• Sep 18, 2006
Ford informed BMW today that it would be exercising its right to buy the Rover name from the German automaker and also announced that it will not be putting it up for sale. The Detroit automaker purchased Land Rover from BMW in 2000 and has since had the option to buy the Rover name or at least first refusal rights if BMW tried to sell the name to a third party. Well, that's exactly what BMW tried to do and had reportedly arranged a deal already with Chinese automaker Shanghai Automotive Corp. (SAIC) for the Rover name. From the rubble of the MG Rover collapse, SAIC emerged with the design rights for a pair of Rover models, the Rover 25 and 75. Looks like they won't be calling them Rovers anymore.
Why would Ford go out and spend more money when its North American operations are operating in the red? It looks to us like Ford is planning to sit on the Rover for a while. Clearly the automaker doesn't want the brand prestige of the Land Rover threatened by Chinese-built cars bearing the Rover name, and was left the choice of either buying the name now or allowing SAIC to scoop it up. Whether Ford will do anything with the Rover name in the future remains to be seen, but for now it will likely be put in a drawer and forgot about. However, with SAIC having invested millions of dollars in its quest to revive the Rover brand, Ford now has the Chinese automaker over a barrel. Though it claims it won't, Ford could end up selling the name to SAIC and turning a tidy profit.

[Source: Reuters]

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  • 21 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ford and GM in talks! Ford buys Rover name! Same day!

      Laughable.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #9, I've seen many crash tests of chinese cars and one thing i can tell you for sure, i'll never want to be into one of those cars.

      But, if you are talking about cars made by chinese companies teamed up with trusted car makers, then i might agree with you.
      • 8 Years Ago
      you idiot. if you drive a veyron like he drove the gt you would get 3mpg. you have to be racing all the time to get that millage. the car can get a bit over 20 on the highway. and the car didnt start because jeremy installed a crappy remote start system.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I think this is a smart move. Land Rover is a LUXURY brand. The Chinese brand will sell cheap, cheap, economy cars. By letting them have the name, it would only dilute the LUXURY image of Land Rover with the CHEAP image of the owuld be Chinese Rover...
      • 8 Years Ago
      Instead of shutting down land rover, ford is investing more. Vow! its time for suicide!

      • 8 Years Ago
      Thanks Rob. Obviously Hamud doesn't realize that Ford isn't bring the European mini-vans here to the states. Hamud your the one that is bullshit.

      • 8 Years Ago
      I thought the most intelligent and fresh comment above was about using the Rover name for the X-type Jag -- of course, for a replacement to that car, since they built a factory for it. I don't think the Rover name is dead in Britain, and it might sell here merchandised with Land Rovers. No doubt at all that Ford had reason to be afraid Chinese makers would use the Land Rover name to sell their cars.
      • 8 Years Ago
      er...land rover may be a luxury brand but reliable it is not. so why would ford be afraid of maintaining its "reputation"? what reputation i ask?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Hmmm if I was buying such an expensive exotic car would I really care how much fuel mileage I was getting? Its not like you buy these cars to do your daily commute.

      Oh and UltraP, you need to do your homework before you go blabbing your big mouth with bs. Several sites show the Ford GT being at 13MPG City 21HWY.

      The Ferrari 430 being at 11MPG City and 16HWY

      and last the Bugatti Veyron at 8MPG City and 15MPG HWY.

      I give Ford kudos for cranking out so much HP out of a 5.4L engine when it takes Bugatti a 18 cylinder motor to obtain theres and the GT cost way less.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Autocar just printed that Ford built 4000 GT's .. thats fantastic. Good for them, 10 years time I may be able to afford one. Now for a decent Thunderbird.
      Looks like Land Rover will go with the Rover Name to China.....for the chinese that would be an instant world brand setup/dealers in the US and Europe for $6B. cheap in car factory terms
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ford got rid of thousands of employees to purchase a brand name that doesn't exist anymore. See how stupid American companies are and they wonder why they their operating in the red. This explains why the Ford GT was a waste along with the T-bird. Ford has no money to build a entirely new mini-van but has money for a brand name!!!! Ford shouldn't exist.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #9 (Rob)
      "and how do you know that the Chinese Rovers would have been cheap and unsafe? Quite an assumption there, if you ask me. There are plenty of companies in China that have already teamed up with American, German, and Japanese automakers to build their cars there...BMW, GM, etc."

      That's because the government forces- er.. mandates foregin auto manufacturers to partner with a local company if they are to be allowed to manufacture vehicles locally. AND the government taxes imported vehicles heavily enough so as to force- i mean encourage companies to partner up with a local company :P to manufacture vehicles in China.
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