MEDIA: What The Papers Say - Longbridge detracts from Rover 75 launch

Just after Rover’s new 75 saloon was launched, the company and its owner BMW, began negotiating with the unions over the future of its Longbridge plant - the site where the model is being manaufactured. Peter Mandelson’s interference was disappointing - his high-profile appearance seemed to herald intervention, but then he insisted that the car maker would have to sort itself out.

Just after Rover’s new 75 saloon was launched, the company and its

owner BMW, began negotiating with the unions over the future of its

Longbridge plant - the site where the model is being manaufactured.

Peter Mandelson’s interference was disappointing - his high-profile

appearance seemed to herald intervention, but then he insisted that the

car maker would have to sort itself out.



At first it appeared BMW was demanding grants and the Government was

saying none were available, but by Saturday BMW claimed never to have

asked while officials hinted that local grants were available. The media

didn’t give investors a chance to look at BMW’s strategy in any

objective way, although there were hints of a master plan. But what

about potential Rover 75 buyers? Someone at BMW informed the Observer

that negotiations could only have begun about the future of the plant

when the new car was launched as ’... tangible proof of the future of

Rover.’ This around about approach denied the model a proper launch.



Evaluation and analysis by CARMA International. Cuttings supplied by the

Braodcast Monitoring Company. ’What The Papers Say’ can be found at:

www.carma.com.



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