PDA

View Full Version : Rover over


Dyl Ulenspiegel
08-04-2005, 16:15:08
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/4423181.stm

Somehow, that's sad...

Greg W
08-04-2005, 16:17:53
I work with a bloke who used to be in customer relations for Rover/MG Australia. Going by some of the stuff he said was wrong with Rovers and MGs, I cannot say I am really surprised.

But, yes, sad nonetheless.

Dyl Ulenspiegel
08-04-2005, 16:23:40
Am ex-colleague of mine worked for Rover here when it was part of BMW, and she never drove or recommended one.

protein
08-04-2005, 16:24:06
Move over Rover. Let Jimmy take over.

Funko
08-04-2005, 16:24:35
They were shit and expensive but I wouldn't rule out a gov't rescue of some kind.

Lazarus and the Gimp
08-04-2005, 17:27:10
I would. The company is doomed. The 25 and 45 platforms are about 15 years old, which is prehistoric in mass-production car terms. Replacing them would cost hundreds of millions of pounds.

The 75 isn't a bad car, but it's competing against BMW, Lexus, Volvo, Saab and Jaguar. It hasn't a prayer.

The "Citycar" is a rebadged Tata Indica. Enough said.

Actually getting a line-up of cars to compete in the modern market would cost billions, and that's just to get the production lines up and running. Then you've got a 400 million pound hole in the pension fund.

It's dead in the water. The best-case scenario is that Longbridge gets bought up as a line for some other firm, but that's pretty unlikely. As a brand, Rover is dead.

chagarra
09-04-2005, 05:26:14
I'll stick with my "OLD" rover P6B..
It's geriatric like me, and also like me has enough grunt to make youngsters look like wimps....

:D

Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm
09-04-2005, 05:27:48
You grunt a lot at youngsters? That's believable.

chagarra
09-04-2005, 05:54:14
Isn't that what grumpy geriatrics are meant to do.... :tizzy:

Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm
09-04-2005, 06:02:34
True, but most of them are too scared to drive and make young people's lives miserable by grunting at them to get out of the elderly-reserved bus seats.

Cruddy
09-04-2005, 06:14:25
Rover has had more govt handouts and saves than a church minister.

I really can't see how this time will be any different.

Provost Harrison
09-04-2005, 17:27:04
I'd never drive one of the damn things, never fancied them and they're ugly...

Provost Harrison
10-04-2005, 01:02:30
Hehe...

alsieboo
10-04-2005, 01:07:30
I had a pen from rover, I think. It was green. Very nice too.

Lazarus and the Gimp
10-04-2005, 08:27:34
Was it based on a 17 year-old Japanese design, with a few bits of extra plastic glued on? Or was it a cheap Indian pen covered with the name "Rover" in the hope nobody will notice?

Oerdin
10-04-2005, 13:37:02
If crap cars like Skoda can be brought back from the dead then Rover could be saved if a buyer could be found.That isn't likely though.

I do know that BMW tried to get Chrysler to buy the whole Shebang a few years back but Chrysler turned up its nose at Rover and opted for a German wedding instead. Ford also passed up on Rover while VW already has more bands then it knows what to do with and GM's in financial trouble so they're not buying.

That just leaves an Asia maker and they are few and far between right now. Toyota and Honda are just about the only two independents left in Japan and meother wants Rover. Korea's Hyundai could work but they haven't expressed any interest, Malaysia's Proton is to small as are most of the Chinese brands. In China only SAIC and Chery have the kind of cash needed but most of their models are rebadged western or Japanese cars which can't be exported. That means Rover couldn't build them and would have to soldier on for another two to three years until new models started to come out. Not bloody likely.

Lazarus and the Gimp
10-04-2005, 13:55:12
Originally posted by Oerdin
If crap cars like Skoda can be brought back from the dead then Rover could be saved if a buyer could be found.That isn't likely though.


British workers won't accept Czech-level wages.

Oerdin
10-04-2005, 15:10:43
True but the point was that all car companies are product driven. Skoda was dead meat but it was instantly revived when they became a maker of cut priced VWs. The ideal candidate for Rover would be Honda since they have lots of modern models but could use a boost in European sales. Unfortunately, BMW gave Honda the boot back in 1994 when Honda was clearly the better partner for Rover since it had front wheel drive platforms to build off of and there would have been less geographical over lap.

In any event BMW clearly didn't know what it was doing when it merged with Rover. The only reason to merge is to get economies of scale yet BMW didn't want to share parts with Rover for fear buyers wouldn't want to pay top dollar for BMWs any more. They should have given MG a version of the Z3 and the top Rovers should have been 3 series and 5 series based vehicles with Minis taking up the bottom end. The X3 and X5 should have shared platforms with the Discovery and the Range Rover.

That would have made sense though so naturally they didn't do it and the company started to hemorrhage cash.

Lazarus and the Gimp
10-04-2005, 15:14:59
Skoda, like Rover, had outdated and outclassed models and production lines. However it was capable of higher profit margins die to lower labour costs. And, most critically, it didn't have a 400 million hole in its pension fund. Products aren't everything.

Dyl Ulenspiegel
10-04-2005, 18:11:56
Skoda had cheap and skilled car workers and a clean start for a new investor. Neither the plant nor the brand would have been worth it.

Rover's workforce is not cheap, the brand is pretty much worthless, and I doubt the plant is much either.

btw: "BMW didn't want to share parts with Rover" - they did share parts and engines.

Funko
11-04-2005, 10:09:07
Originally posted by Lazarus and the Gimp
I would. The company is doomed. The 25 and 45 platforms are about 15 years old, which is prehistoric in mass-production car terms. Replacing them would cost hundreds of millions of pounds.

Yeah... are some bits (like the MG brand) not still going concerns?

Lazarus and the Gimp
11-04-2005, 18:00:03
As a smaller-market niche manufacturer, they might be- which is what the Alchemy group wanted to do in their takeover bid 5 years ago. As a mass-market producer- forget it.

Oerdin
11-04-2005, 18:16:58
Originally posted by Dyl Ulenspiegel
Skoda had cheap and skilled car workers and a clean start for a new investor. Neither the plant nor the brand would have been worth it.

Rover's workforce is not cheap, the brand is pretty much worthless, and I doubt the plant is much either.

btw: "BMW didn't want to share parts with Rover" - they did share parts and engines.

They only shared a few V-8 and V-12 engines with Land Rover. Rover continued to use the V-6 and I4 engines it had before the merger while BMW continued to use it's own engines. No mass market mixing at all. As I recall the 75 and the Mini were the only all new cars designed under BMW's watch (maybe the Range Rover was more then just a face lift but I doubt it) and to my knewledge the 75 didn't share any BMW parts while the Mini did but BMW kept that brand and sold off Land Rover.

These company is dead and was dead the moment BMW took away it's to most profitable brands which also had the two newest car lines. I hope MG can be salvaged much like Rover was salvaged from the wreckage of BL (I think they renamed it Austin/Rover Group even though Austin stopped being made) but Rover for sure is dead. The Chinese didn't want to take Rover for a spin because if the company went bust then they'd be stuck paying for everyone's pensions who retired over the last 50 years.

Funko
12-04-2005, 09:11:32
Originally posted by Lazarus and the Gimp
As a smaller-market niche manufacturer, they might be- which is what the Alchemy group wanted to do in their takeover bid 5 years ago. As a mass-market producer- forget it.

Fair enough. Oh well.

Gary
12-04-2005, 09:35:55
According to the teletext this morning, A Chinese News Site claims that SAIC wasn't ever interested in buying Rover, just in a joint venture.

Maybe, but I'm unsure I believe that. The reason being that SAIC seems to have the technology info it wanted from Rover and has given, from what I can tell, little or nothing in return. Would Rover management have been willing to pass over that information on a mere joint venture deal ?

Just makes me wonder if everyone has acted honourably. If not, then it might be justifiable in the short term, dog-eat-dog business world, but must surely have longer term consequences regarding trust.

Oerdin
12-04-2005, 10:08:38
I give 50-50 that MG survives. But Rover is done for without a new buyer and a new buyer just isn't going to happen. Ideally, the British government would nationalize the company like the Korean government did Daewoo and keep the thing running/ pay for new models until a buyer could be found. I doubt the EU would allow that though.

I do wonder exactly what the EU could really do to prevent a member state from doing such a thing if it was determined. If a member just simply decided it was in its national interest to do something could the EU really stop them? That won't happen but it is an interesting question.

Funko
12-04-2005, 10:09:51
The government said that a rescue plan for Rover is "a million to one".

Oerdin
12-04-2005, 10:14:36
To bad. The whole thing was botched terribly in the 1970's and the 1980's while the French handled Renault and the Italians handled Fiat much more skillfully. I can only guess the frequent changes in government during the 1970's meant the British government couldn't formulate a consistant policy thus no one labor, management, investors, supplies could knew what to expect and long term plans couldn't be made.

Oerdin
12-04-2005, 10:16:40
It seems like if the British government absolved a buyer of having to pay past pensions for Rover/BL employees then it is likely the Chinese would once again be interested if a 2 year bridging loan could be worked out. The EU would have a fit but it could be done.

I doubt labor unions care enough to push for such a thing like they did in the 1970's but it would be nice to save the national automaker.

Oerdin
12-04-2005, 10:53:04
I have to say that Brands are an interesting thing. Take for instance the American Motorcycle brand Indian. It started out as the world's biggest motorcycle maker in the first quarter of the 20th century, as the motorcycle market shrank as people moved from bikes to cars they moved up market where Indian & Harley-Davidson were the last two domestic brands to survive (to compare in 1920 there were around 200 makers but by 1975 there were two makers). By 1978 India was dead and Harley just barely survived. In the 1980's a group of investors tried to bring the Indian name back but ran out of money while Harley went from a basket case in the 1970's to become the world's single most profitable motor company on Earth (in terms of percent profit per unit). Indian was once again revived in the 1990's where it did well selling poorly built halrey clones.

The bikes weren't that good but the power of the brand was such that people would pay $25k just to buy a motorcycle named Indian. The company sold nearly all the bikes they could make but in early 2000 a disagreement between the four partners who owned the company meant that the goose which laid the golden egg was once again brought down.

Now there's a third company ready to sell motorcycles called Indian and people are lining up to buy them, It's strange because these bikes have nothing in common other then the brand name yet still people line up to prepay for bikes they've never seen much less ridden. That's the power of a good brand and MG has that while Rover doesn't. My guess is someone will buy the rights to MG and the brand will be reborn just as it was in the 1980's and again in the 1990's. People love MGs while people bought Rovers because they were cheap. Ask anyone which Rovers they remember and they'd probably say the Mini but BMW has that name. Maybe a few would say SD1 (in America it was called the Rover 3500 and sold in tiny numbers) but that won't save the Rover brand.

Oerdin
12-04-2005, 10:53:29
BTW it is 3am and I'm drunk as hell.

King_Ghidra
12-04-2005, 11:15:29
and verbose with it

Funko
12-04-2005, 11:23:48
I don't give a fuck about Rover or losing the brand. Although the fact they had a longship as a badge was cool.

It's sad for the people who are losing their jobs and good that there will be help for retraining etc. but... blah.

The Mini will still be made here in Oxford I assume. BMW do own that though.

King_Ghidra
12-04-2005, 12:36:46
yeah far and away the only thing of importance here is the 6000 jobs lost and knock on to other people's jobs and the community

very sad

Funko
12-04-2005, 12:37:36
Apparently around 20,000 jobs including suppliers.

Dyl Ulenspiegel
12-04-2005, 12:53:27
Originally posted by Oerdin

I do wonder exactly what the EU could really do to prevent a member state from doing such a thing if it was determined. If a member just simply decided it was in its national interest to do something could the EU really stop them? That won't happen but it is an interesting question.

A non-notified or non-approved state aid is void. The Commission can sue the state before the ECJ, but more importantly, competitors can challange the recieving company in court.

Dyl Ulenspiegel
12-04-2005, 12:53:59
Abd IIRC, the Rover 75 included BMW parts as well as engines manufactured for BMW in Steyr.

Oerdin
12-04-2005, 15:48:02
To my understanding BMW never made a V-6 in its life and the Rover I4 was designed in the early 80's using state aid money. Dyl, if a state was determined then they could just pull a Chavez and the European Courts could declare all they wanted and the state would just give the court the finger.

That wouldn't happen of course but Latin Americans do that all the time and the Mayor of Mexico City who was set to become President finally got called on ignoring court orders. In most of the world if a politician decides he wants to do something the courts have little real power to prevent them.

paiktis22
12-04-2005, 16:01:41
Today in front of me was a rover car (I figured it out because it said so) but the owner had taken off the "r" and in the back it just wrote "over" :D
Anyway all the cars here are german, french (maaaany french) and italian (maaaany italian) and japanese (maaaany japanese) and Hyundai maaaany hyundai

paiktis22
12-04-2005, 16:10:22
which makes me think, since britain is one of the big european countries and it has no cars to sell. but to an extend it was a conscious decision somewhat. moving from the "industry" to the "information society", you know services where the future economy is. this move has its risks. the turn of events is that now that the dragon is awaking it needs the know how of heavy industry so france, germany will benefit from that. selling their know how. in any case when the chinese cars come and they will come to germany from september on, then not to own a chinese car will be a luxury since the chinese will be so very cheap. then again europe does try to keep the costs down too in its cars.
the tough break for blair in regard to rover i guess is that elections are coming

paiktis22
12-04-2005, 16:20:33
i see everyone is dumbfounded by my supreme analysis and is not posting. i understand i understand

Dyl Ulenspiegel
12-04-2005, 17:21:11
Originally posted by Oerdin
Dyl, if a state was determined then they could just pull a Chavez and the European Courts could declare all they wanted and the state would just give the court the finger.


Well, as few courts have their own armies, that applies to every court. And the competitors would sue in national court, btw.

*End Is Forever*
13-04-2005, 01:16:37
Originally posted by Gary
According to the teletext this morning, A Chinese News Site claims that SAIC wasn't ever interested in buying Rover, just in a joint venture.

Maybe, but I'm unsure I believe that. The reason being that SAIC seems to have the technology info it wanted from Rover and has given, from what I can tell, little or nothing in return. Would Rover management have been willing to pass over that information on a mere joint venture deal ?

Just makes me wonder if everyone has acted honourably. If not, then it might be justifiable in the short term, dog-eat-dog business world, but must surely have longer term consequences regarding trust.

The Teletext report is true. It has been pretty clear for a while to those in the know that SAIC aren't interested in any significant level of investment outside China.

However, the Government didn't want anyone to know this until after the election. It's been a bit of a charade, and it is rather sad game to play with 30000 jobs.

Oerdin
13-04-2005, 02:45:13
There's going to be a lot of unemployed people. You can retrain all you want but it will take a long time to creat that many new jobs in the midlands.

Provost Harrison
13-04-2005, 17:50:26
30,000 is one hell of a lot of people...

Gary
13-04-2005, 21:03:34
Yep, that's one heck of a lot of McDonald's

Provost Harrison
13-04-2005, 21:07:22
No Gary, we have 'call centres' nowadays too ;)

*End Is Forever*
22-04-2005, 23:01:20
My girlfriend still hasn't forgiven me for implying that the entirety of Walsall works in the RAC Call Centre... ;)

Funko
23-04-2005, 15:52:03
The RAC call center's in Poland?

Provost Harrison
23-04-2005, 16:11:07
OG? ;)