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Last Updated: Friday, 8 April, 2005, 11:30 GMT 12:30 UK
In pictures: A look back at Rover
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The company produced its first car in 1904 and by 1946 the 1,000,000th car had been produced at Longbridge.
A convoy of MG TD Midgets on the way to Avonmouth, Bristol, for shipment to the USA
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The MG TD midgets, produced in Abingdon between 1949 and 1953, were popular in the USA and helped fuel a craze for sports cars.
Police drivers from the Lancashire County police force in their MGs in 1957.
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The MG was redesigned to become smaller and racier with a prominent nose and large round headlights.
February 1965: Mini designer Alec Issigonis drives the 1,000,000th Mini off the production line at Longbridge
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Among other famous cars produced at Longbridge, from 1959, was the classic Mini. Here the 1,000,000th is driven off the production line by designer Alec Issigonis.
The Longbridge site from above
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In 1952, motor industry giants Herbert Austin and William Morris joined forces to form the British Motor Corporation, with its headquarters at Longbridge.
Rover car production line at Longbridge in 1993
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The Rover Group was cobbled together from the remains of state firm British Leyland but by the 1980s was taken over by British Aerospace.
Publicity shot of the Rover 400
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In 1994 Rover was sold to German car firm BMW, and the following year saw the launch of three redesigned model ranges at Longbridge, including the Rover 400.
The Rover 75 is unveiled in 1998
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And by 1998, BMW had provided the funds to launch the new Rover 75, which became Car of the Year.
The last British Mini rolls off the production line at Longbridge, driven by Lulu
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But in 2000, the last Mini rolled off the production line, and BMW decided to break up the Rover Group after losing 600m in one year.
The MG MGF
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BMW sold Rover to a consortium of local businessmen - Phoenix Venture Holdings - which renamed the company MG Rover, to capitalise on the popular MG sports car name.
Workers at Longbridge
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Under new ownership, Rover reduced its losses from about 800m in 1999 to 77m in 2003. But it never managed to become profitable.



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