The UK's Financial Times is reporting that BMW has agreed to sell the Rover name to an eager Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. (SAIC), new owner of the design rights to many of the vehicles owned by MG Rover before the company dissolved due to huge debts. FT reports that the German luxury automaker will complete a deal wtih SAIC in September in which BMW will hand over the rights to the Rover name for about $1.9 million, citing sources close to the deal. BMW, however, responded to the report today, indicating that talks are still in progress and no deals have been struck.
Nanjing Auto, the Chinese automotive company who bought MG Rover from BMW, was also talking to BMW about the Rover name. Ford Motor Company reportedly has right of first refusal to the Rover name, but is not expected to buy it.