Logo

Site News XPF Sponsors News! MG News 2005 MG News 2004 MGR PR News '04! MG News 2003 MG 2003 (first half) MG 2002 (2nd half) MG 2002 (first Half) News 2001

 

MGR NEWS STORIES FOR 2004

All Press Releases are provided by MG - Rovers Press office unless stated otherwise!

 

20 December 2004 - MG Rover flies the Flag Overseas!
MG Rover is exporting ‘Britishness’, in order to promote its Rover and MG car brands in overseas markets. The discreet Union Jack badge that goes on the side of every car is just the smallest part of a pan European marketing campaign aimed at bringing new customers to the brands.

"Our European customers love ‘buying British’. And cars don’t come any more British than ours. It’s our natural marketing advantage, and we are looking to build on it at every opportunity," said Rod Ramsay, managing director, sales and marketing, MG Rover.

In Germany, MG Rover is to recreate an Albert Hall-style Last Night of the Proms; complete with bobbing Promenaders, Union Jack bowler hats and full throttle renditions of Pomp and Circumstance and Jerusalem. The band of the British Rhine Army will support the musical evening. It will raise funds for a local children’s hospital. Support will also be given to a four-week long Shakespeare Festival, to be held in a replica of the original Globe Theatre.

In Italy the company is boosting sales with a competition that promotes the use of the English language. The winners will receive a holiday in the UK.

Luxembourg has its very own Rover 75 supporters club, which meets regularly to celebrate the ‘Britishness’ of its favourite car. It will visit Longbridge in 2005, the plant’s centenary year.

In France, Portugal and Spain, MG Rover sponsors sports associated with British success, such as rowing, tennis, golf and horse riding, even gardening.

MG Rover Netherlands offers cricket workshops for customers, as part of its sales promotion programme.

Recognising that the Rover and MG brands have a long history in many markets is also an important part of building new customer relationships. On December 15, Juergen Voss, managing director, MG Rover Germany will present a company donation of €10,000 towards the rebuilding of the Frauenkirche, a Dresden church completely destroyed during the war. The British Ambassador will accompany him. MG Rover also supported the visit to Berlin, by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, in November.

Growing European sales is a key strategy for MG Rover.

 

17 December 2004 - Motorsport Enthusiasts gather at Longbridge to celebrate MG's 80th anniversary
80th.jpgOver a dozen motorsport enthusiasts gathered at Longbridge with a range of competition MGs that span the ‘octagon decades’ in a celebration of the sporting brand’s 80th anniversary year. One key MG car attending was ‘Old Number One’, one of the earliest two-seater MG sports cars that MG’s founder Cecil Kimber took to victory in the Lands End Trial at Easter in 1925.

The MG cars spanned each decade of motorsport competition were lined up outside the company’s Visitor Centre at Longbridge. The MG included the 1925 ‘Old Number One’, a K3 Magnette, TA Cream Cracker, MGA, racing Midget, Stirling Moss’s MGB, hill climb RV8, MGF Super Sports, ZR Rally, TF Cup racer, ZS BTCC and the stunning EX257 Le Mans car.

David Sharples, MG Sport & Racing Managing Director, said: "Getting all of these historic and modern competition MGs together was a great way to complete MG’s 80th anniversary year. The enthusiasm that the owners have for their MG cars is quite infectious."

 

16 December 2004 - ROVER improves product appeal for 2005!

New models and enhanced equipment levels are introduced across the Rover product range in 2005.  New models due in February feature enhanced specification, combining equipment, comfort and value – all Rover virtues.

Rover’s best-selling 25 range has three new extra model derivatives – the GLi, GSi and GXi – that feature an attractive specification standardising leather and wood trim items, extra equipment and competitive prices; the Rover 25 GLi 1.4 (84Ps) 3-door (with leather seats) starts at £8,995.

 

New GLi and GSi models are also being launched on Rover’s Streetwise and 45 models.  All 75s now feature extra equipment with head airbag protection, electric front and rear windows and leather gearknob.  TrafficMaster’s SmartNav is standard on all but the entry Classic model and heated leather seats are standard equipment on Connoisseur models. 

 

Commenting on the latest Rover models, Rod Ramsay managing director of sales and marketing, said: “Rover’s second century starts with a focus on the virtues of its appeal.  These new models deliver what Rover customers want: a stylish, comfortable interior in leather, high specification and excellent value.”

 

The new Rover 25 GLi is well specified and carries additional specification over the 25 i, featuring body-coloured door mirrors, electric sunroof and 15” Turbine alloy wheels (and steel spare).  The opulent interior is tailored with leather seats throughout, with a centre rear armrest and additional rear headrests; the steering wheel and gearknob are also leather-trimmed.  Front windows are electrically operated and the doors have wood pulls.  Music is supplied from a CD tuner providing entertainment on the comfortable journey ahead.

 

The higher specified GSi model is distinguished with body-coloured rear aero spoiler, door handles and door mirrors.  Additional equipment includes air conditioning to control the interior environment and all windows are electrically operated.  The stereo system is controlled with steering wheel-mounted remote audio controls to the front and rear speakers.  Seats are height and lumbar adjustable for complete driving comfort.

 

A top-of-the-range GXi model includes all the GSi features, and adds attractive 16” nine-spoke alloy wheels, MP3 CD autochanger, passenger airbag and a higher output 1.6-litre K Series engine.

 

Engine choices include the 84 and 103Ps 1.4-litre, the 109Ps 1.6-litre K Series petrol or a 2.0-litre turbodiesel.  An Ash or Smokestone interior can be chosen with Black Oak or Burr Walnut trim, dependent on the exterior colour chosen.

 

Rover’s iconic ‘urban on-roader’ Streetwise is also available in GLi and GSi specification.  Burnished or Chagall Blue painted centre console and door pulls underline the younger approach of Streetwise, with its command driving position and new Target interior design with matching twill door casings.  The GLi model has extra rear headrests and body coloured door mirrors.  The GSi model is upgraded with air conditioning, driver’s seat height and lumbar adjustment and electric rear windows.

 

All models are available in six exterior colours, the popular Starlight Silver, Tempest Grey, Sonic Blue, Firefrost Red, Platinum Gold and Midnight Blue. 

 

The Rover 45 perpetuates the high specification theme with a GLi model, exclusively built around the 1.4-litre 5-door bodystyle.  Equipped with leather trim to the seating, steering wheel and gearknob, the GLi also features a CD tuner, controlled by steering wheel mounted remote controls.  Electric front windows, bright tread strips and body-coloured door mirrors complete this high value model, available at £10,995.

 

From £12,145, the 45 GSi model comes with all the GLi features, and adds Automatic Temperature Control (ATC) air conditioning, distinctive chrome door mirrors with electronic adjustment and demist, and 15” Turbine alloy wheels. 

16” nine-spoke alloy wheels are an extra optional choice.

 

The Rover 75 is an elegant expression of a beautiful style and interior environment.  All models now include extra equipment that includes head airbag protection (ITS), electric front and rear windows and a leather gear knob.  SmartNav is also standard on all, except the entry Classic model.  Connoisseur models are now specified with a full leather interior, heated seats and electric power folding door mirrors.
 

New key product features summary

 
Rover 25                                                                                                    

GLi    

GSi   

GXi

Leather seating

driver’s height and lumbar

MP3 autochanger

Wood interior door pulls

remote audio controls

16” nine-spoke alloys

15” Turbine alloy wheels

air conditioning

passenger airbag

CD tuner

body coloured rear spoiler

1.6-litre engine

Body coloured door handles

front fog lights

five-door bodystyle

 
Streetwise, by Rover

GLi

GSi

Target seat fabric

driver’s height and lumbar

Chagall or Burnished

remote audio controls

door pulls and centre console

air conditioning

CD Tuner

16” Blade alloy wheels

Body coloured door mirrors

front fog lights

 
Rover 45

GLi

GSi

Leather seating

driver’s height and lumbar

Electric sunroof

15” Turbine alloy wheels

Leather steering wheel

air conditioning

Remote audio controls

electric rear windows

Leather gearknob

front fog lights

CD tuner

body coloured rear spoiler

Body coloured door mirrors

chrome door mirrors

 
Rover 75
All models
Connoisseur model

Head airbag protection (ITS)

leather interior

Electric front and rear windows

heated seats

Leather gear knob

electric folding mirrors

SmartNav (except entry Classic)
 

Rover 25 GLi, GSi and GXi pricing

Rover 25

 

CO2

Tax Band

GVED

FRF

OTR Price

1.4 (84Ps) GLi

3-dr

164

C

£125

£38

£8,995

1.4 (103Ps) GSi

3-dr

164

C

£125

£38

£9,995

2.0TD GLi

3-dr

150

A

£115

£38

£10,795

2.0TD GSi

3-dr

150

A

£115

£38

£11,795

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.4 (84Ps) GLi

5-dr

164

C

£125

£38

£9,595

1.4 (103Ps) GSi

5-dr

164

C

£125

£38

£10,545

1.6 GXi

5-dr

164

C

£125

£38

£11,995

2.0TD GLi

5-dr

150

A

£115

£38

£11,345

2.0TD GSi

5-dr

150

A

£115

£38

£12,345

 

Streetwise, by Rover GLi and GSi pricing

Streetwise

 

CO2

Tax Band

  GVED

FRF

OTR Price

1.4 (84Ps) GLi

3-dr

174

C

£145

£38

£9,495

1.4 (84Ps) GSi

3-dr

174

C

£145

£38

£10,495

1.4 (103Ps) GSi

3-dr

174

C

£145

£38

£10,995

2.0TD GSi

3-dr

159

A

£115

£38

£11,995

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.4 (84Ps) GLi

5-dr

174

C

£145

£38

£10,045

1.4 (84Ps) GSi

5-dr

174

C

£145

£38

£11,045

1.4 (103Ps) GSi

5-dr

174

C

£145

£38

£11,545

1.8 Stepspeed GSi

5-dr

199

C

£145

£38

£13,245

2.0TD GSi

5-dr

159

A

£115

£38

£12,545

 

Rover 45 GLi and GSi pricing

Rover 45

 

CO2

Tax Band

  GVED

FRF

OTR Price

1.4 GLi

5-dr

168

C

£145

£38

£10,995

1.4 GSi

5-dr

168

C

£145

£38

£12,145

1.6 GSi

5-dr

168

C

£145

£38

£12,845

2.0TD GSi

5-dr

150

A

£115

£38

£13,145

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.6 GSi

4-dr

168

C

£145

£38

£13,645

2.0TD GSi

4-dr

150

A

£115

£38

£13,945

All cars include a three-year/60,000 mile warranty and 12 months' AA Roadside Assistance.

 

16 December 2004 - Rod Ramsey promoted to Worldwide Sales and Marketing!

Longbridge: With a clear goal of increasing worldwide sales, today MG Rover Group announces a strengthening of its sales and marketing organisation with a number of proven executives joining the team under Rod Ramsay, now managing director, worldwide sales and marketing.  The new appointments include: managing director UK sales and marketing, UK corporate sales director, UK marketing manager and European sales and marketing director.

 

For the UK Robert Hazelwood joins as managing director UK sales and marketing and brings 22 years of motor industry experience to this key role.  His previous roles included: managing director Maranello Concessionaires, head of Inchcape Retail, managing director Mazda France, and southern regional manager Nissan Motor GB.

 

Guy Jones has taken on the role of UK marketing manager for the MG and Rover brands.  He joins from Kia where he was marketing director, following a successful career with Land Rover and Bentley.

 

Completing the UK team is Kevin Brown, corporate sales director.  He rejoins the company after working for consultants KPMG and as head of strategy for the RAC.  He had previously worked for Rover Group in the fleet organisation.

 

As the dealer network is expanded across Europe Paul Stroud takes on the new position of European sales and marketing director, moving from the role of commercial director UK.  Stroud was previously head of brand strategy and communications and regional director Europe south for MG Rover.

 

“I am delighted we have recruited talented and proven executives into our front line team which only increases my confidence that we can raise sales worldwide in 2005,” commented Rod Ramsay, managing director, worldwide sales and marketing.

 

As part of a company streamlining programme, sales and marketing has been established as a stand-alone organisation.  In addition to the existing sales and marketing functions, the division will now have responsibility for aftersales and Phoenix dealerships.

 

26 November 2004 - New Brand of Car Retailer profits from Rover & MG Appeal
Mielenwerk.jpgBerlin - MG Rover Group announces the opening of four new dealers in Berlin, taking the total of new dealer appointments in European markets to 60 in 2004. A further 100 appointments will be made in 2005.

MG Rover now has 1,000 retail outlets in Europe and 1,250 worldwide.

Since changes in block exemption rules have allowed car dealers to sell more than one brand from a single site, MG Rover has been highly successful in attracting the new multi-franchise operations.

"Rover and MG are niche brands, of high quality and strong customer appeal, so they harmonize well with other makes in the showroom, and they cover 80 per cent of passenger car segments. Dealers are also attracted by the brands’ historic customer base, which is large and brings valuable income from servicing and repairs, and provides lucrative marketing opportunities," said Rod Ramsay, director of worldwide sales, MG Rover Group.

Attracting dealers most suited to the Rover and MG brand qualities is a key strategy, as MG Rover rationalises the network it inherited. When the business changed hands in May 2000, many dealers were left with mixed interests; BMW cars, Mini, Rover, MG, Land Rover and Jaguar all competed for showroom space. In many markets MG Rover has responded by changing more than half of its dealer network.

 

20 November 2004 - MG Rover on brink of China deal
The BBC report that MGR are on the brink of a deal with SAIC!
 
MG Rover is on the brink of a £1bn deal with a Chinese company that will help secure the future of its giant Longbridge plant.  Under the joint venture with the Shanghai Automotive Corporation, a new company will be set up to produce cars for the fast-growing Chinese market.

The partnership would combine British technology with foreign investment.  But MG Rover chairman John Towers insisted Longbridge would remain entirely in British hands.

'Engineering development'

He added that by 2007, he hopes to build 200,000 cars a year in China for the country's domestic market.  Although not due to be finalised until January, Mr Towers said he was confident the deal, which would see the Chinese company owning 70% of the new company and MG Rover 30%, would go ahead.

He told BBC Midlands Today: "All the work associated with the joint venture is going on - the funding, the provision of people, the engineering development - they are happening.

In the four years since BMW sold MG Rover to the consortium led by Mr Towers, losses have been reduced but they are still running at £77m.

He also promised the 6,100 workers based at Longbridge there would be a massive roll-out of brand new cars as soon as Chinese money filters through.

Major investment

Mr Towers said these new models could be on the road in just 14 months time.  Experts say MG Rover cannot survive without major investment in research and development. BBC Midlands Today correspondent Robin Punt said many people would be surprised to hear money is already arriving from China.

"There's a misconception that the firm will, as a result, become Chinese owned and controlled but that's not true," he said.  "The mood among workers at Longbridge is excitement that their future is secure, although the deal has yet to be finalised.

"But they're also angry that many sections of the British media have run-down the company."

He added: "Managers have already been briefed on some of the details of the Shanghai joint venture but they've been told not to reveal what they know."  Transport and General Workers Union General Secretary Tony Woodley said: "Any developments for MG Rover which would secure further finance to invest in new models and secure jobs would be welcomed by the union.  "We will have to wait for details of the Chinese deal but securing the future is a positive development."

Mr Towers leaves for the start of the final round of negotiations in China within the next two weeks.

 

28 October 2004 - Losses reduced for 4th consecutive year!

Today Phoenix Venture Holdings Limited issued its shareholder’ report for the 12 months to 31 December 2003.

 

Year to
31/12/03
£m

Year to
31/12/02
£m

Turnover

1,671

1,741

Loss before goodwill, tax and income from group undertaking

(77)

(95)

Net Cash

213

315

 

Kevin Howe, Group Chief Executive of Phoenix Venture Holdings commented: “In an increasingly challenging environment for the automotive industry, we have reduced the Group’s losses for the fourth consecutive year to a level that is now less than 10 per cent of that in 1999, the last full year before we acquired the business from BMW.

 

“Our focus is now firmly on the future.  We continue to invest in the development of the MG and Rover brands and to review our cost base as we work towards the planned collaboration with SAIC, announced in June 2004.”

PDF  Click here for a Copy of the Shareholders Report! 

 

9 October 2004 - MGR appoints Corporate Sales Director
MG Rover Group has appointed Kevin Brown as its new Corporate Sales Director. Kevin returns to the company with widespread corporate sales experience and a desire to develop and expand relationships with new and existing fleet customers.

"My message to corporate customers is that we know how to serve your business needs," said Kevin. "We have coherent and up-to-date MG and Rover products that embrace a wide range of fleet requirements. Both have a strong character and pedigree, are well-engineered, reliable, economical and they’re built in the UK. My focus will be to develop the awareness of our products within the corporate market and promote just how good our cars are."

Kevin heads a Corporate Sales team of 32 people tasked with building MG Rover’s business in the corporate market. Specialist teams are focused on leasing and rental companies, dealer corporate sales, government sales, and business development in the private sector. Corporate enquiries can be made to
0121 482 5253.

Previously Kevin held a variety of retail and corporate sales positions in the then Rover Group. He went on to work for KPMG, the professional services firm as a management consultant in its automotive practice, and the motoring services company RAC as head of strategy for its Business Solutions division.

 

9 October 2004 - MGR appoints new Communications Director

Today MG Rover Group announces the appointment of Daniel Ward as communications director with immediate effect.  The decision to appoint a communications professional with long experience of the motor industry represents a significant strengthening of the company’s PR function.

 

Following an extensive review of the company’s communications needs the department will be restructured to include internal communications, product and corporate affairs, government affairs, global product communications, international communications and UK product PR.  All these functions will report to Daniel Ward who is also responsible for all communications relating to Phoenix Venture Holdings.  He will report directly to Kevin Howe, chief executive MG Rover and PVH.

 

Previously Daniel held positions as executive director communications Ford of Britain and vice president communications Nissan Europe.  His career in journalism included motor industry correspondent on The Times and technical editor of Motor magazine.

 

“We have needed to strengthen our communications team for some time but we wanted someone proven and capable of handling all aspects of communications from internal through to new products,” explained Kevin Howe, “and Daniel’s record underlines we have found the right person.”

“Two great British marques and the chance to head an international team represent exciting challenges for me and I am delighted to be joining MG Rover,” said Daniel Ward.

 

As part of the restructuring all media enquires will now be handled by the in-house MG Rover communications staff.

 

24 September 2004 - MG cars have been chosen for Bush2 dealer 6000 challenge!
MG cars have been selected for the first Bush2 dealer 6000 charity challenge to visit all 6000 franchised motor dealers throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in just six days to raise money for charity.

At 9.00am on Monday 4 October, the largest charity challenge in the motor sector, which will also raise money for BEN – The Motor and Allied Trades Benevolent Fund – will start from Longbridge, in South Birmingham. The MG cars have been supplied by MG Rover Group and will return at midday on Saturday 9 October. The MG cars are from the sports saloon range and include fully liveried MG ZS and ZTs supplied in distinctive red, green, yellow or blue colours to complement the event sponsor’s logo. Each car has been specified with Smartnav – a satellite navigation system from Trafficmaster, also a key sponsor of the event – to locate each dealership quickly and directly.

The challenge is an idea from David and Gordon Bush, twin brothers and co-directors of Bush2, recruiters, trainers and consultants to the automotive sector, which aims to establish a new ‘Dealer Visit Record’ but also to raise close to £250,000 from charitable donations during the event.

David Bush explained: "The idea was conceived initially to raise the profile of Bush2, the sponsoring companies and BEN, but as part of a much larger ideal – to help re-create the good perception of the motor trade. The automotive trade is both dynamic and vibrant; it can offer fantastic career prospects. It can be unparalleled in its levels of professionalism and customer service, and more importantly, it is a constantly developing marketplace, making every day new and distinctive for those who work within it."

Simon Wheeler, MG Rover Group's Director of Company Vehicles, said: "We were delighted that David and Gordon Bush chose to call us so early in the process. We recognised that this was going to be an exciting and innovative fund-raising concept to benefit BEN, a charity we have always strongly supported. It’s a coup that our British MGs will be represented at every single franchised dealership in the UK and we look forward to playing our part in raising several hundred thousand pounds in the process."

To further raise the profile of this unique event, celebrities will be present at the start and finish lines, including Imogen Bailey, the Australian model and singer, and will attend the large number of independent charity events that are being hosted simultaneously up and down the country during the charity week, all of which are looking to receive radio and TV coverage.

The final totals will be calculated and presented at the BEN Christmas Ball at the Grosvenor Hotel, London on 8 December.

 

9 July 2004 - Caterpillar Inc. subsidiary to acquire ownership of marketing, sales and distribution of MG Rover parts and accessories worldwide.

Desford, UK and Longbridge, UK – 9 July 2004 – Caterpillar Logistics Services (UK) Limited (“Cat Logistics”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT), and Phoenix Venture Holdings Limited (“PVH”) are pleased to announce that they have reached an agreement for Cat Logistics to acquire the parts business of U.K. auto manufacturer, MG Rover, a wholly owned subsidiary of PVH.  The value of the transaction is in excess of  £100 million, with an ongoing profit sharing agreement.

 

Cat Logistics will acquire MG Rover’s parts business, which includes the sourcing, marketing, distribution and sale of automotive service parts and accessories to MG Rover dealers, distributors, importers and other related customers worldwide.  Since 2001, Cat Logistics has managed these activities on behalf of MG Rover from its base in Desford, Leicestershire, UK.  Cat Logistics currently supports an existing MG Rover vehicle population of more than 2.5 million.

 

In accordance with the terms of the acquisition agreement, PVH has an option to buy back MG Rover’s parts business in four to five years.

 

“The acquisition of MG Rover’s parts business represents an attractive investment, while Cat Logistics is allowed to develop the best-in-class services it provides to the many MG Rover dealers, distributors, and importers worldwide,” said Mary Bell, Chairman & President of Caterpillar Logistics, “We have long valued our relationship with the MG Rover Group and Phoenix Venture Holdings, and our organization in Desford has considerable expertise in the purchasing, marketing and distribution of MG Rover aftermarket parts.”

 

Kevin Howe, Group Chief Executive of Phoenix Venture Holdings said, “This deal provides valuable resources which will be invested in our core business, the MG Rover Group ahead of the strategic relationship with Shanghai Automotive taking effect.  With experience and capability built up over many years Cat Logistics is extremely well placed to continue to provide best in class service to MG Rover dealers, distributors and importers worldwide.”

 

Completion of this agreement is subject to regulatory approval.  Current operations at the Cat Logistics Desford, UK MG Rover parts distribution facility will continue, with all 390 employees remaining with Cat Logistics, and all current employees of MG Rover’s parts business provided with the opportunity to transition to Cat Logistics.

 

About Caterpillar Logistics Services, Inc.

In addition to their over 15 year relationship with Rover, Caterpillar Logistics Services, Inc. provides world-class supply chain solutions and services to its parent company, Caterpillar Inc., and more than 50 other leading corporations throughout the world. Headquartered in Morton, Illinois, Caterpillar Logistics operates more than 100 offices and facilities in 25 countries on six continents. Caterpillar Logistics provides its full service capabilities to companies in market sectors, which include automotive service parts, industrial service parts, consumer durables, technology and electronics, manufacturing logistics, and aerospace service parts.

 

More information is available at www.catlogistics.com.

 

About Caterpillar Inc.

For more than 75 years, Caterpillar Inc. has been building the world’s infrastructure and, in partnership with its worldwide dealer network, is driving positive and sustainable change in every continent.   With 2003 sales and revenues of $22.76 billion, Caterpillar is a technology leader and the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines and industrial gas turbines. 

More information is available at www.cat.com

 

About Phoenix Venture Holdings Limited

Phoenix Venture Holdings Limited is a privately held British company with over 6,000 employees.  Its wholly owned subsidiaries include MG Rover Group, Powertrain Limited and MG Sport & Racing.

 

6 July 2004 - MG Rover Group wins national award!

At a packed awards ceremony at the Dorchester Hotel, London last week, MG Rover Group, manufacturers of MG and Rover cars, was announced the winner of the Manufacturing Foundation Award for the Best Partnership between Business and Education in the Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ (IMechE) prestigious Manufacturing Excellence Awards 2004. The ceremony, hosted by BBC news reporter Fergal Keane, was attended by over 500 senior engineers to reward and celebrate the best of British manufacturing and engineering.

James Bentley, Director of the Manufacturing Foundation said: "The effort MG Rover puts in with primary and secondary school children is quite outstanding. Let’s hope that the excellent example they have set encourages other manufacturers to get involved with schools near them.

"It is also encouraging to see that it’s not just large companies that are committed to working with education. Two smaller manufacturers, Gripple Ltd and Alitex Ltd, were commended at the award ceremony in London, demonstrating just what can be achieved with limited resources and a lot of enthusiasm."

John Ling, IMechE Technical Manager, commented: "MG Rover Group were seen from early in the judging process as the favourites for this award. They formed effective business partnerships with clients and suppliers to ensure a successful and innovative company. This dedication, professionalism and attention to detail has continued into their community and education partnerships. MG Rover has effectively engaged the workforce who take the time and trouble to speak, and enthuse, local school children about engineering. They are an organisation which demonstrates the best of investment into their local community."

Chris Bowen, Operations Director at MG Rover Group, commented: "On behalf of all my colleagues here at Longbridge, winning the IMechE National Manufacturing Foundation Award that recognises the partnership between business and education, is a great honour. We pride ourselves in supporting local and national communities with a wide range of educational development activities and this success recognises the commitment and enthusiasm shown throughout the company."

Chris continued: "Our education partnerships are diverse; we hold factory tours, assist with curriculum development, provide work experience, teacher placements, apprenticeships and personal development for our workforce."

The guest speaker for the evening was Nigel Griffiths MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Small Business and Enterprise, who highlighted a number of new initiatives being implemented to encourage prosperity in UK manufacturing. 

 

16 June 2004 - MG Rover & Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation Announce Co-operation
MG Rover Group with parent company Phoenix Venture Holdings (PVH) and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) announce that following the signing of an agreement, they have now entered into an exclusivity arrangement in order that the companies can develop a far reaching strategic relationship.

This co-operation will fund the development of new model programmes and will facilitate the exploitation of the global car market for the MG and Rover brands. This will, of course, include the very important Chinese car market.

The signing of the agreement took place today, the 16 June, at SAIC headquarters in Shanghai. Attending the ceremony was a senior delegation from both organisations, including Nick Stephenson (Vice-Chairman - PVH), Mr Chen Xianglin (Chairman -SAIC) and Mr Hu Maoyuan (President - SAIC).

Kevin Howe, Group Chief Executive of PVH said "Recently we have had discussions with several companies in China. We are delighted at the prospect of entering into a relationship with such a successful and respected partner, which will see a significant expansion in volumes of current and future products".

Both companies are looking forward to announcing further details after obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals.

Notes: SAIC is the largest passenger car manufacturer in China, producing 600,000 passenger cars in 2003 with major joint venture partners General Motors and Volkswagen. SAIC supplies up to 30% of the total car market in China. In 2003, SAIC's annual turnover was $11.7 billion from an asset base of $9.1 billion.
http://www.saicgroup.com/saic01/fore/english/index.htm

 

25 May 2004 - Rover V8 Product Details available
Rover_V8.jpgThe V8 derivative provides effortless performance to the Rover range. The highly specified flagship can be tailored in lavish Connoisseur SE trim specification and enhanced with a Plus Pack that combines ITS, rain-sensing wipers, message centre instrumentation, auto-dimming rear view mirror, electric sunroof and rear sunblind for supreme luxury. Satellite navigation, including TV and teletext, is available as an option that embraces all the Plus Pack features.

The Contemporary SE model is more overt with less chrome, but more visual presence, and its Plus Pack includes ITS, electric sunroof, Xenon headlamps with powerwash, heated windscreen washer jets, and powerfold door mirrors.

The V8 has been represented in Rover products between 1967-1986 and is a hallmark of British cars with ‘power in reserve’. Her Majesty The Queen owns two Rover V8s. In their day Rover V8s were specified by Prime Ministers Harold Wilson, James Callaghan and Margaret Thatcher. Previous V8-engined Rovers include the P5B 3.5-litre, P6B 3500, SD1 3500, V8S, 3500 Vanden Plas, Vanden Plas EFi and the 3.5-litre SD1 Vitesse.

Rover 75 V8 - Product Overview

The new full-depth open grille is reminiscent of the archetypal Rover P5B. Like the P5 and other V8-powered Rovers since, the imposing and distinctive appearance of V8 derivatives is matched by a motoring experience that has no peers in this segment of the market. The Rover 75 V8 four-door saloon is derived from the company’s much-respected large car platform. Driving the rear wheels, the in-line mounted 4.6-litre engine is matched to a smooth automatic transmission to offer refined yet effortless performance entirely in keeping with the long-distance, no object associations of this famous marque.

Rover’s famously comfortable seats have been trimmed in leather, designed to complement Rover’s new Light Oak theme on Connoisseur SE, or Dark Oak on Contemporary SE models.

Under the bonnet, the flagship V8 power unit develops 260Ps and 410Nm of torque that is fed to the road through the rear-wheels. Cruise control and traction control systems are standard equipment. The traction control ensures that the considerable torque is deployed to good effect, whatever the conditions, while delivering rapid acceleration up to a top speed of 151mph.

The proven 4.6-litre engine is now mated to a smooth automatic transmission. A new electronic engine management tune and unique exhaust and intake systems provide an impressive combination of refined cruising and an assertive soundtrack under hard acceleration.

The V8 chassis is derived from the acclaimed rear drive MG ZT platform, launched last year. However, substantial revisions to chassis tuning have delivered a more compliant ride without sacrificing the inherent confidence and stability of the basic platform. In keeping with the immense reserves of V8 torque, the chassis has been tuned to deliver a rewarding yet relaxing driving experience.

Rob Oldaker, MG Rover Group’s Product Development Director, says: "This new derivative is an impressive addition to a distinguished Rover product range. The car’s performance and poise will shorten any long-distance journey, though on arrival occupants will be reluctant to leave the luxury of this sumptuous interior!"

Overview

The 75 V8 is the antithesis of the accomplished ZT 260 V8, for while the MG can capably deploy its power for performance and deliver high levels of driver involvement, the Rover is a wholly more refined experience. While the experience of the ZT has permitted the clever installation techniques of the large capacity engine and rear-wheel drive power train to be incorporated within the robust body shell, the change was to produce a car of supreme comfort, refinement and power-in-reserve characteristics.

Powertrain

The Rover 75 V8 utilises the proven 4.6-litre V8 engine, widely used in North America to power the iconic Ford Mustang. Modifications have been made to the Powertrain to assist in packaging the engine while MG’s engineers have also developed new intake, exhaust and emissions control systems to ensure the vehicle complies with stringent European noise legislation with no loss of power or torque. A new electronic engine calibration helps ensure the car exceeds current European emissions legislation. The automatic transmission has four speeds and is manufactured in North America.

The exhaust system, twinned for most of the length of the car, has four subtly mounted tailpipes, kept below the rear bumper. Outside the system produces a classic V8 burble, while inside the cabin remains quietly subdued, yet retains the note of a thoroughbred V8.

The Dana Hydratrak® limited slip differential system option, utilises vane-pump principles to ensure continuous and seamless torque transmission to both rear wheels in the event of wheel speed differential.

Steering and Suspension

The Rover 75’s steering and suspension systems have evolved radically to match the performance of the V8 power unit. Developed by driving enthusiasts for enthusiasts, the team focused their efforts on honing the car’s classic rear-drive handling to provide progressive control under the widest range of conditions. The result is a car that blends day-to-day ease of use with the driver-rewards of a true thoroughbred.

Power steering is now via a new forward mounted rack layout providing excellent feel and driver feedback to the leather-bound wheel.

The geometry of the 75's MacPherson strut front suspension has been tuned to the requirements of the new chassis. A new design of upright is matched to Eibach linear rate springs and a new, larger diameter anti-roll bar. Wheel response is controlled by Bilstein monotube struts, which combine a large piston area for fine tuning resolution with very high bending stiffness for improved camber control.

A new multi-link rear suspension has been evolved from the design created for the ZT 260 V8. A new six-mount subframe houses the rear drive differential, while each wheel is located by three lateral links (two steel and one light-alloy) and a light alloy trailing arm. Compound rate springs, sourced from specialist Eibach, work in conjunction with Bilstein monotube dampers to provide excellent wheel control.

Wheel designs are available in a 17" Star-spoke design with 215/50 profile tyres provides supreme comfort levels, and in 18" with Contisport 225/45 R18 tyres. Both have a unique machine-faced feature.

Braking

The Rover 75 V8 has a new H-split braking system providing excellent stopping power. At the front, proven large capacity 325mm ventilated discs and sliding-pin callipers are specified. At the rear a new AP-Racing sourced brake system is specified with 332mm ventilated discs and opposed piston alloy callipers.

Interior environment

A new HEVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air conditioning) unit is fitted to the V8. The new unit is a water-blend design featuring a dedicated electronic control unit to drive servo-motor valves to regulate the water flow around the heating circuit. This system has been refined to offer similar levels of response and control to the existing 75’s acclaimed air-blending system. All models feature ATC (Automatic Temperature Control), using the familiar user-friendly interface of other 75 models.

Rover 75 V8 Connoisseur SE

  • 4.6-litre V8 petrol engine

  • Four-speed automatic transmission

  • 17" Star-spoke ‘machined-finish’ alloy wheels

  • Fully automatic climate control system with pollen filtration

  • Light Oak style dashboard and console

  • Wood gear knob and leather handbrake grip

  • Power adjustable, heated leather seats with memory facility

  • Chrome capped door mirrors

  • Front fog lamps

  • Rear parking distance sensors

  • Front and rear electric windows, with driver’s one-shot up operation

  • Folding rear seat with load-through

  • Cruise control

Connoisseur SE with Plus Pack option adds:

  • ITS

  • Rain-sensing wipers

  • Message centre instrumentation

  • Auto-dimming rear view mirror

  • Electric sunroof

  • Rear sunblind

  • Satellite Navigation Pack (includes the Plus Pack features) option includes:

  • High-line satellite navigation

  • Teletext equipped TV tuner

  • Trip computer

Rover 75 V8 Contemporary SE

  • 4.6-litre V8 petrol engine

  • Four-speed automatic transmission

  • Star spoke alloy wheels with ‘machined-finish’

  • Black Oak style dashboard and console

  • Fully automatic climate control system with pollen filtration

  • Front and rear electric windows, with driver’s one-shot up operation

  • Front fog lamps

  • Black side window surrounds

  • Body-coloured waist finishers and door mirrors with hallmark chrome sill strip

  • Black leather Sports style seats and leather gearknob

  • Powered adjustment and heated front seats

  • Rear parking distance sensors

  • Rain sensing wiper system

  • Auto dimming rear view mirror

  • TrafficMaster Traffic Alert system

Contemporary SE with ‘Plus Pack’ includes:

  • ITS

  • Electric sunroof

  • Xenon headlamps with powerwash

  • Heated windscreen washer jets

  • Powerfold door mirrors.

  • Satellite Navigation Pack (includes the Plus Pack features) option includes:

  • High-line satellite navigation

  • Teletext equipped TV tuner

  • Trip computer

Pricing and Competition

The Rover 75 V8 is available in two trim level specifications, with ‘Plus Pack’ and Navigation options. A Tourer estate body style can also be specified. The Rover 75 V8 starts with an on-the-road price of £31,995.

With its large displacement engine offering 410Nm of torque, its rewarding driving experience and excellent feature specification, the Rover 75 V8 will attract buyers from established premium saloons such as BMW, Jaguar, Audi and Mercedes.

Rover 75 Saloon V8

  CO2 (g/km) VED FRF OTR Price
Connoisseur SE 319 £160 £38 £31,995
Connoisseur SE Plus Pack 319 £160 £38 £32,995
Connoisseur SE Navigation Pack 319 £160 £38 £34,995
Contemporary SE 319 £160 £38 £32,395
Contemporary SE Plus Pack 319 £160 £38 £33,495
Contemporary SE Navigation Pack 319 £160 £38 £35,495

Rover 75 Tourer V8

  CO2 (g/km) VED FRF OTR Price
Connoisseur SE 319 £160 £38 £32,995
Connoisseur SE Plus Pack 319 £160 £38 £33,995
Connoisseur SE Navigation Pack 319 £160 £38 £35,495
Contemporary SE 319 £160 £38 £33,395
Contemporary SE Plus Pack 319 £160 £38 £34,495
Contemporary SE Navigation Pack 319 £160 £38 £36,495

Options and Accessories

Rover V8 shares the wide range of options and accessories available across other 75 models, with the addition of an optional, factory-approved ‘Trackstar’ (stolen vehicle tracking) system available to supplement the Rover 75 V8’s sophisticated, standard fit theft prevention systems.

 

25 May 2004 - Rover 75 Limo Launched
35607-b-rov-.jpgA new 2004 Rover 75 Limousine, derived from the successful Rover 75 Saloon with a 200mm longer wheelbase is now Longbridge-built and distinguished by the new large-grille treatment, first seen on the new Rover V8. The 75 Limousine is wholly reminiscent of previous high-powered and ministerial Rover cars and is available in high-specification Connoisseur SE trim, combining supreme rear compartment legroom and interior proportions with extra interior lighting and provision for bespoke Monogram features.

The 75 Limousine has a 200mm wheelbase extension over the acclaimed Rover 75 Saloon and utilises the considerable strength inherent in the saloon body’s torsional-rigidity of some 24,000Nm per degree. Available in high-specification Connoisseur SE trim, the longer-wheelbase Rover provides increased rear compartment legroom, extra interior lighting and bespoke Monogram features, as required.

Compared to other limousines, the Rover offers quite supreme value for money with similar interior proportions, but at a price sometimes half, or a tenth of the expense. The Rolls-Royce Phantom for example costs £252,037, yet offers just 3cm of extra legroom, a similar headroom and 2cm more shoulder room, yet in tests carried out by Autocar magazine (March 30, 2004) comparing the two, wrote: "That the 75 claws an advantage with its primary ride quality is a victory of which Rover can be proud."

The Rover 75 Limousine is produced at Longbridge on the same advanced production facility that produces similar Rover body style variants, thereby ensuring a consistent high quality build standard and continuity of process. The 75 Limousine can be specified with a quad-cam, 2.5-litre light-aluminium V6 petrol engine or the common-rail turbo-diesel with either manual or automatic transmission. Both engines are highly refined generating 240Nm of torque from the V6 and 300Nm from the turbo-diesel, matched to the 5-speed JATCO automatic gearbox.

The 75 Limousine is available in three engine/transmission choices:

2.5-litre V6 petrol with auto Connoisseur SE £29,995
2.0-litre CDTi turbo-diesel with Connoisseur SE £27,295
2.0-litre CDTi turbo-diesel with auto Connoisseur SE £28,495

Bespoke orders can also be placed on equivalent powered models with Connoisseur, Contemporary and Contemporary SE trim specifications.

Rod Ramsay, MG Rover Group’s Sales Operations Director, said: "The Rover 75 Limousine is an elegant extension to Rover’s car line-up and represents a supreme product proposition for astute-minded individuals who need, or demand, the extra-legroom environment. The distinctive large grille combines exclusivity with a presence on arrival that is absent on a number of ‘equivalent’ double-priced competitors."

 

25 May 2004 - Olympic Streetwise LE Supports Team GB
35607-e-rov-.jpgIn celebration of Rover’s Official Car Supplier status to Team GB and the British Olympic Association, a commemorative Olympic Streetwise LE model has been produced to combine with the team’s participation in the Olympic games in Athens.

The Olympic Streetwise LE incorporates all the high-level features of the ‘S’ specification that include body coloured internally adjustable door mirrors, anti lock brakes with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), electric front windows, steering wheel mounted remote controls for ICE with front and rear speakers and Black Monaco fabric sports shaped seats.

Available in either 3- or 5-door body styles, the 500 Olympic Streetwise LEs feature the high-output 103Ps 1.4-litre K Series engine. Additional equipment distinguishes the Olympic Streetwise LE, and includes front fog lamps, body coloured lower bumper inserts and 17" 6-spoke alloy wheels with 205/45 R17 Pirelli P Zero tyres. A powerful MP3 player is specified for audio entertainment and the Team GB Lion and Olympic rings graphic identifies this as a product of Olympic performance and exclusively available in the new Sonic Blue metallic paint finish, included within the £10,795 UK price.

Options available include, air conditioning, front passenger airbag, five-seat rear configuration, cigar lighter, driver’s seat height and lumbar adjustment, electric door mirrors, electric rear windows, electric sunroof, rear park distance control and a part leather seat upgrade.

 

18 May 2004 - Revised Rover 25 launched!

Product SummaryR25-20042.jpg

The exterior style changes to the new Rover 25 include a new front bumper design, a deeper integral front grille and a tough clear lens protecting twin headlamps that combine to give the 25 a fresh and entirely more modern appearance.

 

At the rear, the treatment is just as effective, with a new, more angular rear bumper with re-positioned number plate and a clean-panel rear tailgate, giving a more defined rear appearance.  Other exterior changes include body coloured side rubbing strips with the model identity in a satin finish.

 

The new fascia design includes four styled circular air vents that give definition and feature to the centre and ends of the fascia, and each finished in chrome.  A wood fascia insert dresses the interior appearance for up to date interpretation of this traditional Rover feature.  The insert is also available in a new range of finishes – burr walnut for the Rover traditionalists, and for Rover customers after something a little more contemporary, light oak and dark oak finishes are also available.
 

New Features

 

Convenience – Remote Activated Boot Release

A new feature for the latest Rover 25 is the remote activated hatchback release feature.  This customer convenience feature allows the owner easier access to the boot of the car: by pressing a third button on the remote plip, the driver can release the boot lock while approaching the car.

 

Secure Technology – Greater Security and Locking

Auto relocking – if the car is locked/armed and the unlock button is subsequently pressed the car will automatically lock and re-arm if no doors are opened within
30 seconds.  This protects against accidental unlocking of the vehicle.

 

Speed locking (also known as drive away locking) can be configured so that the doors automatically lock when the vehicle speed is greater than 3mph/5km/h. The doors remain locked when the vehicle is stationary and can be unlocked by the master lock button or by turning the engine off. The alarm system uses a battery backed up sounder, located within a shielded enclosure and protected with tamper proof fixings, which will activate if the power supply is tampered with.

 

Audible mislock – features a short horn sound if door / tailgate / bonnet are open when the vehicle is locked with the key or remote.  Automatic Engine immobilisation is activated after the ignition is switched off.

 

Remote Locking Feature

 

The new remote plip has a changing lock/unlock code every time it is used.  No thief could record (or capture) the code then use it later on.  A new design of plip now features lock, un-lock and remote tailgate release opening.  It can be operated with the alarm armed or disarmed.  The alarm rearms when the tailgate is closed, with hazard warning lamps flashing to indicate this security.  The latest plip design has a greater operating range.

 

Master Locking Switch

 

This new feature to Rover 25 is located amongst the switches in the new centre console.  It offers a greater degree of security as the car can instantly lock all of the doors, regardless of ignition or engine state, with a single press of the button.  Also included is drive-away locking for occupant security against possible external threats.  A panic alarm can be triggered by pressing the Master Locking Switch for over two seconds, locking all doors, activating the alarm siren and flashing the hazard lamps and de-activated by another two second press or by pressing the plip unlock button.

 

Advanced Warning of Traffic Congestion

 

All UK specification Rover 25s feature the TrafficMaster® Traffic Alert System for congestion avoidance.  No competitors currently apply this customer convenience feature so extensively in their ranges.

 

Safety – ABS/EBD

 

All Rover 25s have ABS (anti lock braking system) and EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution) fitted as standard.  EBD helps to ensure optimum braking efficiency.

 

Improved Driving Involvement

 

The latest 25 models all feature a more responsive and improved brake feel.  The clutch pedal has been lowered to improve driver ergonomics and throttle pedal set-up has been changed on petrol and diesel models to match the engine responsiveness.  Steering is also much sharper with improved H-frame toe and camber geometry and the fitment of a new specification rear suspension bush material.  A new sports Rover suspension option can also be specified for owners who require a more engaging driving experience and available on 103Ps 1.4-litre models and above.

 

Interior

 

A choice of interior colourways is available.  Ash or Light Smokestone complement the new re-styled fascia, glovebox, centre and floor console.  The centre console faceplate can be specified in either Light Oak, Black Oak or a Walnut finish.  The centre console includes additional storage space under the ICE unit and includes two additional cup holders. The new centre console includes new soft switches.  SXi models also feature wood effect interior door release handle covers.

 

Range Identity

 

Rover 25 range has a progressive trim and feature specification identity in four trim levels: i, Si, SEi, SXi.

 

 

Key Competitors

 

Ford Fiesta, VW Polo, Peugeot 206, Vauxhall Corsa, Renault Clio, Skoda Fabia and Citroën C3.

 

 

Exterior Colours

Solid: Dover White, Midnight Blue, new Rio Red

Metallic: Arbour Green, Starlight Silver, new Tempest Grey, new Provence Blue and new Sonic Blue

Pearlescent: Royal Blue, British Racing Green, Black Pearl, new Ski Blue, new Platinum Gold, new Firefrost

 

 

New Features Summary

 

Exterior

  • New clean front bumper design

  • New larger integral front grille with Cyclone grey vanes

  • New Rover badge sits on wider chrome centre grille plinth  

  • Black diamond mesh in upper and lower air intake grilles

  • New clear lens covers and Cyclone grey backed twin halogen headlamps

  • Body coloured front rubbing strips incorporate satin finish ‘25’ model identity

  • New rear bumper design

  • New tailgate design incorporating centre-line ‘R O V E R’ and ‘25’ identity

  • Remote plip activated hatchback-opening release

  • Tailgate lift handle incorporated within the rear wiper spindle

  • New 16” 11-spoke alloy wheel design

Interior

  • New fascia design incorporates stylish rotary air vents with chrome finish

  • New fascia console with soft-touch membrane switches

  • New glovebox design with chrome handle

  • Master locking switch and drive-away locking for occupant security

  • TrafficMaster® congestion warning alert system (unique to cars in this class)

  • New centre and floor console in a black satin finish

  • Choice of Light Oak, Black Oak or Walnut finishes

 

New Rover 25 Specification Summary, model by model

 

25 i (and all other models)

 

1.1- and 1.4-litre petrol engines

 

14" steel wheels with attractive wheel trims

 

TrafficMaster® traffic alert system

Central door locking

Volumetric and perimetric alarm system

Driver’s airbag

 

Suspension and Steering

Front: independent suspension with telescopic dampers

Front anti roll bar

Rear: independent torsion beam H frame

Power assisted steering

 

Si

Additional specification features over i model:

Body coloured electric operated and heated door mirrors

Electric front windows

Driver’s seat height and lumbar support

Rear speakers

Remote ICE

Electric glass sunroof

CD tuner

Rear head restraints
 

SEi

Additional specification features over Si:

15" Turbine alloy wheels

Air conditioning (ilo of sunroof)

Tuscany cloth seat upgrade with front seat map pockets and rear centre armrest

Front fog lamps

Electric operated and heated door mirrors

Leather steering wheel and gear knob

 

SXi

Additional specification features over SEi:

15" Serpent alloys

Full leather seat facings

Metallic paint

Separate front tweeters

Wood finish door pull

Rear parking distance control

Electric rear windows (5 door models)

 

20 April 2004 - Rover 45 Product Summary

BMR-0404-1555-.jpgThe exterior style changes to the new Rover 45 include a new front bumper design, a deeper integral front grille and twin lens headlamps and integrated indicator lamps, beneath a tough clear cover, that together give the 45 a much fresher and entirely more modern face.

 

At the rear the treatment is even more substantial, with a new, more angular rear bumper with re-positioned number plate, and a clean-panel rear boot / tailgate treatment giving a more defined rear appearance, enhanced on all models (4dr Saloon and 5dr Hatchback) with a rear lip spoiler for a completely new design style. Other exterior changes include body coloured side rubbing strip and lower sill extensions, giving a lowered body appearance.

The new fascia design includes four styled circular air vents that give definition and feature to the centre and ends of the fascia, and each finished in chrome. A narrower wood fascia insert dresses the interior appearance for a more subtle interpretation of this traditional Rover feature. The insert is also available in a new range of finishes – burr walnut for the Rover traditionalists, and for Rover customers after something a little more contemporary, light oak and dark oak finishes are also available.

 

Comfort – Automatic Temperature Control

A key new comfort specification feature introduced on Rover 45 is Automatic Temperature Control (ATC) air conditioning. This luxury feature allows the precise desired temperature of the air conditioning to be set, in Fahrenheit or Centigrade, with an external temperature display and solar sensor compensation. The new control panel is fully integrated in the console. This appealing new feature is standard on Club SE and Connoisseur models and is therefore available from an affordable £12,995.

 

Convenience – Remote Activated Boot Release

20041.jpgA new feature for the latest Rover 45 is the remote activated boot release feature. This customer convenience feature allows the owner easier access to the boot of the car; by pressing a third button on the remote plip, the driver can release the boot lock while approaching the car. The boot will actually be open by the time they get to the car, and is particularly useful when approaching with either or both hands full.

The interior also features revised columns stalks that have a superior feeling matt finish. The switches used within the revised centre console are soft-touch membrane switches that look and operate in a more positive and modern way.

 

At service, the program wash / wipe facility can be programmed to vary the number of times the wipers operate after the windscreen wash has finished. A new ‘Dribble Wipe’ feature is an extra wipe of the screen approximately 4 seconds after the last wipe has occurred, after the program wash wipe, to capture any subsequent water dribble.

 

Secure Technology Secure – Greater Security and Locking

Auto relocking – if the car is locked / armed and the unlock button pressed, the car will auto lock / rearm if no doors are opened within 30 seconds and assumes the vehicle was unlocked / disarmed accidentally.

Speed locking – doors automatically lock when vehicle speed is greater than 3 mph / 5 km/h. The doors remain locked when the vehicle is stationary and will automatically unlock again when the ignition is turned off. Doors can be unlocked by using the master lock / unlock button.

 

Rover 45 has a Thatcham Cat. 1 alarm, top level security system and complies with the latest 2004 Security directives. The alarm system uses a battery backed up sounder, located within a shielded enclosure and protected with tamper proof fixings, which will activate if the power supply is tampered with.

 

Audible mislock – features a short horn sound if door / boot / bonnet are open when the vehicle is locked with the key or remote. The boot is more secure now the key lock is no longer specified and Automatic Engine immobilisation is activated after the ignition is switched off.

 

Remote locking feature

BMR-0404-1554-.jpgThe new remote plip has a changing lock / unlock code every time it is used. No thief could record (or capture) the code then use it later. A new design of plip now features lock, unlock and remote boot release opening. It can be operated with the alarm armed or disarmed. The alarm rearms when the boot is closed, with hazard warning lamps flashing to indicate this security. The latest plip design has a much enhanced operating range.

 

Master Locking Switch

This new feature is located amongst the switches in the new centre console. It offers a greater degree of security as the car can instantly lock all of the doors, regardless of ignition or engine state, with a single press of the button. Also included is drive-away locking for occupant security against possible external threats. A panic alarm can be triggered by pressing the Master Locking Switch for over two seconds locking all doors, activating the alarm siren and flashing the hazard lamps and de-activated by another two second press or by pressing the plip unlock button.

 

Advanced Warning of Traffic Congestion

All UK specification Rover 45s (except the 1.4 Classic) feature the TrafficMaster® Traffic Alert System for congestion avoidance and rear ultrasonic parking distance sensors. No competitors currently apply either of these customer convenience features as extensively within their ranges.

 

Safety – ABS/EBD

All Rover 45s have ABS (anti lock braking system) and EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution) fitted as standard. EBD helps to ensure that the rear brakes contribute as much braking force as possible, equalising the braking forces.

 

Renowned ride comfort

Rover 45 retains its reputation for occupant comfort with its exceptionally smooth ride comfort, brought about by its wheelbase, longer than many of its immediate competitors. Double wishbone suspension offers high levels of camber compensation and this ensures that the maximum amount of the tyre surface is in contact with the road surface during cornering situations and therefore increasing safety and driver confidence.

 

Key Competitors

Key competitors for Rover 45 are: the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra, VW Golf, Renault Mégane, Peugeot 307, Citroën Xsara, Honda Civic and Nissan Almera.

 

Exterior Colours

Solid: Dover White, Midnight Blue, new Rio Red

Metallic: Arbour Green, Starlight Silver, new Tempest Grey, new Provence Blue and new Sonic Blue

Pearlescent: Royal Blue, British Racing Green, Black Pearl, new Ski Blue, new Platinum Gold, new Firefrost

 

New Features Summary

Exterior

  • New clean front bumper design

  • New larger integral front grille

  • All new twin lens headlamps feature high-efficiency multi-faceted reflectors

  • Body coloured side rubbing strip and lower sills

  • New rear bumper design

  • New tailgate/boot lid

  • Remote plip activated boot-opening release

  • New subtle lip spoiler (as standard on all models)

  • New 16" alloy wheel

Interior

  • New fascia design incorporates stylish rotary air vents with chrome finish

  • New fascia console with soft-touch membrane switches

  • New column stalks with improved quality feel

  • Revised seat fabrics

  • ATC air conditioning

  • Master locking switch and drive-away locking for occupant security

  • TrafficMaster® congestion warning alert system (unique to cars in this class)

 

Interior Colour and Trim Availability

A greater choice of colour for the interior components is available. A contemporary theme of Ash fascia with Black Oak wood finishers is expected to be a popular choice, while the availability of a Duotone fascia with Light Oak Wood offers a lighter theme to the cabin. Burr Walnut finishers are another available option. The duotone fascia is available with either Black or Light Smokestone seat fabrics, the Ash fascia only with black seats. Leather seats are available with either interior condition.

 

7 April 2004 - Rover counts on a go-faster performance
By John Griffiths of the Financial Times
Inside a high-fenced compound across the road from MG Rover's main carmaking complex at Longbridge, designers and engineers have been working on a project informally and hopefully labelled "nice little earner".

The board of Phoenix Venture Holdings, MG Rover's parent company, has given responsibility for the project to a new subsidiary, MG Sport and Racing. It is charged with finding additional revenue streams for the lossmaking group based on its long sporting heritage. MG celebrates its 80th anniversary this year.

The first fruits of the new subsidiary's labours, high-performance "extreme" versions of every MG model, will be unveiled at the UK motor show at Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre in May and will be on sale before the autumn.

The new unit has also taken over MG Rover's new £75,000-plus MG SV "supercar" and is already producing racing and rally cars for customers.

But one of the biggest potential sources of profit should come from a sector that most big carmakers have left to independent suppliers by default: the booming market for performance parts and accessories.

In the past few years sales of such parts and accessories - ranging from body kits to "sports" exhausts and engine tuning - have exploded in almost every car market. Informal estimates by officials of the Motorsport Industry Association, a trade body, are that the market may now be worth £5bn a year in the UK alone.

"We're talking about all those tens of thousands of younger people who are spending fortunes on jazzing up their Citroën Saxos and other road cars but who never come in contact with 'official' motor sport", says the MIA's chief executive, Chris Aylett. "It's a very fragmented market and it's hard to get precise figures but what we do know is that it's becoming huge."

MG Sport and Racing is now making a determined pitch at that market with the launch of its own products, ranging from performance exhaust systems and suspension to complete replacement high-power engines.

"There are some 125,000 Phoenix-era MGs in the car population. They provide more than an adequate base for the business," says John Parkinson, managing director of both MG Sport and Racing and MG Rover's X-Power replacement parts subsidiary.

The "Phoenix-era" cars have been built since John Towers' Phoenix consortium of Midlands businessmen bought MG Rover from BMW for a token £10 four years ago.

Although MG Sport and Racing is a separate company from MG Rover, it has access to all the carmaker's engineering and technical resources, including 300 design and development engineers. Executives decline to talk, however, of the size of the investment being made in the "extreme" models.

The company is also seeking a much closer relationship with consumers than is traditional for carmakers, with bays alongside the SV production lines for private customers to bring their cars in for modification or upgrading.

"The people who buy our cars are all enthusiasts. If they want to talk to the people actually making the cars, we're more than happy to talk to them," says Kim Johnson, who is in charge of motor sport and product development at the subsidiary.

MG Sport and Racing, as an entity, has existed almost since the Phoenix takeover. But until now it has been merely a cost centre for MG Rover while rebuilding MG's brand image through racing.

It is now expected to make "a positive contribution" to Phoenix Venture Holdings' results in the financial year 2004/05, according to Mr Parkinson. Such a contribution would be welcome. Phoenix lost £105m at the operating level last year, with MG Rover itself losing £111m. Kevin Howe, MG Rover chief executive, has said it is becoming increasingly urgent for the group to start earning profits but a crucial replacement car for the group's aged Rover 45/MG ZS range has been delayed until 2005 and there is uncertainty over the group's overall direction following the signing of a collaboration agreement with Proton, the Malaysian carmaker.

One consolation is that MG Rover's long sales decline since the Phoenix takeover appears to have stabilised. The company sold 140,000 cars across Western Europe last year, about the same as in 2002, and sales so far this year are up 6.6 per cent.

Meanwhile, if the morale of MG Sport and Racing executives has been hit by the controversy over Phoenix directors setting up a £13m pensions pot while the company remains deeply in the red, they do not show it.

"We just get on with what we're going to do. If we worried about everything people said, we wouldn't do anything," says Mr Parkinson.

 

5 April 2004 - Revised Rover 45 launched!
BMR-0404-1557-.jpgA new Rover 45 is revealed today.
  • A distinctive new exterior style, featuring latest twin headlamp design
  • New high quality fascia design, including new switchgear and instrumentation
  • New convenience, technological and comfort features

The new Rover 45 adopts the latest evolution of Rover’s highly regarded style identity. Its clean, fresh lines echo the contemporary elegance of the latest Rover 75. A new front bumper design produces a cleaner and more sculpted exterior appearance, dressed with twin lens multi-faceted reflector headlamps. Substantial changes are made to the rear design with a new boot and bumper style, complemented by new alloy wheels and centre-line badging.

Inside, the high quality and stylish cabin is reinforced with an all-new fascia style, centre console, switchgear, instrumentation and array of the latest technology features.

The new 45 combines a clean, fresh style with excellent refinement, supple ride and handling, with high standards of accommodation to refresh and maintain the appeal of Rover’s lower-medium sector product range.

New feature summary

Exterior

  • New clean front bumper design
  • New larger integral front grille
  • All new twin lens headlamps feature high-efficiency multi-faceted reflectors
  • Body coloured side rubbing strip and lower sills
  • New rear bumper design
  • New tailgate/boot lid
  • Remote blip activated boot-opening release
  • New subtle lip spoiler (as standard on all models)
  • New 16" alloy wheel

Interior

  • New fascia design incorporates stylish rotary air vents
  • New fascia console with soft-touch membrane switches
  • New column stalks
  • Revised seat design and fabrics
  • ATC air conditioning
  • Master locking switch and drive-away locking for occupant security
  • TrafficMaster® congestion warning alert system (unique to cars in this class)
  • Prices range between £9,995 - £16,200
  • New interior trims and colours, with new Burr Walnut, Light Oak or Black Oak wood finishes

In Rover’s centenary year, the 45 is part of an expanding range of products that includes the CityRover, Commerce CDV, 25, Streetwise and 75.

The new Rover 45 will make its show debut at Motor Show Live, at the NEC, Birmingham (May 27), with first customer deliveries in May.

 

24 March 2004 - Biggest MG Range in 80th Anniversary Year!

MG’s product range, in its 80th anniversary year, has the brands largest product portfolio in its history.  Traditional represented by both saloon and roadster sports cars the MG is supported by the enthusiasm of a 100,000 strong worldwide club membership.

 

The MG TF is to most the iconic modern MG, with its two-door roadster body style, mid-engined layout and lightweight K Series engines.  The range, which includes 115, 135, 120 Stepspeed and 160Ps power units, is the UK’s best-selling sports car, a title held by the marque since the arrival of the MGF.  The TF is also the basis of the first celebration anniversary LE.

 

MG saloons, in the form of the ZR, ZS, ZT and ZT-T estate have established a real niche for sports enthusiasts.  The ZR with its broad engine choice, standard-fit alloy wheels and aero bodywork have made it MG's best-selling model, sales of which dominate the supermini hot hatch sector and 2003 sales were up 25% in the UK.  The ZS and ZT models ranges have expanded, with a range of petrol and turbo-diesel engines and greater levels of feature, trim and options, most notably with the new-look ZT.

 

John Edwards, MG Rover’s Group’s Sales and Marketing Director, explained: “The comprehensive appeal of our new MG models has seen the marque popularity grow to new levels.  All models, including the exciting ‘pocket-rocket’ ZR or the iconic TF offer the essential ingredient that define MG as the affordable sports car for motoring enjoyment.”

 

Key 80th Anniversary dates in 2004 include:

  • 13th March - 1st MG car (Jack Gardiner’s Special 4 seater Sports 14/28) produced in 1924

  • 1st May - Octagon 1st registered as an MG trademark in 1924

  • 9th May - MG Regency Run (1000 MG cars drive from 3 locations to Brighton)

  • 22/23 May - MG Owners Club event at Brands Hatch

  • 23-25 July - MG Car Club, Silverstone (biggest gathering of MGs in the world)

  • 1st September - 1st production MG Super Sports (14/28) went on sale in 1924

 

22 March 2004 - Powertrain Ltd announces new supply collaboration agreement.
Powertrain Ltd announces the appointment of Sonalika Group as a new supply chain partner to its forward common rail diesel powertrain programmes currently under development.

The long-term collaboration supply contract signed today in New Delhi India provides for Sonalika to manufacture a range of powertrain components.

Powertrain Ltd will build complete engines for its current and future customer base and Sonalika has been granted a manufacturing licence to build the engine for their Indian markets. In addition the two companies will work together to develop further international business opportunities to sell the powertrain manufactured by Sonalika and Powertrain Ltd in international markets.

Sonalika has been selected as part of Powertrain Ltd’s global sourcing strategy based on securing the best cost and quality levels for its products.

Fraser Welford-Winton, managing director of Powertrain Ltd, said, "Sonalika are experienced in working with European companies and operating to global quality and cost targets. In addition the cultures and size of the two companies are very compatible making this a win win situation."

Note:

Powertrain Ltd is a leading UK engine manufacturer supplying MG, Rover, Land Rover, Lotus, Caterham, Gibbs and other customers with petrol and diesel engines. Turnover in 2002 was £245m and it spends £175m with its supply base

Sonalika Group has a turnover of £135m with manufacturing activities in engines, transmissions, castings, forgings, powertrain components and tractors. It has international trading experience and ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certification

 

2 March 2004 - Geneva Motor Show Debut Announces The Return Of The ‘rover V8’

Rover_V81.jpg   Rover_V8.jpg   Rover_V82.jpg

MG Rover Group today, at the 74th Geneva Motor Show, unveils a new 75-derived top-of-the-range Rover V8 saloon, in the marque’s centenary year. The Rover V8 incorporates a bespoke Monogram interior and is distinguished by a new exclusive front-end treatment with large grille, wholly reminiscent of previous V8 engined Rover cars. The Rover V8 marks the return of this illustrious derivative, first introduced as the archetypal Rover P5B.

The V8 derivative provides effortless performance to the Rover range. Available initially as a highly specified flagship derived from the Connoisseur SE specification, the bespoke interior brings new levels of luxury to a car already renowned for its inherent comfort and quality. The lavish trim specification is complemented by a prestigious new development of the latest 2004 Rover 75 exterior style theme, incorporating a new full depth radiator grille and imposing front bumper design.

Kevin Howe, Chief Executive, MG Rover Group, commented: "The return of the illustrious Rover V8 combines perfectly with the distinctive identity of this high-specification flagship and signifies an expanding confidence for the Rover marque, in its centenary year. Like its predecessors, it is a product of distinction and presence, with the new full-depth grille and front-end treatment a characteristic reminder of the refined delivery of power available from the 4.6-litre V8 harnessed under the bonnet."

Rover V8 - Product Overview

The new full-depth open grille is reminiscent of the archetypal Rover P5B. Like the P5 and other V8-powered Rovers since, the imposing and distinctive appearance of V8 derivatives is matched by a motoring experience that has no peers in this segment of the market. The Rover V8 four-door saloon is derived from the company’s much-respected large car 75 platform. Driving the rear wheels, the in-line mounted 4.6-litre engine is matched to a smooth automatic transmission to offer refined yet effortless performance, entirely in keeping with the Grand Touring associations of this famous marque.

The vehicle displayed at Geneva incorporates a number of elements from MG Rover Group’s extensive customer personalisation Monogram range of paint colours, trims and individual features, and is an ideal way for the discerning customer to individualise this exclusive car still further. Rover’s famously comfortable seats have been trimmed in leather, designed to complement Rover’s new Light Oak wood theme. Wood and leather are used, with an elegant wood and leather steering wheel and handbrake grip. Underfoot, superior quality carpets have been specified, with additional tailored convenience mats.

A comprehensive range of high technology features is available to complement the opulent interior of this flagship car. These include GPS guided satellite navigation, in-car Teletext TV and multi-disc DVD player with motorised screen, while audiophiles will appreciate the exceptional Harman/Kardon Hi-Fi system. These interior refinements are complemented by prestigious large diameter alloy wheels and discrete exterior badging.

Under the bonnet, the flagship V8 power unit develops 260Ps and 410Nm of torque that is fed to the road through the rear-wheels. Cruise Control is standard equipment. MG Rover Group’s unique traction control system ensures that this
considerable torque is deployed to good effect, whatever the conditions, whilst delivering rapid acceleration up to a top speed in excess of 150mph.

Derived from the power train installation first used in the MG ZT 260 V8, the proven Ford sourced engine is now mated seamlessly to a smooth automatic transmission. A new electronic engine management tune and unique exhaust and intake systems provide an impressive combination of refined cruising and an assertive, sonorous soundtrack under hard acceleration.

The V8 chassis is derived from the acclaimed rear drive MG ZT platform, launched last year. However, substantial revisions to chassis tuning have delivered a more compliant ride without sacrificing the confidence and stability inherent in the basic platform. In keeping with the immense reserves of V8 torque, the chassis has been tuned to deliver a rewarding yet relaxing driving experience. A new traction control system provides fast engine intervention to wheel slip. This has been developed in a partnership between MG Rover Group, British electronics experts Racelogic and American engine specialists Roush Industries.

Rob Oldaker, MG Rover Group’s Product Development Director, says: "This new derivative is an impressive addition to a distinguished Rover product range. The car’s performance and poise will shorten any long-distance journey, though on arrival occupants will be reluctant to leave the luxury of this sumptuous interior!"

Performance and pricing

The Rover V8 has a maximum speed in excess of 150mph/240km/h, with acceleration to 60mph comfortably below 7 seconds. Precise market specification and pricing will be announced in due course. UK sales are expected to commence in May, followed across Europe mid-year.

The Rover V8 has been represented in products between 1967-1986 and is a hallmark of British cars with ‘power in reserve’. Her Majesty The Queen owns two Rover V8s. In their day Rover V8s were specified by Prime Ministers Harold Wilson, James Callaghan and Margaret Thatcher. Previous V8-engined Rovers include the P5B 3.5-litre, P6B 3500, SD1 3500, V8S, 3500 Vanden Plas, Vanden Plas EFi and the 3.5-litre Vitesse.

 

18 February 2004 - Phoenix Venture Holdings Signs Letter of Intent with Proton
Phoenix Venture Holdings ("PVH") announces today that it has signed a letter of intent with Proton in relation to PVH and its subsidiaries, including MG Rover Group, working with Proton to explore the feasibility of a number of potential collaborative projects.

PVH and Proton will now engage in further discussions and as and when any definitive agreement is reached a further announcement will be made.

 

23 January 2004 - Rover 75 2004 makeover.
MG Rover Group launches a new design style for its highly-regarded Rover 75 Saloon and Tourer models. The design embraces a sharper-edged front and rear exterior appearance, a larger integrated radiator grille, halogen projector headlamps and three distinct trim identities.

The new design style features three distinct trim identities, comprising Classic, Connoisseur and Contemporary, with SE derivatives and additional option packs that offer carefully tailored specifications across all points in the range. The established appeal of the Rover 75 range – with its unrivalled reputation as the definitive luxury premium Upper Medium saloon is further enhanced by the addition of the "Contemporary" derivative theme, providing a younger, more modern interpretation of traditional Rover values. Other features include a selection of new alloy wheel designs and options like Personal Assist – Smartnav® voice navigation and concierge service.

Rod Ramsay, Sales Operations Director, MG Rover Group, says: "These new models build on the established lineage of Rover design and will appeal to a greater cross-section of potential buyers. They offer a choice of distinct interior and exterior design themes to cater for individual taste and preference."

 

23 January 2004 - Streetwise Range Expansion with more Power and CVT Transmission.
The new Rover Streetwise range is expanding with the introduction of two, more powerful, engine derivatives – a 1.6-litre manual and a 1.8-litre engine combined with a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

The ‘Urban On-Roader’ has initiated a new and growing sector for ‘tough-urban look’ vehicles that combine a rugged external style with the benefits of its compact practicality. Building on the initial range of the 84 and 103Ps 1.4-litre petrol and 101Ps 2.0-litre turbo-diesel, the two new engine variants provide 109Ps from the
1.6-litre and 117Ps from the 1.8-litre. Both models are specified in five-door bodystyle, with the choice of ‘S’ and ‘SE’ trim levels.

Rod Ramsay, Sales Operations Director, MG Rover Group, said: "Streetwise has established a new market niche that provides our customers with real product benefits. Initial response to Streetwise has been most encouraging and the larger engine range line-up will extend the product’s appeal further."


23 January 2004 - MG Rover Raises £42.5 million through Longbridge Sale and Leaseback Deal

MG Rover Group announces that it has entered into a sale and long term leaseback arrangement of part of its Longbridge site with St Modwen Properties plc for £42.5 million. MG Rover Group will invest the funds directly in the car company’s business activities.

228 acres of land, including 4.25 million sq ft of buildings, are included in the transaction. MG Rover has been granted a long term lease of up to 35 years over this land and on expiry of the lease will have the option to renew. Throughout the term of the lease MG Rover’s operational activities on the land will not be restricted but provision is made for the sensible release of surplus land at MG Rover’s option.

Kevin Howe, Chief Executive of MG Rover Group said:

"This deal generates cash for our cars business today and allows us to continue to invest in the car company’s many product development activities. It puts to work one of our assets but in no way restricts the day-to-day running of our business".

Richard Froggatt, Executive Director of St Modwen Properties plc said:

"We set up a partnership with MG Rover in 2001 to regenerate land which was surplus to operational requirements. We are delighted to extend our relationship with MG Rover to support its ongoing operations. This is a very similar transaction to those we have already completed with Goodyear, Corus, Alstom, Invensys and others.

"The realisation of value locked up in the property assets is being seen by many companies as an effective way of significantly improving their use of capital. This is particularly relevant to companies such as larger manufacturers which often have extensive land holdings whose ownership and management is not part of their core business."

 

23 December 2003 - A scoop picture from Auto Express for 2004 !*!

An exclusive picture of the all-new MG ZS in the current issue of Auto Express magazine shows exactly what the Birmingham company has in store for 2004 - and it includes a revamp of almost the entire range.

As the mag's scoop image clearly reveals, the Rover 45 and MG ZS will be first to get a new nose. It's heavily influenced by the styling of the SV supercar, with a mesh grille, squared-off headlights and a deeper front spoiler.

A chrome radiator grille surround and bright inserts in the bumper will distinguish the Rover from the sportier MG model, which will feature body-coloured trim, plus new alloy wheels and option-al side skirts. The sensational picture came into our possession after we revealed last week how the manufacturer is set to give the entire line-up a nip and tuck to keep it looking fresh.

A tip-off from an MG Rover dealer, who had attended a secret sales conference, revealed not only that the new cars were styled and signed off, but that prototypes are already being shown to the network's staff.

The revised 45 is expected to appear at the Geneva Motor Show in March, along with the sporty ZS seen here. However, the more popular Rover 25 and MG ZR, along with the flagship 75 and ZT, will be held back until May, debuting instead at the British Motor Show Live at Birmingham's NEC.

A Rover insider told us: "Although the cars are close to being ready, at least two are being held back for the NEC show. It's MG Rover's spiritual home, and unveiling models there shows we value our home market, town and customers." As with the 45 and ZS, the 25 and ZR will get a new nose, replacing the old twin headlamps with angular, narrow units. Both the 25/ZR and 45/ZS will get revisions to the interior, too - and 25s will come with a choice of cabin layouts, with the four-seater arrangement from the Streetwise to be offered alongside a conventional five-seat set-up.

New plastics and a modern-looking facia with improved switches and column stalks will be introduced on the 25 and 45, addressing criticisms of the current dated designs. Changes to the 75 and ZT will be more subtle, the exterior benefiting from a modified grille and smaller headlamps. MG models will have the option of wheelarch extensions and large boot spoilers from the motorsport-derived XPower accessory range. The interiors of these models are likely to remain unchanged, although the old-style BMW-sourced stereos are to be replaced by units from independent suppliers.

Rover is depending on its new model range to give sales a much-needed boost. Along with bad press surrounding its financial problems, the firm has an outdated line-up which is beginning to look weak in the face of more modern rivals. As a result, the manufacturer has closed the factory twice in recent weeks in a bid to stop overproduction.

Making fresher and more desirable models should help tide the firm over until it releases its new family car, based on the 2001 TCV concept, in 2005. Craig Cheetham



Home | Forums | Gallery


Hosted by UK Websystems. Rover Forums: www.mg-rover.org