View Full Version : SAIC secures Rover brand?

13-08-2006, 04:02 PM
According to the Birmingham News, the price was US$21million. Anyone got anymore information?

14-08-2006, 10:09 AM
Found this..

(The Birmingham Post Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) Shanghai Automotive - one of the failed bidders for MG Rover - has bought the Rover name for pounds 11.5 million.

Shanghai will announce this month it has bought the right to use the marque from BMW, which kept rights to the name after it pulled out of Rover in 2000.

BMW last night denied a sale, but The Birmingham Post understands a press conference will take place on August 22. A new badge has been designed.

Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) beat off competition for the name from Nanjing Automobile, the company which bought the assets of the Longbridge firm for pounds 53 million last year.

The name is likely to be used on the new Rover 25s and 75s SAIC plans to produce this year. A stretch version of the Rover 75 is also planned by SAIC, which won intellectual property rights to the cars.

The Shanghai enterprise, which has worked with General Motors and Volkswagen, plans to invest pounds 900 million to launch 30 models with its own technology over five years.

An industry insider said: "Nanjing really wanted the brand, but only offered pounds 500,000 because they didn't think BMW would sell to someone else. Nanjing thought they should have got it because they are at Long bridge and are carrying on the tradition. It is a UK name and part of the UK motoring heritage, they never thought BMW would dare sell to anyone else.

"Nanjing thought there would be pressure from press and public to keep the Rover name here, but it never happened. SAIC wants to sell cars on the international market and must have an international brand."

Peter Cooke, professor of automotive industry management at Nottingham Business School, said: "It would be logical for Shanghai to buy the Rover name as they have aspirations to get into Europe, although how strong the name is after all the years in the mire is another matter.

"Rover is a global brand and the Chinese are obsessional about brands. It is a high price, but brands are worth a lot of money and take a long time to build up. This is a brand that is available and could kick start their plans to sell internationally."

14-08-2006, 10:41 AM
Thanks, Andy, that will explain the lack of news!

15-08-2006, 12:58 AM
sooo... are they still going to make MG saloons or what?

I wouldnt buy a Rover 75, but I might buy a ZT.

15-08-2006, 07:44 AM
SAIC have nothing to do with MG! Try and keep up, JC! :) SAIC bought the IPR to the Rover 25 and 75 before the collapse of MG Rover. Nanjing, now known as NAC-MG bought the assets of the company, ie. the factory equipment, and the names MG, Austin, Morris and Wolseley.

Rally Matt
15-08-2006, 09:10 AM
I think the Morris name is held in trust IIRC and was not part of the NAC deal. I think it still belongs to the Nuffield family.

15-08-2006, 09:47 AM
sooo.... Rover and MG are now no longer part of the same company yet both are going to be making new models???

That means there wont be any more ZT's :(

15-08-2006, 01:30 PM
We don't know about ZTs as yet, JC. Indeed, Rover and MG are separate companies which confuse the British press as no doubt they will continue to refer to MGs as Rovers!

However, NAC-MG's plans for Europe and the US initially centre around a re-worked TF (the level of re-work is not known) with TF roadsters built in Longbridge and TF coupes in Oklahoma. Prior to their press conference in July here in the UK, there had been some talk about assembling ZTs (or Z7s or whatever they planned to call them) here at Longbridge, too, but it is more likely that the saloons will be imported from China. NAC's main priority is to start building cars for the Eastern market and getting some money back from their investment. SAIC already has a headstart with it's 75 replacement with minor revisions and now also having secured the prestigious (in China) Rover brand will be starting to sell Rover 75s later this year.

In the meantime NAC-MG are yet to get moving although they did have the advantage of getting the assembly assets, they need to rework the ZR (or at least flog it to death in China in the short term) as well as the ZT and engineer a ZS model. The TF is really a foot in the door in the US and Europe for NAC-MG (which SAIC do not yet have) but it is never going to be a big money spinner for them IMHO as the main Far Eastern markets want saloons.

Rally Matt
15-08-2006, 01:59 PM
Not sure the TF is a foothold in the US as it was never federalised for sale in USA. That could take over 2 years by which time the competition will be way past. Maybe if they did produce TF in US they would be able to bypass some of the regulations.

16-08-2006, 08:54 AM
So the news may yet be premature...

Aug. 16, 2006, 12:58AM
SAIC Says No Deal Yet With BMW on Rover

© 2006 The Associated Press

SHANGHAI, China — German automaker BMW AG and Shanghai's SAIC Motor Corp. are discussing the possible sale of the Rover brand name to the Chinese car maker but have yet to strike a deal, spokesmen from both companies said Wednesday.
"We have been in touch with BMW all along but no final decision has been reached yet," Zhu Xiangjun, a spokesman for SAIC, said regarding reports that BMW had sold it the Rover brand name.
Asked if an announcement about such a deal was imminent, Zhu said, "No."
Rival Chinese automaker Nanjing Automobile Group bought Britain's bankrupt MG Rover last year, but SAIC owns the technology for two Rover models, the 25 and the 75. The Shanghai company says it plans to use that technology in its own models, which have not yet been launched.
The rights to the Rover brand name are still owned by former Rover owner BMW.
Ma Qingsheng, public relations manager at BMW China, said Wednesday he had no information that an agreement has been reached between BMW and SAIC. He said BMW was in talks with several companies including SAIC Motor.
State-owned SAIC, local partner of both General Motors Corp. and Volkswagen AG, has set up a new unit, SAIC Motor Manufacturing Co., to build its own-brand cars.
The Financial Times reported Wednesday that SAIC had bought rights to the Rover brand for just over 11 million British pounds (US$21 million; euro16.5 million).

16-08-2006, 09:26 AM
Link (http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/articlenews.aspx?type=motoringSummary&storyID=2006-08-16T074431Z_01_NOA627798_RTRUKOC_0_AUTOS-ROVER.xml) here.

BMW says no deal yet on selling Rover brand

Wed Aug 16, 2006 8:44 AM BSThttp://i.today.reuters.co.uk/images/spacer.gif
LONDON (Reuters) - BMW said on Wednesday it is still in talks to sell the Rover brand name to Chinese carmaker Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp (SAIC).
"Discussions are still going on so therefore the deal is not done yet," a BMW spokesman in Munich told Reuters.
The spokesman was responding to a report in Wednesday's Financial Times, which said BMW had agreed to sell the Rover brand name to SAIC.
The sale for 11 million pounds was expected to be completed in September, the newspaper said in its Wednesday edition, citing people close to the transaction.

SAIC bought design rights for some Rover cars from MG Rover before the firm collapsed under debts of 1.4 billion pounds last year, but BMW retained the Rover brand name.
China's Nanjing Auto, which bought MG Rover, had also been talking to BMW about getting the rights to the Rover brand.
Ford Motor Co has the right of first refusal to buy the Rover marque, but the paper said it was not expected to exercise this.
MG Rover's collapse led to 5,000 job losses at its main British plant.

16-08-2006, 09:51 AM
Fords 'first refusal' for the Rover name was to protect Land Rover. If rumours of them packaging Land Rover with Jaguar for disposal held any water it would explain why they don't want to spend the money on the Rover name.

Rally Matt
16-08-2006, 10:26 AM
Any potential buyer of Land Rover would want security in the Rover name so if Ford were looking at a LR sell off they would probably be advised to buy Rover name to prevent any deal falling apart.

In reality Ford are probably least likely to sell off Land Rover as its probably the best long term profit maker in the whole Ford empire. Its rock solid on reputation and is unique in the group, whereas some of its other brands cross over to the point of taking sales from their own group companies.

As the SAIC deal is not done, I wonder if someone else will drop in and spoil it for SAIC with a cheeky bid!

16-08-2006, 10:49 AM
What about if someone dropped in a cheaky bid, secured the name and then sold it to SAIC/NAC for a huge profit.

16-08-2006, 12:59 PM
Just as Tony says...

http://www.autowired.co.uk/images/news/Rover%20name%20badge%20Apr%2002.jpgFord holds the key to sale of Rover name

BMW INSISTED, yesterday, that discussions over the sale of the Rover brand name are still taking place and no deal has been done.

The comment was in response to reports yesterday that Shanghai Automotive Industries Corporation was buying the name (See yesterday's story : Has SAIC bought title to Rover name?).
BMW's reticence to comment further is thought to be because Ford has the first refusal to buy the name. Ford owns Land Rover and the American manufacturer would be concerned if the new owner of the Rover name was to produce a 4x4 under the Rover badge.
Until Ford approves (or otherwise) the sale of the Rover name, no deal can be completed. D A T E : Wednesday, August 16, 2006

16-08-2006, 08:01 PM
I wish Reuters would make up its mind:
3 hours ago, it posts this.
Link (http://motoring.reuters.co.uk/reuters/vocmain.jsp?lnk=101&id=1835&desc=Rover%20goes%20to%20Shanghai)

Rover goes to Shanghai
Wed 16 Aug, 2006, 16:32
The Rover brand name has been sold to SAIC (Shanghai Automotive) by BMW, according to a report in the Financial Times.
The price is thought to be £11 million, which is a small bonus to BMW: the asset will not have had any value in BMW's books. It does not clear up the mess between SAIC and Nanjing, though. SAIC now owns the intellectual property of the cars and the brand name, but Nanjing bought the actual tooling.
In theory SAIC could now go into production with a car called 'Rover 75', if it bought new tooling. Whether anyone in the west would want to buy it is another question.

16-08-2006, 08:10 PM

Chinese ready to roll out Rovers, MGs

James Mackintosh, London August 17, 2006

GERMAN car maker BMW has agreed to sell the Rover brand to Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp, completing the Chinese car maker's cut-price takeover of the failed British name.

SAIC has agreed to pay just over pound stg. 11 million ($27 million) for the name, according to people close to the transaction. Together with the pound stg. 67 million it paid for the design rights for several Rover cars, it gives the company everything it wanted at a fraction of the cost of the pound stg. 200 million deal it was discussing with MG Rover before the Birmingham car maker collapsed in April last year.
MG Rover went into administration with the loss of 6000 jobs after long-running rescue talks with SAIC failed.
The deal will pitch the MG and Rover names into competition for the first time in nearly 40 years, with the marques clashing in the unexpected territory of eastern China.
The MG badge was sold, together with rights to the MG range of cars and the factory in Birmingham, by administrators for pound stg. 53 million to China's Nanjing Automotive.
However, the sale is awaiting a final decision from Ford Motor, the US car maker that has a right of first refusal on the name.
It is not expected to take up its right, granted when it paid BMW pound stg. 3 billion for Land Rover in 2000, but Ford said it remained under consideration.
BMW said: "While an agreement has been reached, the completion of the sale is conditional upon whether or not Ford takes up its right to buy."
BMW refused to confirm the price tag.
The price reflects the high cost of setting up a new brand and the value car buyers attach to brand history, even though Rovers will be made in China by a Chinese company.
According to one person familiar with the sale, it is likely to be completed in September, allowing SAIC to put the Rover badge on Rover-designed cars that it will soon start building in China.
Under a condition put in place when Ford bought Land Rover, SAIC will not be able to put the Rover name on sport-utility vehicles, although it already controls Ssangyong, the South Korean 4WD specialist.
The rights to almost identical MG models are held by China's Nanjing Automobile, which plans to build cars in China under the MG name and restart Rover's former Birmingham factory for low-volume MG production.
MG and Rover were last in competition in 1968, before British Motor Holdings and Leyland Motor were merged to form the car behemoth British Leyland.
When it collapsed seven years later it was nationalised, and eventually sold off or shut down piece by piece, leaving Rover and MG owned by BAE, then BMW and eventually the Phoenix Four group of Midlands businessmen.

17-08-2006, 08:39 AM

BMW to sell Rover name to China

Mark Milner
Thursday August 17, 2006
The Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/)

BMW, the German carmaker, confirmed yesterday that it had agreed in principle to sell the Rover trade mark to the Chinese company Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation. The deal, which still has to be finalised, could be derailed by Ford, which still has first refusal on the Rover name after its acquisition of Land Rover from BMW in 2000. That agreement also includes tough restriction clauses preventing a buyer from using the Rover brand on off-road vehicles, to protect the Land Rover brand.

Yesterday a BMW spokesman said: "Agreement has been reached in principle with SAIC." He added the deal would depend on the reaction from Ford. It is believed that the Chinese have agreed to pay 11m for the Rover name.

"We have no plans ourselves to revive the Rover brand and always said we were happy to sell, provided Ford agrees," BMW said.
A Land Rover spokesman said the issue of the Rover trademark was still under consideration. Industry observers suggested Ford would have to decide whether to buy the brand or rely on the restrictions on its use in the deal with BMW, which would still apply to SAIC if it bought the name.
SAIC already owns the rights to Rover models, which it bought from the MG Rover group before it collapsed into administration last year. Following the demise of the UK carmaker, SAIC lost a battle with fellow Chinese automotive maker, Nanjing Automobile, for the equipment from the production lines at MG Rover's plant at Longbridge in the West Midlands.
SAIC is expected to begin producing cars using the Rover rights it already owns towards the end of this year. The Rover name dates back to the 1880s when it first appeared on a tricycle. A Rover motor cycle was produced in 1902 and the first Rover car two years later.

29-08-2006, 06:22 AM
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Top Chinese car maker SAIC Motor Corp has reached agreement to buy the rights to the Rover brand from Germany's BMW, state media said on Friday.
The deal, reportedly worth 11 million pounds, is subject to a decision by Ford, which bought the Land Rover brand from BMW in 2000 and has the first refusal on the Rover brand, the official China Daily said, citing BMW insiders.
SAIC executives declined to comment. The company already owns the design rights to two Rover models -- Rover 75 and Rover 25 -- which it bought from failed British car maker Rover last year.
BMW said on Tuesday that it had reached a "binding agreement" to sell the rights to the Rover brand, but did not name the new owner.

SAIC is now making self-developed cars based on the Rover platform, hoping to sell them one day to developed markets including Europe.

Link here (http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/articlenews.aspx?type=motoringNews&storyID=2006-08-25T082236Z_01_JON529951_RTRUKOC_0_AUTOS-CHINA-SAIC.xml) for text

19-09-2006, 12:43 AM
According to a source on China Car Forums, SAIC will now brand the cars as Dragon following the surprise last minute move by Ford to exercise its right to the Rover name.

19-09-2006, 02:44 AM
Sooo Saic have the rights to the old R75 model

NAC-MG have the tooling. Does this mean they can build ZT's and sell 'em?

19-09-2006, 10:42 AM
Apparently, not only will NAC-MG build new ZTs but they plan to build them in the UK, and rumoured to also have a V8 engine in the offing. Some are suggesting a mild conspiracy between Ford selling V8s to NAC-MG and then scuppering SAIC's plans buy whipping the Rover badge away!

SAIC are considered to be the villains - apart from sinking 56mill to get the IPR to the Rover models (not the MG variants or SV/TF) in 2004, they then bided their time until MG Rover folded in the hope of picking up all the tooling for a song. That was scuppered by Nanjing outbidding them. They then settled on getting the Rover badge for 11million off the other "villains", BMW, but that has now been scuppered by Ford. So end result, SAIC have now spent 56mill for the IPR, then invested in both new tooling and factories, and development work with Ricardo, to produce a new car with the pedigree of a badge that says Chinese, not British! It's a shame really!

In the meantime we wait and see what either Ford will do with the Rover badge (some hope let it die peacefully) and what NAC-MG will do to launch the Modern Gentlemen in a rickshaw on an unsuspecting global market! Remember, for the US, the last time they saw a new MG in the showroom was 1980.

19-09-2006, 10:57 AM
Will RML add to the pot by launching revamped versions of the X-Power SV? :lol:

19-09-2006, 02:26 PM
Xpower SV? No doubt some crackpot will be along shortly to say he is in discussion to restyle it and dredge up some long forgotten British name and will sell these for 450k whilst conning some local council into a few grants before disappearing into the murky depths again!

19-09-2006, 02:42 PM
You mean like this... ?


Just without the British branding!

19-09-2006, 02:54 PM
Hey I like the look of that... :)

I want an SV!!

19-09-2006, 03:47 PM
Whats that a picture of GT?

19-09-2006, 03:54 PM
Subaru P2 - a Peter Stevens (designer of the MG SV) concept.

Rally Matt
19-09-2006, 05:20 PM
I wouldn't be surprised if Ford didn't utilise the Rover name in the near future. They still need an upmarket brand to sit above Ford and below AM. Mazda is still too bread and butter, Volvo is still seen as quirky brand that has a very specific market (personally I really rate Volvos now and they justify better reveiws)

Jaguar was supposed to take the mid to upper excecutive sector but the models have performed badly sales wise and image is poor across mainland Europe, however despite the troubles for MGR, the Rover name still has some appeal. If Ford used their resources to revive Rover like they have done with their other PAG brands then the Rover name would sit well on luxury Fords without treading on the toes of an improved Jaguar range.

There would be a certain irony in it as Ford turned down the gift of BL years ago when it was offered it by the Govt to take it off their hands! Now it has most of the old BL group!

19-09-2006, 10:49 PM
There would be a certain irony in it as Ford turned down the gift of BL years ago when it was offered it by the Govt to take it off their hands! Now it has most of the old BL group!

It seems the chinese have a lot to learn from ford about biding their time then!

Rally Matt
20-09-2006, 09:55 AM
No wonder Ford loose so much money, they could have all BL for nothing and a big fat pay out to go with it!

They have paid hansomely since with the purchase of Jaguar, Land Rover and now the Rover brand! Someone is bound to know what it all adds upto, wasnt LR 1.2Bn?

20-09-2006, 03:24 PM
From Reuters (http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/articlenews.aspx?type=motoringNews&storyID=2006-09-20T073614Z_01_NOA845206_RTRUKOC_0_AUTOS-FORD-ROVER.xml)

By Fang Yan
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Ford's decision to buy the Rover brand from its German owner has dealt a blow to the global ambitions of China's biggest car maker, SAIC Motor Corp., analysts said on Wednesday.
Last year, SAIC bought technology for the Rover 75 and Rover 25 platforms from failed car maker MG Rover, and it had expressed interest in obtaining rights to the brand from BMW, as part of its efforts to go global.

SAIC has earmarked $1.71 billion (910 million pounds) to develop and sell its own-brand cars based partly on the Rover technology, targeting both domestic and overseas markets including Europe.

But Ford, which bought Land Rover from BMW in 2000 and had the right to buy the Rover brand name, announced on Tuesday it would exercise that right.
"That adds uncertainty to SAIC's overseas sales plan," said a senior analyst with a major domestic brokerage in Shanghai.
Shares of SAIC's listed unit Shanghai Automotive Co. fell 1.67 percent to 5.31 yuan on Wednesday, in a slightly lower overall stock market.
SAIC's failure to obtain the Rover brand by no means dooms its overseas expansion plans, analysts said. The company's Chinese joint ventures with General Motors and Volkswagen are performing well, and SAIC said this week that its first own-brand car would roll off the assembly line on November 28.
SAIC executives could not be reached for comment, but the China Business News quoted a brief company statement as saying the company would "stick to its current brand strategy".
However, without a well-known brand to use, SAIC will at the very least have to work harder and spend more money on advertising and promotions to establish a name for its cars abroad, analysts said.
That could slow SAIC's expansion into Europe. Company executives told Reuters in April that they would set up a sales company in Europe next year, and sell an annual 45,000 of its self-developed cars overseas by 2010.

Reuters 2006. All Rights Reserved.

20-09-2006, 03:35 PM

China's SAIC to launch Rover-based SAIC-branded car by yrend
BEIJING (XFN-ASIA) - Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp (SAIC) plans to launch its first SAIC-branded car based on Rover technology by the end of the year, the company said.

The company announcement followed news that Ford Motor Co bought the Rover name from BMW AG for six mln stg.

The car was 'developed by our R&D team in Europe, based on the complete copyrights of the Rover 75 model,' SAIC said.

The Chinese automaker said it will announce the model name next month.

SAIC, which has joint ventures with General Motors and Volkswagen, currently produce sedans mainly under the brands of its foreign partners.

State media reported earlier this year that the Chinese automaker intended to pay about 11 mln stg for the Rover brand.

Ford bought Land Rover from BMW in 2000 as well as an option to acquire the Rover brand name.

SAIC still controls the intellectual property rights to two Rover models - the 25 and 75, though it lost to rival Nanjing Automobile Group to acquire the UK's MG Rover Group Ltd last year.


20-09-2006, 05:18 PM
If Ford used their resources to revive Rover like they have done with their other PAG brands then the Rover name would sit well on luxury Fords without treading on the toes of an improved Jaguar range.

Only if they do it in 20 years time.

Rally Matt
20-09-2006, 06:04 PM
Who opened the box?

20-09-2006, 11:15 PM
I have to admit to having a quiet chuckle when I read that Ford were going to take up the option on the Rover name.

So much for Rothschilds advice to SAIC to let MGR die and pick up the bits cheaper. As far as I can tell they've got nothing since the company went under.

20-09-2006, 11:24 PM

So much for Rothschilds advice to SAIC to let MGR die and pick up the bits cheaper. As far as I can tell they've got nothing since the company went under.

Except for about a 150 ex MG _Rover Staff via the Ricardo venture - an awful lot of whom were indirectly or directly responsible for the Zed range etc being out on the road

21-09-2006, 12:12 AM
September 18, 2006
Ford buys Rover - Top Gear clicky (http://www.topgear.com/content/news/stories/1101/)

21-09-2006, 06:52 PM
I want an SV!!

I have read somewhere ;) that an owner is trying to sell a SV for 35K.

22-09-2006, 12:25 PM
I have read somewhere ;) that an owner is trying to sell a SV for 35K.

Gee... If I didn't have the family and need the extra seats I'd buy that as a daily commuter :lol:

On the other hand, if its still for sale when I have the money required I'll snap it up :) (got 5k if the owner wants rid quick:lol2:)

King Minger
22-09-2006, 12:59 PM
BBC follow up to ford buying Rover name
Clicky (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/5359888.stm)

"Ford, for instance, starts its car names with F - Fusion, Focus"
and ....errr.... Mondeo....Mustang....Taurus... Crown Victoria

22-09-2006, 01:06 PM
Another blunder...

When MG Rover collapsed, BMW sold the Longbridge factory, machinery and rights to make the many of the firm's other cars - the Wolseley, Sprite, Austin Healey and Vanden Plas - to Chinese car company Nanjing Automobile.

How long before the collapse did BMW own anything of Longbridge?

King Minger
22-09-2006, 01:53 PM
what a quality piece of journalism.....:lol3:

22-09-2006, 03:32 PM
I think someone pointed out the error Tony because it now reads

When MG Rover collapsed, the Longbridge factory, machinery and rights to make many other car names - the Wolseley, Sprite and Vanden Plas - went through the administrators to Chinese car company Nanjing Automobile.

22-09-2006, 03:34 PM
The least they could do is correct such a blundering error. It shouldn't have been there in the first place though. Just goes to show how much research the writer did and how little they had followed the story.