Ryland plays down impact of BMW boycott

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The Independent Online

Ryland, the car retailer, said yesterday that BMW's decision to sell its loss-making Rover subsidiary would have little effect on its business, describing the German car giant as a "significant UK employer and investor".

"BMW's decisions over Rover should have little long-term impact on Ryland. At both our Rover businesses we have attractive franchise options should these prove necessary," Ryland's chairman, Peter Whale, told the annual meeting.

Ryland is the main supplier of BMW cars in the West Midlands, where Rover's Longbridge plant is situated. Mr Whale said although Ryland anticipated a setback in trade as a result of local animosity towards the BMW marque, the firm expected sales of BMW cars to pick up again "once a Rover succession plan is implemented".

Separately, Ryland welcomed the Government's report into car prices, which stated that prices were at least 10 per cent too high and steps would be taken to cut them.Its shares fell 1.5p to end at 42p.