Fleet News

Strong pound sees Rover going further into the red

BRITAIN'S strong pound is driving Rover further into the red and the company now seems unlikely to meet its aim of breaking even by the end of the decade. But though the losses add up to 'hundreds of millions of pounds' in export business, BMW has pledged it will carry on investing £400 million each year in its UK subsidiary, said Rover Group chairman Walter Hasselkus.

In a speech in London, Hasselkus said the strength of the currency was presenting increasing difficulties to exporters and would have 'major ramifications' on British industry if it remained worth more than DM3 over the next two months. He also warned the Government could face problems when it came to negotiating terms for sterling's entry to the EU single currency and claimed a strong pound would make it difficult for an acceptable rate to be negotiated.

Because most of the company's European markets are likely to join the single currency, Rover will be capable of handling all business processes with external parties in Euros from next January and has told its major suppliers that they should keep pace with the change. Exports now account for almost 60% of output, and opting out of low-margin car fleet business has cost the company more than 22,000 annual registrations.

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