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
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