Fleet News

Giants set to pounce on BMW

GENERAL Motors and Volkswagen are poised to buy BMW if it fails in its bid to become a mainstream global manufacturer with the aid of Rover, according to Britain's foremost motor industry academic. BMW appears to be in a 'no win' situation in its dealings with Rover as without the grant from the Government it desperately wants it will struggle to achieve its position as a mainstream manufacturer and is becoming increasingly vulnerable to takeover.

Those are the views of Professor Garel Rhys, director of the Centre for Automotive Industry Research at the Cardiff University Business School, who believes BMW has no obligation to continue pouring money into the loss-making Rover. He predicts that General Motors and VW are watching from the wings to pounce, particularly if BMW decides to sever links with Rover.

'A BMW without Rover would make it the smallest manufacturer in the industry and it would be vulnerable. The financial markets, particularly in Germany wouldn't leave it alone, and I wouldn't be surprised if General Motors was having a look at BMW and will sooner or later make a move. The catalyst will be if Ferdinand Piech (Volkswagen chairman) makes a move. GM will have to climb over VW to get to BMW, but in the eyes of the Quandt family, BMW's controlling shareholder, GM could deliver the cash knock-out.'

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