He said the consortium was 'keen' to speak to Honda, which until BMW's takeover in 1994 was in partnership with Rover, because of the history the two companies share. 'However, I'm not pretending we have anything in the bank with them,' said Stephenson.
But a statement from Honda effectively closed the door on a deal. A spokesman said: 'Honda is not holding talks with the Phoenix Consortium about the future model strategy or strategic alliance. Honda's partnership with Rover Group ended in 1994 when BMW purchased Rover.'