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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Excerpts taken from paultan.org:

"While Nanjing Auto bought MG Rover back in July 2005, the forerunner to buy the Rover brand name from BMW was Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp, who actually owns many of Rover’s design rights. SAIC was expected to buy the Rover brand name for US$21.7 million. It had plans to put the Rover 75 back into production in late 2007 or early 2008.

However, SAIC has to change it’s plans now, as Ford whom BMW has given first right of refusal over the Rover brand name has decided to execute it’s rights and buy the brand name from BMW - and it has no plans to resell it later. Ford feels it is essential to own the Rover brand name to protect the interests of it’s Land Rover brand, through which it gained it’s first right of refusal in the first place when it bought Land Rover from BMW in the year 2000."----

Now what SAIC gonna do about this?
 

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It might just be a business trick, first buy and then sell for a much higher price. I think SAIC will make a good offer to get the name...
 

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The cars will be badged as MG,s Im betting on this as here in America few have ever heard of Rover, but most people have heard of MG and have very fond memories of the company. We have already seen pics of rover 75,s badged as MGs and the loss of the rover name wont hurt sales here but it might effect the English sales situation.
 

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I guess your right BIGIRON, Nanjing will sell their MGs in the USA in 2008 using the MG badge.

Then a couple of years later SAIC will try to sell their Rover derived cars under a new Chinese name that nobody has ever heard of and nobody will believe they are really Rovers since everyone will know that Nanjing MG bought MG-Rover.

Very bad news for SAIC and very good news for MG.

"We have already seen pics of rover 75,s badged as MGs " - that was probably a real MG ZT, developed from the Rover 75 about 6 years ago - not just a Rover 75 with an MG badge. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MG_ZT
 

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Adding my two cents, "Shanghai" is a common noun familiar to all, so I don't think going with "Shanghai" brand is not as bad as it sounds.

Or "Rover" brand might come with Aston Martin as a bundle should SAIC choose to buy Aston Martin from Ford...
 

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"Rover" (the name) was purchased by Ford to protect their investment in Land Rover. As long as BMW held "Rover," Ford was assured that there would not be a "Rover" badged SUV. But if someone else owned it, they could produce a Rover SUV that would confuse the market.

"Rover" will only be sold if Land Rover is sold.

SAIC doesn't have the rights to "MG" either. Nanjing purchased those rights.
 

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Personally I think this is a massive blow to SAIC. They have no hope of selling their wannabe Rover in the UK and Europe when you can have the real thing from MG.

I wouldn't write off Rover. According to various reports Ford is looking to relaunch Rover in North America and it may be used by Mazda as a brand to rival Honda's Accura...
 

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mgrovernut said:
Personally I think this is a massive blow to SAIC. They have no hope of selling their wannabe Rover in the UK and Europe when you can have the real thing from MG.

I wouldn't write off Rover. According to various reports Ford is looking to relaunch Rover in North America and it may be used by Mazda as a brand to rival Honda's Accura...
No. Those "various reports" are based on dreams of the articles' authors, not Ford planning. Ford is NOT looking into launching another brand in North America, or anywhere. Ford already maintains three North American brands and four European brands...and Mazda. They have no need for a NINTH brand.
 

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Hudson said:
No. Those "various reports" are based on dreams of the articles' authors, not Ford planning. Ford is NOT looking into launching another brand in North America, or anywhere. Ford already maintains three North American brands and four European brands...and Mazda. They have no need for a NINTH brand.
Correct. Ford would have to be crazy if they thought they could get any mileage out of the Rover name. The fact that they offered half of what SAIC were prepared to pay indicates how little value they place on the brand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ford's bleeding and is desperately downsizing. So the Rover's going to America theory is pure imaginary.
 

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1 - Most Americans call a Land Rover a Rover, so buying the Rover nameplate is purely protection against another Rover branded 4x4, especially coming from a company that has a 4x4 model line up already.

2 - Although Ford have stated Land Rover, as speculated, is not for sale with Jaguar, should they decide to sell, it is one less worry for a potential buyer. Knowing that the Land Rover brand would come with the Rover name would add value to the Land Rover sale. It would give the buyer reassurance and potentialy allow a new range of Rover cars alongside the Land Rover brand.

3 - Rover launched the Land Rover in 1949 when Rover was still an independent company prior to its merger with BMC/BL in the late 1960s. Historically, Rover had a quality image, being bought by professional people such as bank managers, and the image of being a car for solid citizens was somewhat changed with the launch of the P6 model in 1963 - a car that was completely different to the conservative models that went before. It won car of the year at the time, and this was followed by the SD1 variant winning the COTY award in 1976, another model that dropped the staid image and went modern and class leading (sadly let down by quality).

Many people feel that this was the start of Rover's demise. Although the 800 was again a solid car in collaboration with Honda that addressed the quality issues of the SD1, it was no longer a trend-setter, and the brand was diluted further by applying the Rover name to the entire range with the exception of the Mini. Rover quality issues improved thanks to Honda but its image was seen as too dowdy, owned by elderly people that drove slowly, reinforced by the media, despite that during the mid-90s the models were good and today are still seen in greater numbers than most of its competition from that period.

The problems came in the late 90s when the competition caught up and lack of new car development meant the smaller Rover models looked to be poor value by comparison. The 75 did offer far greater quality thanks to a state of the art design and assembly (the assembly line was the most advanced in the world at the time) but the media attention over the BMW sale and the new owners under MG Rover meant that the company was doomed to failure. By now the only real market for the MG Rover was the UK, and a number of factors; quality, lack of development, poor dealership experiences, bad press etc combined to seal its fate.

Under a new ownership, with the support of Land Rover, now leading a charmed existence as the "best 4x4xfar", a new range of up-to-date Rover saloons might have a chance. That market would not be the UK, but those countries that still remember Rover as it was prior to the 80s.

Rover as a brand in the US was a failure. All previous attempts to sell over saloons in the US, including under the Sterling brand, failed.

Whilst many enthusiasts are pleased to see the Rover brand back at it's birthplace, Solihull, where Land Rover was born, most are realistic enough to realise that a return of the brand is unlikely given the current competitive marketplace. Many just want the Rover name to die peacefully, just as the Triumph, Morris, Austin, Riley, Wolseley brands were allowed to do, too.
 

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MartinW said:
1 - Most Americans call a Land Rover a Rover...
Yes, but most Americans would respond to "what kind of car do you have" by answering "I think it's a blue one."
 

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Hudson said:
Yes, but most Americans would respond to "what kind of car do you have" by answering "I think it's a blue one."

In any country, I think that would be typical of most people's answers!

Actually, in the US the answer is surprisingly quite precise down to the model year and engine capacity or maybe most American males I have spoken to are just plain enthusiasts! Most seem to do their research as they tend to buy cars for a longer ownership period (>7yrs) than most British owners do. They are far less likely to rush into buying a car and surveys such as JD Power have a lot of influence from what I understand talking to many. Needless to say most see their car simply as a means of transport and buy it in the same way they would a computer or other such expensive but necessary item. They seem to research it heavily, and it's only in the last ten years I have a noted a reducing tendency to look at foreign as opposed to US cars. Perhaps because some of the foreign cars are now made in the US that has helped? Performance is not their main priority, or rather, straight power might be in their Pony cars, but handling is often overlooked for ride comfort. Also, the retro theme seems to be have been far more popular there than elsewhere, which means MG having a greater chance with a recognised badge.


Whenever I mentioned my Rover, though, they would launch into their view on the Land Rover, and were quite surprised to find out it was a car I was talking about. Likewise, most seem to think an MG is a two seater sports car like they last saw in 1980, so again, I have to explain I have a saloon, and yes, MG always made saloons!
 

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MartinW said:
Many just want the Rover name to die peacefully, just as the Triumph, Morris, Austin, Riley, Wolseley brands were allowed to do, too.
Austin is not dead, Nanjing has invested over $100 milion US in an Austin company this year!

Quote- Zhang Xin (MG Project director):
"More on our brand, Austin, we will refer to the characteristics of the product planning. For example, there are many complicated MG Rover's ancient classic cars, like ancient Chinese rosewood furniture, the appropriate time we will launch our brand."

http://auto.zjol.com.cn/05car/system/2006/09/25/007893415.shtml http://auto.zjol.com.cn/05car/system...07893415.shtml
http://www.xhby.net/xhby/content/2006-08/26/content_1379491.htm
 
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