History : Brand ownership
Many of you will know that the Rover name was owned by BMW and licensed to MG Rover – but following the disollution of the Longbridge-based company in 2005 and the subsequent purchase of the remaining assets to Nanjing (forming NAC-MG), it was retained by Ford as part of the original licence agreement with BMW for an undisclosed sum (estimated to be about £10m).
However, the ownership of some of the other marque/model names by NAC-MG is less widely known. And following SAIC’s takeover of NAC, all Chinese rights moved to this company. Ford’s ownership has now passed to Tata.
Thanks to the good people at the MG-Rover.org forums, we are able to present a fascinating list detailing the ownership of the various BMC>Rover names…
|Austin-Healey Sprite *||SAIC|
|BMC Special Tuning Abingdon||SAIC|
|MINI Cooper Monte Carlo||BMW|
|Morris Minor *||SAIC|
|Rover 100 Series||BMW|
|Rover 200 Series||N/A|
|Rover 400 Series||N/A|
|Rover 600 Series||BMW|
|Rover 800 Series||N/A|
|TR 4 Triumph||BMW|
* NB: MG Rover acquired the rights to the asterisked trade marks from British Motor Heritage (for use in spare parts) on 10th December 2003 – and these were passed to SAIC in 2005
Who is British Motor Heritage?
British Motor Heritage Limited was established in 1979 [as BL Heritage Ltd] to support owners and the marketplace by putting body shells and genuine components for classic British cars back into manufacture, using original tools wherever possible. Since November 2001, when the company was acquired from BMW, it has been owned by the present directors who collectively have over 60 years experience with the former Rover Group.
British Motor Heritage owns the Heritage trademark and Heritage Motor Parts brand, and is licensed by MG Rover or BMW to use MG, Mini, Austin-Healey, Triumph, Rover, Austin, Morris, Riley, Wolseley and Special Tuning trademarks and logos. Through its approval process, it is responsible for the licensing of vehicle, merchandise and publishing products and outlets using the non-current trademarks and logos owned by BMW and MG Rover. It is a Member of the Institute of Vehicle Engineers and Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs.
The above text has been taken from the website of British Motor Heritage Ltd.
Based on original research by Ian Robertson.
Thanks to Laurence Curtis for further information.
All the names listed above are trade marks, according to the UK Patent Office.