Although the announcement stopped short of confirming Longbridge as the production centre, Rover Group directors interpreted the development as good news for the Midlands factory. The aid is believed to be conditional on Rover agreeing to improve working skills, meeting world-class productivity standards and guaranteeing long-term investment in the plant.
It is understood that the BMW board has approved the replacement of Rover's current range with a Volkswagen Golf-class model. Although details of the strategy are still secret, the new car's basic platform will allow it to spawn individual replacements for the 200 and 400 models. Also included are spin-off niche products, like a Renault Scenic-type compact multi-purpose vehicle and a small saloon to carry the MG badge.