Rover is Officially Over

The former owner and manufacturer of the MINI is no more. Here’s the latest from Autocar:

At 10.52am today, Friday 15 April, it was all over for MG Rover. That was when the company’s administrator, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), announced that SAIC (Shanghai Automotive Industries Corporation) had indicated ‘that they are not willing to acquire either the whole or part of the business on a going concern basis,’ according to

…While it is possible that at some point, MGs will go into production again, because the brand still has considerable value, it is highly unlikely that Rover production will restart in the UK. If SAIC wants to use the badge for cars built in China, it would have to do a deal with BMW, which owns the brand name.

The closure of Longbridge brings to an end the long decline of British Leyland, the vast conglomerate formed of Austin, Morris, MG, Jaguar, Rover and Triumph – as well as numerous truck and bus companies – in 1968 with the encouragement of the then Labour government. Jaguar and Land Rover survive at Ford, and a kernel of Austin-Morris lives on with BMW’s Mini, but last week the heart of BL finally died.

[ All over for Rover ] Autocar

Not much more to say folks. It’s a sad day for the British auto industry, it’s workers, and it’s supporters. Time to raise a pint to the hundred years of history that has come to an end.

  • Ron

    The very first car that I ever purchased brand new was a ’77 MGB. Something extra special about your first new car. So today’s kinda sad.

    Plus, I owe US Gov. a lot of money for last year’s taxes and I just mailed the check.

  • Michael Burchill

    …I still have a monkey wrench from my dad’s ’47 Rover… ‘Tis a sad day indeed.

      • m
  • Timothy Sipples

    This sad event may have an impact on the UK general election coming up early next month.

  • RB

    It’s sad for the 5000+ employees. I don’t understand how the Pound stays so strong?

  • petsounds

    The first car that excited me was my uncle’s 70’s MGB GT roadster. I was around six years-old and I couldn’t even pronounce the name..I kept saying MGBGBGBBT. But I knew that whatever it was called, it was a blast going around corners as I made a “screeeeech” sound emulating the tires. It probably cemented my enthusiasm for small, fast cars.

    RB – Isn’t the Pound still tied to physical Gold bullion?

  • RB

    I don’t know, but that could be so.

  • Ian

    [English economy] There’s also the fact that other British based car companies are successful (mentioned here) and other businesses do well too – England is still a world financial centre too. And of course the pound is good against the dollar (because the dollar is weak) but it is not sooo good against all currencies (0.68 against Euro, down from nearly 0.71 last December)

    Sorry. Way off-topic.

    Very sad for all their ex-employees.

  • jake

    I am assuming that triumph cars and triumph motorcycles are different companies? I hope so at least

  • David

    I have a new MINI, but my ’61 MGA came closer to perfection in automotive styling than any other car I’ve owned. I’ve just never seen a car with lines I like any better.

    Maybe BMW will do a revival of the MGA as brilliant as what they’ve done with the MINI. Now, THAT’d be a two-seater worth the hassle!

  • DanTheMan

    Yes a sad day. I worked for them for 5 years designing cars in the mid-80s when they had a bit of a resurgence. I remember at one point we had 200 of these ( on the lot behind the design office that were built as Rally group B homologation specials.

    A wicked fast car. You could probably consider them the MINI’s second cousin.

  • John

    My father’s first love was an MG TC. My first love was (honestly) a 1980 Rover 3500. I loved going to the British Leyland dealer. Anyway, the most important thing right now are the employees and their families

  • Michael

    I am proud to say I have two cars in the garage – an ’05 MCS and a ’62 Triumph TR4. And I did raise a pint today.

    Sorry to see the end of the empire.

  • Nathaniel Salzman

    Here Here!

    My dad’s ’69 MGB GT is to this day my favorite car on the planet. Testament to great little brittish cars and dad’s remarkable mechanical abilities since he still drives it to work every day 36 years after he bought it.

    Hope everybody lands on their feet.

  • RB

    Thanks Ian………RB

  • Randall

    re: Triumph….Triumph bikes are still in production – different owner entirely. Triumph cars survived in name only producing some Honda knock-offs (rebadged saloons) til the mid 80’s if memory serves correct. I think it’s safe to say that the last ‘real’ Triumphs ended production in 1982 (??) with the last of the TR7s and TR8s.

    I had a 1980 TR8 drophead – wonderful car with that great 3.5 litre V8.

  • Timothy Sipples

    A little perspective: British sportscar manufacturing is still alive and well — and more accessible to U.S. enthusiasts now. Lotus is back — Elises are trickling across the pond. So is Morgan. (Morgan should deliver some cars to the USA in 2005, and they have two models available for order.)

    You’d be lucky if 1 in 1000 Americans know what the hell you’re driving if you’re behind the wheel of any of these cars.

    MG Rover is in bankruptcy, which means it’ll get sold to the highest bidders. The MG marque is very valuable, and there’s still a possibility that a true British heritage MG will survive, perhaps with an Asian firesale capital infusion. Longbridge’s future is rather dim, however.