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Last Updated: Monday, 20 November 2006, 20:41 GMT
China debut for Rover-based car
A Warwickshire firm did most of the redesign work on the Roewe
The new Chinese-made version of the Rover 75 has been launched by the country's largest car maker.

Shanghai Automotive, who pulled out of a joint venture with MG Rover before its collapse last year with the loss of 5,000 jobs, is now making the car.

The Roewe, based on technology used in the Longbridge-built 75, was unveiled at the Beijing Motor Show.

The firm lost out to Nanjing Automobile to buy MG Rover, but acquired the copyright for its 75 and 25 models.

The Roewe is the Chinese car maker's first car based on Rover technology.

A lot of the people who buy this car in China will actually ride in the back of the car and be driven by chauffeur
Will Davies, AFX Asia

It has been restyled to meet Chinese taste but much of the work has been done by a design firm based in Warwickshire.

Will Davies, Beijing correspondent for AFX Asia, said: "The biggest change is that there's an extra 100 millimetres in the rear door, again it's about Chinese design taste and a lot of the people who buy this car in China will actually ride in the back of the car and be driven by chauffeur."

About 90% of the car has been built in China but the marketing campaign highlights its Britishness.

Shanghai Automotive had wanted to use the Rover name but US motor giant Ford bought the Rover name from BMW in September.

Peter Plisner, BBC Midlands Transport Correspondent, said China is now the second biggest car market in the world.

"The market's already highly competitive but Shanghai Automotive are adamant this British designed car will be successful," he said.

The Chinese version of the Rover 75

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