As the package to save the manufacturer's troubled Longbridge factory was confirmed by the German company's board it was announced that he would quit at the end of the year. At a London press conference Hasselkus admitted that he 'got it wrong' and under-estimated the crisis at Rover which, he said, had initially centred on the ultra-competitiveness of the UK car market.
That had resulted in a lack of profitability within Rover Group, although subsequently both a lack of productivity and the strength of Sterling had also played a part. But, he said: 'It is very difficult to be competitive and profitable when discounts of 40%-50% are available. We could not match those levels.'