Ford to buy Rover name from BMW

Business Materials 19 September 2006 16:40 (UTC +04:00)

(autoinsidernews) - Ford has announced that it will exercise its right to acquire the Rover brand name from BMW.

We feel it is in interests of our Land Rover business to have the Rover brand, a spokesman for Ford's Premier Automotive Group said on Monday, reports Trend.

When Ford purchased Land Rover from BMW in 2000, it also had the right to buy the Rover name if BMW ever elected to sell it. When BMW said it had agreed to sell the Rover name to Chinese automaker Shanghai Automotive in late August, Ford was given 90 days to intervene and make the acquisition itself.

Most industry observers didn't expect Ford to buy the brand, but the company said it did so in part to protect the Land Rover name. Ford has said it does not intend to resell the brand and said it believes it is a valuable asset.

We doubt Ford has plans to do anything with the Rover brand name, expect put it on the shelf and ignore it. We assume that Ford bought the name to protect the prestige of the Land Rover brand, which could be threatened by Chinese-built cars with the Rover name.