Fleet News

Rover shows fleet chiefs new cars - and commitment

ROVER will play a crucial role in the future of a 'totally independent' BMW, more than 300 of Britain's top fleet chiefs have been told. Rover Cars managing director Jim Macdonald and Dr Henrich Heitmann, BMW board member responsible for Rover and BMW sales worldwide, called the fleet bosses and Rover dealers to a briefing on the future of the troubled car manufacturer in Birmingham.

About 500 dealers packed into the International Conference Centre for a separate presentation and came out in a jubilant mood, with a number claiming that this was the turning point for Rover after a gloomy 18 months which has been dominated by job losses and doubts about BMW's commitment to the brand.

With the launch of the Rover 75 marking the start of the revival of the manufacturer, fleet chiefs were told that an estate version would also be launched and they saw the face-lifted replacements of the 200 and 400 - to be known as the 25 and 45 - which will go on sale at the end of this year and early in 2000 respectively. They were also told that Rover would compete in the lower medium and upper medium heartland of the fleet market when the replacement for the 200/400 - the 30 - is launched in 2003.

Steve Harris, Rover Group corporate sales director, said: 'We gave fleet managers and our dealers a very positive message for the future. Our future product will see us represented in all sectors, meeting all the requirements of the fleet market.'

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