Fleet News

Confidence is the key for Rover as it seeks manufacturing alliance

ROVER will begin collaboration on new models with a major manufacturer in early 2001, Rover chairman John Towers has said, but talks about a partnership will only begin once Rover's new owners are confident they have placed the company in a 'robust' position for the future.

The alliance with a major manufacturer is just one of three tie-ups planned, the other two being with 'smaller companies'. Partnerships will be key to rolling out all-new platforms and models and could also be a vital part of building sporty MG models at Longbridge.

Already, former Rolls-Royce engineering chief Rob Oldaker has been taken on as product development director and Towers has promised that some of the model designs the public can expect will be 'uncompromising, exciting and occasionally outrageous'.

The partnerships are likely to involve production of the new MG range, which, along with the Rover 75 estate, are key to building Rover's sales.

The estate model will include a split-rear tailgate, along with a separately opening rear window, while options are expected to include satellite navigation and distance warning devices fitted in the vehicle's bumpers.

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