BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Business
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Market Data 
Economy 
Companies 
E-Commerce 
Your Money 
Business Basics 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Friday, 7 July, 2000, 16:29 GMT 17:29 UK
Rover seeks fast track
McLaren F1 - designed by Peter Stevens
Rover hires the designer of the McLaren F1 supercar
A specialist sports car designer has been appointed to oversee the next generation of Rover cars.

Peter Stevens, who designed the world's fastest road-going car, the McLaren F1, is to lead a new design team at loss-making Rover, which was bought from BMW in May by the British Phoenix consortium.

The group, headed by former Rover chief executive John Towers, aims to get Rover back in profit within the next two years.

Industry analysts have said the company's success depends on its ability to roll out competitive new models.

But the car market is becoming increasingly tough and Rover will need exceptional design and production if it is to rebuild its reputation.

New man

As well as the 240mph McLaren F1, Peter Stevens designed the Jaguar XJR15 and Lotus Elan M100, and was also head of design at Lamborghini.

The appointment of the 55-year-old car collector - who owns a number of classic MGs - to head up Longbridge's development team will give Rover a big boost.

He is expected to give priority to engineering a new range of MG-badged cars, including a flagship supercar developed in partnership with racing car group Lola.

Rover's deputy chairman, Nick Stephenson, is a director of Lola.

Partnership

When Phoenix took control of Rover, it said it was looking for a partner to help develop a new range.

In the meantime, it said it would be aiming to continue production of the Rover 25, 45 and 75 models and the old-shape Mini at about 200,000 units a year.

Production of the 75 is being transferred from Cowley in Oxford, which has been retained by BMW, to Longbridge in Birmingham.

About 500 workers at Cowley have agreed to take voluntary redundancy.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

06 Jul 00 | Business
Rover slumps, BMW soars
09 May 00 | Business
Can Phoenix turn Rover around?
02 May 00 | Business
The Rover breakdown
10 May 00 | Business
Triumphant Rover's return
12 May 00 | Business
What's left of the UK car industry
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Business stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Business stories