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Tuesday, October 19, 1999 Published at 12:09 GMT 13:09 UK


Business: The Company File

Rover reaches turning point

The turnaround started with the launch of the Rover 75

Sales at troubled car manufacturer Rover have reached a turning point after years of decline, its German owner BMW says.

In a report in the Financial Times, BMW said the launch of two new Rover models would strengthen a turnaround which started with the launch of the Rover 75 executive model earlier this year.

While some say the Rover 75 hasn't sold as well as hoped, Rover insists it has seen strong sales.


The BBC's Tom Heap: " Business people have been reluctant to choose Rover"
The 25 and 45 models, to be launched on Tuesday at the London motor show, are revised versions of the 200 and 400 small and medium-sized car range.

The 25 and 45 are seen as Rover's only chance to regain ground until a new set of small and medium-sized cars comes on stream in 2002 as part of a £1.7bn project.

The comments by Mr Werner Samann, the BMW director in charge of Rover, follow earlier reports that BMW could sell some of Rover's non-core assets. These include pressing and tooling plants.

"We are in a turnaround situation at Rover at the moment and in a turnaround situation, many facets of the business have to be considered under aspects of the core business," a BMW spokesman said.

BMW bought Rover in 1994, but it does not expect the company to break even until 2002.



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