New 200 vital to success in toughest market
Thursday 19 October 1995
The company brought forward the launch of the 200 series to the London Motor Show amid concern about flagging sales and reports that its German owner, BMW, had lost patience with Rover's performance.
The 200, the last car to be developed under Rover's collaboration with Japan's Honda, replaces the stale Rover 200 hatchback. With modern, youthful styling the success of the new-look car is vital for Rover's success in Europe's biggest and most competitive sector - the small family car market.
The 200 series goes on sale in December at between pounds 10,000 and pounds 16,000. With the new 400 series five-door launched this year, and the 400 saloon also being unveiled at the show, Rover has never been so strong in the mid car market.
Its chief executive, John Towers, said: "This is our strongest presence in the medium sector. Within 12 months we have transformed our range." The 200 comes with a 1.4 and 1.6 litre engine, and also with the 1.8 litre engine recently launched in the Rover MGF, the revived classic roadster that has been the talk of the motor industry.
The MGF, launched at the Geneva Motor Show in March, also gets its first UK viewing today, though it too faces intense competition in a crowded sports car market.
Fiat's Barchetta and Alfa Romeo's Spyder both make their UK debuts, as does the long-awaited Lotus Elise lightweight racer, retailing at just pounds 20,000.
Rover, despite its investments in marques, faces a tough task. The company's UK market share has fallen from 12.4 per cent to 11.3 per cent in the first nine months of this year, and the company has done little better in continental Europe.
Rover is untroubled by the fall, arguing that it expects to lose market share as its models go upmarket. Whether that strategy works depends on the public's reaction to what is on offer at today's show.
- 2 Rihanna 'nude pictures' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
- 3 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 4 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 5 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Rihanna 'nude pictures' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
Jennifer Lawrence: Leaked 4Chan sex video branded 'fake' by users
Jennifer Lawrence 'naked sex video' will be leaked next, threatens 4Chan celebrity photo hacker
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
iJobs Money & Business
£65000 Per Annum Benefits + bonus: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: If you are...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40000: SThree: As a Recruitment Consultant, y...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...