Death of Rover

Rover is Over, (with thanks to bruno costers)
Rover is Over, click on gif file to see it in action (with thanks to bruno costers)

How did MG Rover fail? Many pages of Newsprint, a damning 830 page Trade & Industry Committee Report and even a few books have been written about the demise of Rover as we knew it. Here though are a few of the more pertinent Press Releases from MG Rover Group during what must have been a turbulent April 2005, especially for the workers of MG Rover.

Download the pdf file here.

Summary 2005:
The company producing Rovers and MGs, MG Rover of UK went broke in 2005 and stopped production. The intellectual rights and some property rights to the cars in production at that time were sold to Chinese companies. A similar model to the Rover 75 was produced for the Chinese domestic market, but not for export.

MGs are now in limited production in UK again made from parts produced in China.

The “Rover” name brand is now owned by Indian company Tata, as part of the purchase of Land Rover and Jaguar from Ford a few years ago.

The last cars sold here in Australia were Rover 75/MGZT saloons and tourers.

MG Rover Australia Administrators Auction – 13 June 2005:

In the wake of UK Parent Company going into Liquidation, the Australian Distributor also went into Voluntary Administration. RSM Bird Cameron Partners were appointed to administer the affairs of Motor Group Australia Pty Limited This included an Australia wide auction by Bonhams & Goodman on 13th June 2005, where around 185 mostly brand new vehicles, the last Rovers and MGs, were sold.

Here is the Auction Information Package, including the full list of cars auctioned.

Official History of Rover and Timeline Milestones

When Rover Car manufacturing turned 100 on 1 December 2004 the MG Rover Group released an Official History and Timeline. Please download this Document. Rover history 100 anniversary.

At the time of Rover’s 100th Anniversary in 2004, revised versions of the 75, 45 and 25 had modernised the range, with a fresh identity inside and out, that featured specification and security improvements. A flagship Rover 75 V8, with larger prestige grille, was launched at the Geneva Motor Show, with a Longbridge-built 75 Limousine, the highlight of the Birmingham show.

Rover’s product range, in its centenary year, had the brand’s largest product portfolio in its history. The line-up included:

  • CityRover – the £6,495 Rover range entrant 1.4-litre 5dr small car
  • Commerce – a car-derived van for the small-business user
  • Rover 25 – the company’s best-selling car
  • Streetwise – an urban-on roader with a tough exterior appearance
  • Rover 45 – medium sized car available in 5- and 4-door saloon
  • Rover 75 – a stylish saloon and Tourer with a wide range of engine options
Last Model Range!

Rover Badge Evolution

Another release by MG Rover Group at the time of the 100th Anniversary was The Evolution ot Rover Badges, as used on the Cars:

Badge history
Click for full size

Rover 75 Coupe Concept Car

Perhaps one of the loveliest Rovers never to have been built. As part of the Centenary Celebrations for Rover in 2004, MG Rover released details of the Rover 75 Coupe Concept vehicle.

Download the MG Rover Press Release.

Revised Rover 75

In January 2004 MG Rover Group released details of the revisions to the Rover 75 Saloon and Tourer, first introduced in 1999. The cars were commonly called “Facelift” versions of the 75. Here is the Press Release including full details of the specifications of the new models.

The Five-millionth Rover

Rover announced on July 10 2003 that it had built its five-millionth car since production began in 1904. At the time Kevin Howe, Chief Executive, MG Rover Group, said: “Though MG Rover Group is a relatively young company, the Rover marque represents a very important historical legacy. Next year we’ll be celebrating Rover’s centenary, which will also hold special significance.”

The five-millionth Rover was a 75 Saloon, powered by a K Series 2.5-litre V6 engine, and painted in a special Xirallic® Aubergine paint finish. The car had unique Oyster leather seats, an aubergine Personal Line interior and Connoisseur SE specification, with Hi-Line satellite navigation and many additional top-of-the-range items that combined to make this a special Rover.

The most popular Rover ever produced was the Rover 200 (R8) model launched in 1989 and produced until 1998. Over 700,000 cars were produced. This model was not “officially” sold in Australia, although there are a few private imports owned by Club members.

To coincide with the milestone, MG Rover released a Production Table by model from 1904 to 2004. Download it here.

The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex & Kevin Howe, Chief Executive MG Rover Group at Longbridge with the 5 millionth Rover (July 2003).