18 Facts About Rover Group


Rover Group plc was the British vehicle manufacturing conglomerate known as "BL plc" until 1986, which had been a state-owned company since 1975.

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The Rover Group owned the dormant trademarks from the many companies that had merged into British Leyland and its predecessors such as Triumph, Morris, Wolseley, Riley and Alvis.

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Ownership of the original Rover Group marques is currently split between BMW, SAIC, and Tata Motors, the latter owning the Rover marque itself with its subsidiary Jaguar Land Rover owning much of the assets of the historic Rover company.

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Rover Group plc was formed by renaming BL plc in 1986, soon after the appointment by Margaret Thatcher of Canadian Graham Day to the position of Chairman and Managing Director of BL.

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Meanwhile, Land Rover was sold to Ford, where it was ultimately reunited with former BL stablemate Jaguar to form Jaguar Land Rover when Ford dissolved the Premier Automotive Group in the late 2000s.

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Land Rover was spun off from Rover and sold to the Ford Motor Company, becoming part of Ford's Premier Automotive Group, ultimately reuniting it with Jaguar which had been divested from British Leyland in 1984.

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The new Mini, which had been developed at Longbridge by Rover Group and was due for launch within a year, along with marques and former-Rover trademarks were strategically retained by BMW.

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When Ford's Jaguar and Land-Rover Group businesses were sold to TATA Motors of India, the rights to the historically prestigious Daimler, Lanchester, and Rover Group marques transferred to TATA Motors.

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The 1989 Rover Group 200 was a strong seller throughout its life and its successor continued this trend, though its final year of production saw a significant dip in sales.

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The Rover Group 200 had been around since 1988 as the Longbridge-built Honda Concerto, which offered a higher level of equipment but only achieved a fraction of its sales.

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The 1995 Rover Group 400 was a more substantial and popular alternative to other large family cars than its successor was, offering impressive equipment levels, but a relative shortage of interior space because it was nearer in size to cars in the next category down.

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The Rover Group 400 was facelifted in 1999 to become the Rover Group 45, and at the same time the estate version of the original 400 was dropped.

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May 1990 saw Rover Group give the decade-old Metro a major reworking, which most notably included internal and external restyling, as well as new 1.

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The Rover Group 100 remained in production for three years, selling reasonably well, until it was discontinued after a dismal crash test performance that saw demand fall dramatically.

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Rover Group entered the compact executive market in April 1993 with its 600 range.

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The Range Rover Group enjoyed increased sales following its repositioning as a luxury vehicle, with higher equipment levels and options such as an automatic transmission and a diesel engine option being offered for the first time.

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An all-new Range Rover Group was launched in 1994, together with an improved Discovery which maintained high sales.

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Rover Group sponsored the Scottish football team Dundee United from 1994 to 1996.

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