Archive : Longbridge detracts from Rover 75 launch

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

PR WEEK
MEDIA: What The Papers Say – Longbridge detracts from Rover 75 launch
IAN DARBY, PR Week UK, 30 October 1998, 00:00am

Just after Rover’s new 75 saloon was launched, the company and its owner BMW, began negotiating with the unions over the future of its Longbridge plant – the site where the model is being manaufactured. Peter Mandelson’s interference was disappointing – his high-profile appearance seemed to herald intervention, but then he insisted that the car maker would have to sort itself out.

Just after Rover’s new 75 saloon was launched, the company and its owner BMW, began negotiating with the unions over the future of its Longbridge plant – the site where the model is being manufactured. Peter Mandelson’s interference was disappointing – his high-profile appearance seemed to herald intervention, but then he insisted that the car maker would have to sort itself out.

At first it appeared BMW was demanding grants and the Government was saying none were available, but by Saturday BMW claimed never to have asked while officials hinted that local grants were available. The media didn’t give investors a chance to look at BMW’s strategy in any objective way, although there were hints of a master plan. But what about potential Rover 75 buyers? Someone at BMW informed the Observer that negotiations could only have begun about the future of the plant when the new car was launched as tangible proof of the future of Rover.

This around about approach denied the model a proper launch.

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

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