Fleet News

Group name goes, but Rover badges are safe

ROVER has pledged to maintain the brand names of Rover, MG, Mini and Land Rover despite the decision by BMW to scrap the Rover Group name. The change comes as part of BMW's restructuring of its loss-making subsidiary and follows the slow demise of the Rover Group board which over the last few months has seen successive directors quit or be given alternative posts within BMW's worldwide operations.

In the last 12 months former manufacturing director Paul Kirk, design and engineering director Nick Stephenson, chairman Dr Walter Hasselkus and sales and marketing director Tom Purves have left or been relocated.

A Rover spokesman said: 'The holding company known as Rover Group, which 'holds' the names of the products, will disappear because we don't have a separate main board of directors any more. Representatives for Rover, such as its chairman Werner Samann, now sit on the BMW Group board. Each of the brands within the group - Rover, MG, Mini and Land Rover - will retain their identity and their individual badging. We will not see Rover cars with a BMW badge.' Rover Financial Services will also keep its name.

Meanwhile, demand for Rover's new saloon the 75 is so great that for the first time in 30 years, production line staff at its Oxford plant are working a Sunday shift. The 1,400 workers at Rover's Oxford plant have now started working a six-hour shift to meet demand for the new 75 saloon, launched in June. It is the first time a Sunday shift has been needed since the creation of British Leyland 30 years ago and Sunday working will continue for the foreseeable future.

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