At a conference of 350 of Rover Group's strategic suppliers, purchasing director Jim Robinson said it was important they kept pace with the company's own programme of change - even if the UK is not involved in the first wave. 'As a major exporter into Europe, the Rover Group is an enthusiastic supporter of the single currency and in favour of the UK's participation at the earliest opportunity,' said Robinson.
'However, regardless of the UK position, with mainland Europe accounting for a third of our total sales and about 15% of our material purchases, it will have a significant impact on our business. Both ourselves and our suppliers should have the capability to operate in Euros.' Rover's decision is based on the assumption that most of Rover's European markets will join the single currency on January 1, 1999, but UK car prices will continue to be quoted in pounds until Britain joins EMU.