Rover Company

Rover was a British automobile brand, based in Solihull. The name rights are owned by the Indian carmaker Tata since 2008.

  • 2.1 1904-1940
  • 2.2 1945-2005
  • 2.3 Timeline

1884-1967: Company History

The first was Rover a tricycle by the company JK In Coventry, UK Starley & Sutton Co was established in 1884. The company was very innovative in the field of bicycles and produced, inter alia, also the Starley Safety Bicycle, a three-wheeled bicycle, in which the individual driven by a chain wheel was mounted at the back. Compared to the then usual high wheels, it was considered a very safe and soon found widespread; so that for example the word Rower has been adopted as a term for bicycle into Polish.

In 1888, a prototype of an electrically operated vehicle, which was never produced in series originated. 1896 was called to the company in Rover Cycle Company.

In 1902 the first Rover motorcycle was built, the Imperial Rover Motorcycle with 2.25 hp. it was followed in 1911 a 3.5 hp engine, a 5/6 HP -Twin, a 250 cc Lightweight and a 350 cm ³, with which you took part in many races with success. In 1904, the first automobile was produced, a two-seater named Rover Eight. On a trip from London to Constantinople Opel this car proved its reliability. 1906, the company in The Rover Company Limited was renamed.

In the years up to 1907, 16/20 HP, the 10/12 HP and a 12 HP followed. A 20 HP won the 1907 Tourist Trophy on the Isle of Man. In the wake of the global economic crisis, the production of motorcycles and bicycles was set in 1923 and the company was named Rover.

After 1918, the air-cooled 8- HP two-cylinder arose from him 17,000 pieces were sold within five years. 1925, the rover 14/45-HP on the market. With a Rover Light Six - one drove a 1930 race against the Train Bleu, a famous fast train on the track St.Raphael - Calais, and won with 20 minutes of lead. By 1936 resulted in several four - and six - cylinder models.

After the Second World War, steel was rationed and thus only available for companies that exports could have. For this reason, the company started in 1947 with the production of the Land Rover, a versatile all-terrain vehicle with all-wheel drive, which was originally intended for agriculture; the structure consisted mainly of aluminum plate riveted to save steel. Within a short time this Land Rover developed into a bestseller.

Already at the end of the 1940s the company began experimenting with gas turbines as a drive and developed prototypes, 1950, the JET 1 was presented. In the years 1953 to 1961 prototypes were developed with gas turbines. 1963 was built in a BRM racing car a 150 hp gas turbine and thus began the 24- hour race at Le Mans. With an average speed of 173 km / h the car came to the finish.

1949 appeared the new Rover 60 with four-cylinder engine and the Rover 75 with six cylinders. From 1958, the " middle-class Rolls- Royce " P5 coupe and a sedan with three-liter six-cylinder engine and from 1967 with V -8 engine and 3.5 liter displacement ( P5B ) was built. These vehicles were located in the upper segment of the middle class establish well. Finally came the Range Rover on the market.

In 1965 merged with Rover Alvis Limited and 1967 the merger with Leyland Motor Corporation took place.

Rover P5 ( 1958-1973 )

Rover P6 ( 1963-1977 )

1967-1982: British Leyland

1967 Rover was briefly called British Leyland part of Leyland Motor Company, which was with the British Motor Corporation ( BMC) to British Leyland Motor Corporation. From 1972, the Group Rover British Leyland UK Limited said.

Rover was only one brand among many in a huge conglomerate of various companies such as Austin, Jaguar, Morris, MG, Triumph, Wolseley, Leyland Motors ( commercial vehicles) and others. This was the time of Rover as an independent company to end, from since the demise of the British car industry began.

Symptomatic of this era, the mid-1976 was presented hatchback Rover SD1, an excellent se car but that could never pass his bad reputation due to blatant manufacturing and quality defects. The same year, British Leyland was insolvent and was nationalized. Also called the 1983 version of the big Rover Vitesse model, which even won international automobile prices due to its modern design, could not stop the development. But the Land Rover Range Rover or SUV continued to have a very large following, inter alia, as towing vehicles for trailers.

Rover SD1 ( 1976-1986 )

Rover (MG) ​​Metro ( 1980-1993 )

1982-1994: privatization

Beginning of the 1980s came a collaboration with Honda, under which a number of vehicles were developed jointly. Honda also acquired a 20 percent minority stake in Rover. The company renamed itself in 1982 to Austin Rover Group.

After Jaguar was hived off in 1984, she used the name again in 1988 Rover Group. At this time also based on Honda models types Rover 400 (Honda Civic ) and 600 (Honda Accord ) and the Rover 200, which has long been first completely new development emerged. Also released in the fall of 1986 top model 800 was still on offer as well as the old (formerly provided with the Austin - emblem) Mini.

Rover 800 (1986-1991)

Rover 400 (1990-1995)

1994-2000: Takeover by BMW

1994 Austin Rover was taken over by BMW Group. Following a restructuring of type names appeared in early 1999, the models 75, 25 (based on the 200 ) and the 45 (still manufactured on Honda base 400 ).

The 75 was newly developed by Rover, the only substantial financial assistance benefits the parent company BMW, however, was possible.

Because of known already at the launch of the Rover 75 issues between BMW and Rover and the resulting uncertainty regarding the future of Rover it could not achieve the targeted sales. The takeover by BMW also ended the long-term development cooperation with the company Honda, which had also made ​​great hopes for the acquisition of the Rover Group. In addition, the still presented in autumn 1995 mid-engine roadster MG F was produced.

Rover 200 (1995-1999)

MG F (1995-2002)

2000-2005: MG Rover Group

In 2000, BMW separated for economic reasons back of the Rover, because it was not considered a profitable development even after an investment of almost EUR 4 billion for foreseeable. This financial and organizational disaster taught the responsible BMW CEO Bernd Pischetsrieder and the Chief Technology Officer Wolfgang Reitzle to their posts. The SUV brand Land Rover, BMW sold to the Ford Motor Company. The almost fully developed new Mini remained in spite of the original development by Rover at BMW. Mini could be established as an independent brand; the model range was expanded.

Owner of the remaining Rover Group was the Phoenix Venture Group, consisting of four business people from Birmingham, the rover lack of other prospects took over for the symbolic sum of 10 pounds from BMW. BMW gave the new management, a long-term, interest-free loan of 500 million pounds. However, MG Rover had in turn the BMW Group, the engine division Powertrain buy. To awaken in the hope that the " sporty" brand MG greater interest in the automotive market, the company MG Rover Group was named.

Particularly sporty models were fitted in the sequence with the traditional name of MG, such as the MG ZT 260 based on the Rover 75 with a bought- Ford 4.6-liter V8 engine with 191 kW (260 hp). A super sports car called MG SV -R, which was based on the Qvale Mangusta, was built only 50 times.

Rover 45 (1999-2005)

Rover 25 (1999-2005)

2005: The second downfall

2004 Rover produced with 6,000 employees in the Longbridge plant still 100,000 cars (1999: 225,000 ), thus less than half of the necessary capacity to achieve profitability. In the same year negotiations on a joint venture with the Chinese company Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC ) were performed. SAIC wanted to invest 1.5 billion euros in a collaboration with Rover to founding companies, including the development of new vehicle models. Upon receipt of approval by the Chinese government was expected to contract in 2005. Ultimately, however, the negotiations failed due to the unsecured liquidity of MG Rover, although the British government provided a subsidy of 100 million pounds in prospect. The MG Rover Group had then as the last remaining mass car manufacturer British-owned on 7 April 2005 to declare bankruptcy. The Phoenix Venture Holdings ( PVH) as the owner of the British car maker offered a sum of 71 million euros in the form of cash, shares and property values ​​( for example, the estimated twelve million euros Castle Studley in Warwickshire / Midlands ) to still save the company to enable.

PVH boss John Towers, said: "All the possessions of PVH are available to assist the liquidator, to find a buyer! " The 71 million should be included in a foundation whose stock should benefit the families of the employees, if the rescue would fail. Although Rover never came out of the red numbers in the past few years, the management of Phoenix Venture Holding came regularly to enjoy high bonus payments. In 2003, for example, accounted Rover a loss of 133 million euros, nevertheless, the five board members led by John Towers together on an annual income of 24 million euros. A year earlier (2002) wrote Rover 140 million euro loss; nevertheless the Phoenix members received a " bonus" of 19 million euros. There was heavy criticism in public. The British House of Commons finally recommended the appointment of an independent chairman to restore the confidence of the workers and the public. This advice is followed at Phoenix.

The racing division of MG Rover, MG Sport and Racing Limited ( MGSR ) should be sold as an independent company within the MG Rover Group separately. The racing project in the DTM and the construction of the sports car MG SVR should be continued by the 48 employees of the MGSR. SAIC did not rule despite rejection new talks, but they wanted to wait and see what would still remain in the balance sheet as assets of Rover after the insolvency proceedings would be completed.

In July 2005, the assets of MG Rover and a subsidiary, the engine manufacturer Powertrain Ltd.. , For more than 50 million pounds ( 73 million euros ) were taken over by the Chinese company Nanjing Automobile Corporation.

In March 2006, Nanjing announced that 2007 models of MG Rover to be sold in the UK and Spain from the beginning. This was due to strong sales Rovers last in these markets. Should initially be offered a revised MG TF and the MG 7, a revamped version of the MG ZT. Late 2007 then the MG 5 follow as a successor to the Rover 45.

In September 2006, the naming rights were surprisingly sold to Rover from BMW to the Ford Motor Company. Actually, had been expected that the Rover brand licenses would go for about 16 million euros to the Chinese Shanghai Automotive Industrial Corporation (SAIC ), as SAIC had already secured the design rights to the Rover 25 and 75 models. The Ford group, however, had already in 2000 the Land Rover brand and assumed the right of first refusal for Rover secured.

In March 2008, Tata Motors acquired from Ford with the purchase of Jaguar and Land Rover also in addition to the trademark rights to the Daimler Motor Company and the Lanchester Motor Company the rights to the Rover brand.

SAIC wants to bring the planned new models, therefore, under the similar-sounding brand name Roewe on the markets. Thus, the Roewe 750 is offered as a little modified successor to the Rover 75 in the Asian market and are marketed from 2010/11 and in Europe.