Fleet News

Chairman vows: Rover will be transformed into British BMW

ROVER is to be transformed into a 'British BMW' with no plans to sell the Midlands-based manufacturer, says Joachim Milberg, chairman of the UK company's German parent. With the Rover 75 due to go on sale in the UK on June 17, Milberg dismissed rumours and speculation concerning the future of the manufacturer and promised a bright future.

He told BMW's annual meeting in Munich that the long-planned £1.7billion investment programme in Rover would bring productivity up to BMW levels. Although he admitted BMW had 'considered the possibility of shutting down Rover Cars altogether', he stressed that there were now no plans to sell Rover. Instead, the company would be transformed into a 'British BMW'.

Milberg told the annual meeting that the company had made errors regarding the management but, after considering several options, the German parent company was now firmly behind Rover. 'The concept of Rover running Rover, the group operating with two largely independent corporate units, has not worked out. The losses sustained by Rover Cars are ultimately to a large extent the consequence of this management structure.' And dismissing take-over speculation, Milberg said: 'We want to - and will- ensure that we maintain the independence of the group.'

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