Leon, thank you for the Rover updates,
I watch this topic as well, but in German newspapers and magazins. The recent
"DER SPIEGEL", a usually well informed news magazin , issue 17/2000, has some
The title is(translated):
Act of Ramification
content in short:
Nothing is fixed until now and neither Mr. Towers nor Alchemy have a contract
control on any part of Rover. Alchemy is in a good position because BMW wants
get rid of Rover very fast, which might allow Alchemy to dictate conditions.
Alchemy might as well say that they are no longer interested and go away. And
the rival bid of Mr. Towers is the worst situation for BMW imaginable.
On the Rover auction the price might come down now because Mr. Towers wants to
have a lot more from BMW than they want to give away and he promises to save
more jobs. He not only wants the Rovers 25, 45, 75 and Longbridge, but also the
new Mini and the Oxford factory. But the new Mini is designed to fit in a model
range, which BMW wants to sell in the future.
BMW has to regard the public mood against them in the UK which might put them
into a position that they have to accept something they donīt want.
If BMW should decide that neither the offer of Alchemy nor the one of Phoenix
(Mr. Towers) are acceptable, they have alredy made clear that they will close
the Longbridge factory.
An other problem is that in the past BMW integrated Rover more and more into
BMW group which means for example that there is presently a factoy beeing built
near Hams Hall. There they wanted to make all the 4 cylinder engines that
BMW/Rover needed. Without Rover it makes not much sense to run this factory.
One member of the BMW managing board said: "We should reconsider making engines
in England which we can make in Germany much cheaper. The exchange rate of the
pound is a real problem."
Next problem: In the past the tooling for the production of the new Mini was
moved from Oxford to Longbridge, because Longbridge was under utilized. Now
need to transport everything back to Oxford .....
But maybe they will not have to do this. "DER SPIEGEL" asked a member of the
BMW managing board, if the pressure from British politicians is that strong
they would include the new Mini with the Rover sale "We donīt want this in any
case, but probably anything is possible now. "