Fleet News

Rover puts delays decision on manufacturing partnership

ROVER says it will not sign a partner to develop a platform for future models until at least the New Year. That does not mean Malaysian car manufacturer Proton, which owns Lotus and which was said to have been in talks with Rover, is ruled out, but the Birmingham-based manufacturer says it has other priorities.

A Rover spokesman said: 'The priority for us is to build up 75 production this autumn with a new estate car, and develop a car platform for a range of MG saloons, for which we're recruiting extra engineers. We will start thinking about a medium and lower-medium car platform in January or February next year for production in 2004.'

Rover needs to find a partner soon if it is to develop the replacement for the 25 and 45 models by 2004 using a shared platform. The car-maker confirmed in July it had been approached by another car manufacturer, which it refused to identify.

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