BL CHANGES ITS NAME TO ROVER
By David Simpson, Business Correspondent
BL yesterday officially changed its name to Rover and simultaneously lost the services of the executive director responsible until recently for the group’s Austin Rover volume car business. As long predicted, Mr Ray Horrocks formally tendered his resignation from the state company, emulating Mr David Andrews, who forfeited his role as executive director for BL commercial vehicles operations last month.
Until the appointment of Mr Graham Day as BL chairman on May 1, Mr Horrocks and Mr Andrews were the only BL main board directors with executive responsibilities. When the government confirmed Mr Day as BL chairman-elect, Mr Horrocks made his displeasure public, claiming that he had been deprived of the promised chairmanship of the group because of his opposition to the government’s proposals to sell Austin Rover to the US car giant, Ford.
Shortly after Mr Day took up his BL office , he assumed executive control of Austin Rover, leaving Mr Horrocks to run Leyland Vehicles in the absence of Mr Andrews, who was on extended leave from the group, organising the ultimately unsuccessful management consortium bid for Land-Rover. Mr Horrocks, who has castigated the government this year for continually interfering in the management of BL for political motives, received a salary of around £95,000 last year.