But a question mark still hangs over the future of the Longbridge plant in the wake of the controversial EU decision to make a full investigation of the UK Government's £152 million package of aid toward BMW's £1.5 billion project to revitalise the R30 production facility. BMW Group sales and marketing director Henrich Heitmann said: 'Rover is a worry and I admit the turnaround is more difficult than we had assumed.
'We are facing more difficulties, and these involve internal as well as external factors. In hindsight, we should have done the 200-400 replacement first instead of the 75, even though this is a beautiful car - and we don't hesitate to admit that we could have done a few things differently. It would have made more sense to have done the high-volume model first.'
After using the North American International Auto Show in Detroit to announce that it will launch the all-new Mini model to North American motorists next year, the German company revealed it was also considering sending its British subsidiary's next new compact car, the successor to the R25 and R45, across the Atlantic. 'We think we should bring the R30 to the US,' Heitmann said.