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Admin 02-03-2007 04:07 AM

SAIC Roewe 550
 
Ford pulled a shrewd move back in September when it exercised an option to purchase the rights to the Rover brand name from BMW, which meant that Chinese automaker SAIC couldn't use the brand name to sell the ex-Rover cars it had just won the rights to build. Hence, the Roewe brand was born and the 750E was unveiled soon after.

AutoExpress is now reporting that SAIC is readying a slap right back at Ford in the form of a Focus fighter for the European market.

The small family hatch will come in both three- and five-door models, and it's being developed locally in the U.K. by Ricardo 2010, an engineering firm bought by SAIC that just happens to employ a number of ex-Rover employees.
2010 was also responsible for reengineering the Roewe 750, which will go on sale in Europe later this year.

The small car is being developed using the RDX60 chassis, a still-born platform that didn't get the chance to see the light of day before Rover went bankrupt.

We find it amusing SAIC is developing a car to take on the Focus considering Ford threw a major wrench in their works by buying the rights to the Rover name at the last minute. The Rover name will likely never be commercially used by Ford, which wasn't keen on the idea of Chinese-built passenger vehicles being confused with its high-end, off-road Land Rovers.

[Source: AutoExpress]

MartinW 02-03-2007 04:26 AM

Full story on AutoExpress site here

cryptonx 02-04-2007 10:44 AM

lol FORD ,,, sick :P
SAIC ... smart :P but hope they pull it off , I hate Ford(S)

phaeton 02-04-2007 08:47 PM

LOL Its taken Kia/Hyundai a while to get a proper Focus fighter.
Not sure on sales for the new Cee'd but it has been well received.

I'd be skeptical on a Roewe Focus fighter as would the Europeans ;)

MartinW 02-05-2007 03:35 AM

Assuming it is based on the original RDX60 that was being prepared at the time of the colla[se, then it has every chance of at least competing with Focus. But back in the 90s Rover raised the bar and by comparison Ford and GM took another few years to catch up and get ahead of Rover.

4*real*Made_in_China 02-05-2007 01:16 PM

I just read about that in TopGear. They took a tour of the Longbridge facility and found the prototypes there. Complete with Sedan(Saloon), 5 and 3 dr hatch and I think a wagon too. I looked it up- its based on a modified Rover 75 platform. Its supposed to be "the car that would have saved Rover". If they'd had the money(it was ready, they just couldn't afford to launch it).I guess its good that something's come out of it.:D

Seamaster 02-13-2007 08:02 AM

Roewe 450...
 
..and no Rover Group DNA.

http://www.worldcarfans.com/spyphoto...-new-roewe-450

chinacartimes 02-13-2007 08:22 AM

aha ! The infamous Seamaster. Got yourself banned from Austin-Rover?

How'd you manage that then?

Windy 02-13-2007 08:51 AM

Are you going to publish the story in the China Car Times when he answers? :D Make him really infamous! :lol:

Seamaster 02-13-2007 09:42 AM

If I told you my friends, you wouldn't believe me, but you can read all about it on www.macdroitwich.com, the new home of CLASS on the net. :D


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