Fleet News

We're not to blame, says BMW chairman

BMW insists it is not guilty for the demise of Rover as a volume car maker, but instead has laid the blame for its on poor sales, pressure to cut prices in the UK, the Government's confused signals about whether it would adopt the Euro and 'squabbles' in Brussels.

At a press conference at BMW's Munich headquarters BMW board chairman Professor Joachim Milberg said what success the company had achieved was 'unbelievable' but that the problems had become insurmountable.

The prime reason for Rover's sale was its 'general weakness' which meant product offensives on Rover 75, 45 and 25 had failed to meet expectations. He said that BMW was 'obliged' to cut prices in the UK by £1,000 per vehicle, which cost BMW £70 million.

The man responsible for BMW Group sales and marketing, Dr Heinrich Heitmann, has quit. His resignation and that of research and development chief Dr Wolfgang Ziebart and head of production Carl Peter Forst were announced as part of 'reorientation' plans following the sale of Rover and MG brands to Alchemy Partners.

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