Rover to reorganise internal PR positions

Car manufacturer Rover Group is restructuring its internal communications in the wake of its acquisition by the Phoenix consortium last month.

Car manufacturer Rover Group is restructuring its internal

communications in the wake of its acquisition by the Phoenix consortium

last month.



Former Rover product communications director Gordon Poynter has been

appointed director of corporate communications at the business, which

was sold to Phoenix by BMW for a nominal pounds 10 sum.



The Rover Group used to have four brands. However, following the sale of

Land Rover to Ford and the end of Mini production in September Poynter

is left with two: Rover itself and MG. The Mini brand remains the

property of BMW.



Uncertainty surrounds the exact split between the 30-strong

communications team that BMW had in the UK prior to the sales of Rover

and Land Rover.



But there is industry speculation that both BMW and Land Rover will take

teams of ten each.



Poynter refused to confirm the size of his team or to whom he would

report.



’We are not going to rush into arrangements. We want to be a bit

different, to be a bit radical in some ways,’ he said.



Rover has already indicated that it will cut its spend on advertising

and concentrate on cost-effective PR. ’It’s a good message for the PR

world,’ Poynter insisted. ’The function of communications is seen by the

consortium and the chief executive of Rover Group (Kevin Howe) as very

important.’



In PR terms, Rover will be promoted as ’a mainstream, valued British

brand’, said Poynter. His remit will also cover media relations,

internal communications, and lobbying.



Poynter said there are no plans ’at this stage’ to change Rover’s

existing outside agency, Harrison Cowley, which handles regional and

dealer PR.



Ludgate, which was retained by the Phoenix consortium after successful

involvement in the purchase from BMW, also reports to Poynter. Rove did

use R-JH PR on a consumer brief from September last year until March

when the agency resigned the account.



Rover aims to produce 200,000 cars a year at its Longbridge plant.





- Meanwhile, Gavin Green, currently director of public affairs for Ford

of Britain, will become global director of communications and public

affairs for Land Rover. He will report to chairman and CEO Bob Dover.

Ford has yet to announce a replacement.



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