Though we don't know for sure what's under the hood, expect the MDX to have more a dynamic driving style when it debuts, following in the vein of the RDX and TLX redesigns.

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Toyota Mall of Georgia, one of AutoNation's dealerships, has raised money to support the caregivers at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

Photo courtesy of AutoNation

You know the pink license plate brackets and the pink-leather jacket clad spokeswoman. All that pink is paying off. AutoNation announced that it has raised $25 million for cancer research and treatment through its Drive Pink (DRV PNK) Initiative. Drive Pink launched in 2015.

In 2020 alone, DRV PNK funds have been invested in seven major research projects through the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), the largest private funder of breast cancer research in the world. BRCF focuses their efforts in six different areas: tumor biology, treatment, survivorship, metastasis, lifestyle and prevention, and heredity and ethnicity.

"AutoNation has played a valuable role in enabling BCRF to be at the vanguard of every major breakthrough in breast cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship," said Mrya Biblowit, BCRF President and CEO.

"Every October, we celebrate all that we have accomplished through DRV PNK" said Mike Jackson, AutoNation's Chairman and CEO. "This year, we've taken our mission to new levels, thanks to the incredible support of our Customers, our Associates and our partners."

As part of its DRV PNK efforts, AutoNation works to raise awareness of breast cancer. The company sponsored NTT Indycar Series drivers Jack Harvey, Alexander Rossi, and Marco Andretti who were behind the wheel of vehicles wearing pink liveries.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and AutoNation will be stepping up its efforts throughout the month. Expect to see ad campaigns reflecting such. The company's annual DRV PNK Across America Day by selecting local cancer treatment facilities to receive care bags for patients battling cancer.

For longtime AutoNation Associate and breast cancer survivor, Lisa Logan, DRV PNK is personal. "Sadly, just about everyone has been touched by cancer. I am so proud to work for a company that not only supported me throughout my journey, but that also supports such an important cause."

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