Fleet News

Coupe fuels Riley name speculation

SPECULATION that BMW will steer Rover Cars into niche territory has been fuelled by the resurrection of the Riley name for a 75-based coupe concept likely to appear at the 1999 London Motor Show. But the sporty three-door, commissioned as a design challenge from BMW chairman Bernd Pischetsrieder, is unlikely to go into production.

Instead, Rover will be working on an estate variant to fill an obvious gap in the portfolio. Rover sales and marketing director Tom Purves has, however, indicated that the company's stock of classic car names, such as Triumph, Wolseley and Riley, was 'open to exploitation' for future limited production sports-orientated products.

Even though Rover has pledged to build a new 200/400, should the model not see the light of day this could leave a vital gap to be filled by BMW products built outside Britain and allow the company to concentrate on development of Land Rover and Rolls-Royce.

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