He said: 'Our initial plan was for BMW to run BMW and for Rover to run Rover - with each operating as independent companies, both being seen as competitors in the market. But this approach meant that Rover was never properly integrated into the Group, and that we could not exploit synergies. And it meant that our respective model programmes were unco-ordinated and overlapped - as was our approach to the corporate market.'
Significant changes in management structure now mean a co-ordinated approach to fleet business, although Heitmann pledged the Group's different brands - Rover, BMW, Land Rover, Mini and MG with Rolls-Royce coming on stream in 2003 - would remain distinct.
And Rover Cars managing director Jim Macdonald, while pledging the company's 100% commitment to the corporate market, said a three-year strategic fleet turnaround had seen the company move away from a 'registrations at any cost' policy. Now pursuing a 'right cars, at the right price in the right segments' policy with the aim of attracting a broader customer base, Macdonald said the strategy had been launched with the 75 and would continue with the 200 and 400 facelifts.