Sunday, April 17, 2005
I’ve been contemplating the demise of MG/Rover. The almost certain final curtain for the last volume produced British car manufacturer is very sad. Not only will two more great automotive marques be lost but possibly tens of thousands of jobs around the country will disappear causing misery and hardship. A sorry situation indeed. I can’t help feeling that if Rover hadn’t greedily sold its soul to BMW in 1994, burning bridges with long time ( and deep pocketed) partner, Honda, in the process, things would have been different. BMW treacherously asset stripped Rover and despite a valiant attempt by the Phoenix group to take control of the company in 2000, there was never enough capitalization to produce the necessary new models.
Rather than rant on about the pros and cons of Government bail outs, I’ll leave you with a photo of the lovely old Rover 100 owned by my Dad. It was a 1961 model and quite gorgeous. It had a classic English interior –all leather and polished wood. I tried to get my hands on it at every available opportunity and drove it in a highly undignified manner (sorry, Dad). Fortunately it was as tough as a tank and withstood the hooligan tendencies of young driver without mechanical complaint. The car was in the family for nearly 20 years and was ultimately sold by my Mother in the late 1980s to a young fellow working for the BBC.
They don’t make ‘em like that anymore.