Friday, October 15, 1999 Published at 09:37 GMT 10:37 UK
Business: The Company File
Rover 'faces board scrutiny'
BMW has pinned its hopes on the new Rover 75
Car giant BMW is launching an intensive study of the strategy of its loss-making UK subsidiary, Rover, it has been reported.
The board is meeting for a briefing on Rover's recent performance, according to Friday's Financial Times.
Members will start scrutinising Rover's structure, sales strategy and product plans, involving quarterly monitoring, according to the report.
But a BMW spokesman said there would be no more studies of Rover's tactics than usual.
Mr Graham Biggs said: "We're in a turn-around situation and there are a huge number of aspects to look at.
"The turn-around process is well under way, things are improving dramatically and we expect to see improvements as time goes on.
He confirmed that BMW is considering selling off non-core assets but declined to say which ones were prime targets.
Rover already has a large programme of voluntary redundancy under way in an effort to cut back costs.
Last week BMW signalled further cost savings by insisting Rover's motor parts suppliers give prices in euros. They were also told to cut their prices further.
Giving prices in euros means that if sterling rises in value - as it has done - it will be suppliers, rather than Rover or BMW, who will bear the extra costs.
Until now, Rover has bought 85% of its parts from British companies.
The business of supplying Rover with parts supports up to 50,000 UK jobs.
Six months ago, BMW asked many suppliers for savings of up to 10% and said it would step up the search for cheaper parts overseas.
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