Letter: The car business: company history, Japanese honour, German priorities, British nostalgia

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The Independent Online
Sir: There is a certain irony to the takeover of Rover Group by BMW, in that the German company began life making a British-designed Austin 7, known as the 'Dixi', under licence. Austin became part of the combine that is now known as Rover, and in time things have turned full-circle.

Since this latest deal has been made public, there has been much historical re-analysis of the mistakes made at all levels in the UK motor industry over the past 40 years. We should stop looking to the past and react positively in welcoming this development.

Engineering and manufacturing industry can only survive by looking forward. This includes closer collaboration, the sharing of technology, etc, within Europe or further afield - as has been the case between Rover and Honda. Nostalgia can be a useful marketing tool for a product with 'heritage' appeal, but regrets and recriminations never sold anything.

Yours faithfully,


Leamington Spa,


31 January