Yes, even as a Rover 75 enthusiast, I have to agree with that observation. The 25 and 45 were past their sell by date even before the company entered administration and I am not sure whether any true Rover enthusiast would even regard as them real Rovers. Rather, they were little more than Honda's cast offs that should have been rebranded as Austins.Puppetland said:Spy cars? hardly! I can see these at my local supermarket car park!
The ones pictured are probably Longbridge built cars shipped out to China.
Please don't try and sell these in the European market - because you won't!
At this age the cars origins are irrelevant. What mattered was that the R25 and R45 were passed their sell by date in 2000, never mind 2005. Car magazine claimed the R45 was the second worst car on sale - yet MGR still felt it necessary to charge for optional extras!MartinW said:The 25 was NOT a Honda cast-off. It was developed in house by the Rover Group engineers alongside the MG F and was to be the Metro replacement. Because the Metro (by then badged 100) was still selling so well, they decided to call the new car the 200. This created confusion with the fact that previously the 200/400 was the same car but just in 5dr (200) and 4dr (400), so that when the 400 was replaced (yes, this was a Honda platform, and identical to the UK Honda Civic launched at the same time, not a cast-off) the 5dr and 4 dr models were both called 400..
It has also been noted that BMW were increasingly concerned at Rover's ability to build an executive medium sized car - and had to help them in more ways than one, including a suggestion that the KV6 was substantially reworked before being fitted to the 75. Spending £1m to remove a sunroof seam must have seemed alien to a company that allowed cars like the Metro to be released with glaring faults, (like the fuel cap being too low!) The 75 bonnet shut line issue? Have you seen the MGR facelift R75s with that huge gap between the grille and bonnet - you could drive a bus through it! The MGR's facelifted models were not convincing and actually drove buyers away. Most agree that the early 75s were better in appearance as well.MartinW said:The 200/25 shared switch gear with the 400/45 and the headlight and body styling was somewhat Honda looking but understandable given the family styling, but it had nothing whatsoever to do with Honda. A myth that is often perpetuated along with various other myths such as the 75 was based on an old BMW 5 series chassis which it was not, although it used a variation of the BMW Z axle, albeit in none drive format
Surprisingly, BMW delayed the launch of the 75 by six months and added £1mill to the developement cost all because there was a seam visible when the sunroof was opened which went against their design principles, yet they let the bonnet shut-line issue go.
Just how Phoenix thought they could keep Longbridge afloat without access to the work already done on the 25/45 replacement is utterly mind boggling. They had nowhere near the funds to create an all new car and even using a 'pretend' mule did nothing to convince the motoring press that a replacement was on the horizon. Sad, but MG Rover were doomed the minute that £10 was handed over. Even a mass undertaking of pre-registering new cars to bump up sales figures did not wash with the public. What they wanted was a new car, not a new badge. The launch of the CityRover was an insult on the British buying public. For sure, May 2000 seemed like a bright new era at Longbridge, but in reality it was the start of a journey through a very long dark tunnel. The K series HGF issues did nothing to help the company - but neither did its management's clumsy handling of the issue.MartinW said:As to the replacement of the 25/45, the Rover group were working on the 45 at the time but when BMW sold the business, they kept all the material relating to the work, and some suggest that some of this eventually found its way into the BMW 1 series as the styling is not dissimilar to the original proto-types. RDX60 was in progress but lacking funds, which SAIC had promised, it was unlikely that MG-Rover were in any position to put it into production. RDX60 was blighted by the fact the TWR went into receivership halfway through development meaning that the progress was set back by 6 months or more...
Well, they would have lumped the costs of the MINI and RR development into Rover Group. After all, and at the time, they were Rover Group cars. A little known fact is that using a like for like comparison (and removing goodwill payments and asset sales, and using a full 12 months etc.,) it could be argued that MG Rover lost more money in its first year of operation than BMW did with Rover Group in its last year. Also, adding up all the money MGR burned through over the five years is nothing short of eye watering and embarrassing. Do the sums yourself.MartinW said:Given that BMW lumped the cost of development of the 75 in with the MINI and the new Range Rover, it's not surprising that the Rover Group was not making money in 1999, nor was the final year of the Rover Group helped in anyway, (or the success of the 75 with the delay at launch after the 1998 Motor Show) following BMW's threat of closing Rover if the UK Government did not provide assitance with estblishing new manufacturing facilities....
That is a matter of opinion, but Rover cars (75 aside) were not renowned for their durability.MartinW said:It's often forgotten that Rover were doing exceptionally well in the early/mid 90s, and today, it is more likely to see Rovers on the road in the UK from this period than any other make, inc. Ford or Vauxhall.....
The 75 was a proper Rover, trouble was the world had moved on while the Rover had not. Yes, the Cowley cars were superb, (I had one) but the later Longbridge models I sat in and drove were indifferent in quality and lacked the solidity of the earlier cars - quite the opposite of what was required in MGR's dire position. Even the quality of plastic had been cut to the bare minimum and lots of equipment was removed, the climate control sensor looked ugly and the the loss of vanity mirror lights on some models - to name two small mean examples.MartinW said:Frankly, though, the MG ZT was more of a true Rover than the 75. When the P6 was launched in the 60s it won Car of the Year as did the SDI in the 70s. This was because each successive Rover model broke new design boundaries and did not rely on any outdated image of what a Rover was. The 75 replaced both the 600 and 800 models (both of which were Honda platforms), but offered nothing more than some pastiche of retro design supposedly harking back to the days of the original 75, with more BMW parts in it than the 200/400 had Honda parts in them. In fact the sales of the 75 were probably hampered by this Gentleman Club interior, whereas the ZT turned that retro styling into a modern, sporting look with decent handling. I'd say even the 75 failed to be a proper Rover.
Despite all this, the 75 was developed on a budget that was less than what BMW spent desiging a back axle. That said, the 75 was a brilliant car and the best were the Cowley built models with regard to the attention to detail and and real wood dashboards, but the Longbridge cars have also been extremely reliable cars having topped reliability surveys ahead of the German manufacturers. What's more a recent What Car poll has also show the 25/45 to be one of the more reliable second hand buys.
- different tune to what you used to post on Rover forums."Yes, the Cowley cars were superb"
Funny, I thought you posted elsewhere that the car was rubbish for European markets and their decision to not export was a sensible one!"Having said all that I congratulate SAIC on their version of the 75."
What Car? magazine in association with Warranty Direct have published a reliability survey of 11 models in which half of the cars in the top 10 are British-built. The survey showed Honda keeping its number one position, closely followed by Lexus. The Honda Accord, which was top, was built here until 2002 and the Honda Civic, which finished runner up, was also constructed in the UK.
Other British-built cars in the top ten are the Nissan Micra in 5th and the Jaguar X-type in 7th. The Oxford-built Mini is ranked 8th in the survey. The now defunct MG Rover would have been proud to see a couple of their vehicles fare well: the 45 finished 11th and the 25 was in 13th place overall.
Land Rover, however, accounted for three vehicles in the bottom ten – the previous-model Range Rover built from 1995 to 2002 (104th position), and the Freelanders built from 1997-2000 and 2000-2006 (106-107th position respectively. Jaguar’s XK8 came in 105th position. As a manufacturer, Land Rover came last in 26th position, while Jaguar came 15th out of 26 manufacturers.
38,000 vehicles were surveyed with an average age of 4.9 years.