Re: OT - Rover dead - no tears

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A tentative BMW connection, but shouldn't this be in alt.autos.rover? Also, it's preferable to post the link to the story with perhaps a short summary, rather than both the link *and* the story. You'll see why when someone replies without snipping. ::sigh:: Oh, and tut tut for all that white space. :-|
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Actually there is a very strong BMW connection and pertinent to those of us who are interested in not only BMW cars but BMW as a company. Particularly given that Rover ultimately cost the company billions, caused them to rid themselves of certain upper management and laid the groundwork for BMW's current global strategies (building small sedans hatches and SUV's like the 1 Series and X3 under the BMW banner, rather than reaching for that market share under a separate company and different moniker).
Thanks Dori, I for one enjoyed seeing what the British press had to say about Rover and it's demise.
And I didn't mind you copying it here rather than including a link.
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You're welcome, Daniel. (I did post a link in the OP, but I always post the text as well in case somebody has access problems.)
Fortunately volume car manufacturing is in quite a healthy shape in the UK and specialist car design is thriving (just about all F1 originates here; even some Indy cars...), as well as the little manufacturers like Morgan, Caterham et al.
DAS
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Don't for get TVR and Lotus... have you seen what that Russian guy is doing to the new TVRs!
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I don't subscribe to a Rover newsgroup, I am not interested in Rover cars, I am fed up with how much (tax) money I have poured into that company. There is a strong link with BMW, given how much money BMW sunk in and what they took with them (notably Mini), and there have been discussions on this before here.
I posted the link, and I gave the full text for those that have access problems (which have been reported in the past).
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So find a uk political or economic NG in which to post. Or better still, demand a refund from Tony Blair; I'm sure he'll care about your whinging as much as the average subscriber here.

And the last Rover-related thread was started by whom?
So BMW once owned Rover. Big deal. If there are Rover owners that subscribe to this group specifically to read Rover-related postings I can see the validity. But this still comes back to my original comment that an article about Rover should be posted in alt.autos.rover. Rover owners are far more likely to hang out there don't you think?

I'm not sure what you mean by access problems, but I'll concede that point, as you were doing a public service.
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Does being an anal-retentive wanker come naturally, or do you need to work at it Neil?

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<snip>
Let's not forget though that BMW "got into" car production by "borrowing" a design from Austin of England (who later became a part of what we eventually called Rover) and changing bits here and there. The car design borrowed was the Austin 7. The same "copying trick" was also carried out by Jaguar, Jensen, Daihatsu and no doubt many others. So you see, there is a link to Rovers that is applicable in a BMW newsgroup. Austin is BMW's historical ancestor, and part of it's heritage - like it or not! Badger.
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The track on my BMW is 4' 8.5" - should they be paying royalties to the Stephensons (or the Romans even)? Austin "borrowed" front wheel drive from Citroen and synchromesh from Porsche (although they may have paid some royalties through the military occupation authorities).
The reality is that car design evolves, and Rover didn't evolve fast enough.
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I think the contention is that Rover and BMW have a strong connection and that it is reasonable to discuss Rover in a BMW newsgroup. This does not at all negate your point. In fact, your last comment is also apposite.
There were a number of reasons why BMW wanted to acquire Rover and why (some of) the management was loath to give it up, even when the writing was on the wall.
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BMC FWD (Mini - etc) wasn't the same as Citroen. It used constant velocity driveshaft outer couplings.

The first Mini didn't have baulk ring synchro. Even although some BMC gearboxes had had it 5 years earlier.

It suffered from the British disease of paying the shareholders too much at all times thus starving investment when needed.
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Tasten:

AFAIK BMW did not "borrow" the design of the Austin 7 ("borrow" in the sense of copying a technical layout without permission), but they bought a license and paid fees for it. After WW II they did the same with italian microcar maker ISO. ISO, who originally was in the refrigerator business, had a small three wheeler, which was the source for the Isetta. Although the BMW Isetta was deeply modified against its ISO predecesor, BMW bought a license. IIRC the Dixi (the car BMW made from the Austin layout) was not sold under the brand name BMW. A later, modified Dixi was the first genuine BMW car.
Before WW II BMW sold some licenses to bristol, where they built a modified 328 engine.
AFAIK the main reasion for BMW to buy Rover and Land Rover was the assumption that the brand BMW would not be flexible enough to sell cars in the Golf class and SUVs with propeller logo. Well, X3 and X5 are selling like hell, but I do not know if the 1- series will be an enduring success.
Frank
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haute in die

Hence my use of the inverted commas.

And the engine that we refer to as the Rover V8 was derived from a GM (Buick) design, that in turn was a "copy" of a BMW engine of the time!! Strange how these things go around.

I like the 1 series and wish it every success, but BMW's logic behind purchasing rover was quite simply to gain access to the 4wd technology. Badger.
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Tasten:

I doubt that. If you are a technology company and hold shares of Magna Steyr, one of the leading 4WD component suppliers of the world, and you have enough money to buy some Range Rovers and take them apart for evaluation, you do not need to buy the entire Rover group;-) IIRC the current Range Rover was developed mainly in Munich and Austria. And the current X-models do not carry Rover genes.
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Eh? Have you some documentation to support this? I've got a Vitesse, and have several books about the Buick/Rover V8, and have never read this.
BMW were advocates of OHC engines. Strange they should revert to a pushrod design?
Rover at that time were a pretty small car maker in global terms. Their own large engines were getting very long in the tooth. It made sense for them to buy in a good design which wasn't suited to mass production in US terms, but well suited to their production requirements.

Can't really see this. The Range Rover may have been the first AWD of that type to use a centre differential, but Jenson used the idea much earlier in an upmarket GT car. Harry Ferguson IIRC had the patent.
I think they just wanted a few well known brands. But after buying the Rover group at a knock down price discovered that it just wasn't practical to modernise it - despite making a fair fist of trying, and spending a great deal of money in the process. The Rover 75 is an excellent car. But to fund the replacement of the smaller Honda based models was simply beyond them.
So to avoid being accused of asset stripping, they sold Land Rover to Ford to recover some of their money, kept the Mini brand (and made their version in the UK) then passed on the rest to Mayflower for nothing but included a large dowry to the amount they'd have had to pay out in redundancies.
I think they acted very honourably.
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I finally looked at alt.autos.rover and there is a thread about this, where a couple of people make some serious allegations about BMW behaviour.
I know too little about the detail but some remarks at least seem off the wall.
I accidentally deleted all threads before 21 Apr and I cannot remember the name. However, there are (to me) surprisingly few threads discussing this problem but I guess there isn't so much to say that can't be said in one thread.
You don't want to have a look?
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wrote:

Dave, sorry I can't remember what the book was that I read it in, it was a book I was browsing through in the Haynes museum shop at Sparkford about 2 years ago.

As far as I can remember, the book made mention of an experimental engine that never made it into production, but the slightly later (couple of years, just) buick ally v8 bore more than a passing resemblance to it.

True.
Yes, the old Formula Ferguson system. Landrover did produce a rangerover with that system fitted for a very short while (in the late 70's, I believe), with a rather crude abs system integrated into it. It wasn't a success, and they dropped it rather quickly.

Quite possibly, at least that's the version I feel they'd rather we all believe, whether correct or not.

I think personally they were caught between a rock and a hard place with no easy way out. Badger.
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Try googling "oldsmobile v8 rover". The 5th or so reference with title "Olds FAQ -- Jetfire" which links to http://www.442.com/oldsfaq/ofjet.htm has a nice precis.
Floyd
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Possibly, but makes no mention of a BMW connection.
It's also full of inaccuracies about the UK connection.
Just two examples. They said it was bought by British Leyland. It wasn't - it was bought by Rover when still an independant company. Rover later became part of Leyland.
They said it was fitted to the MG B which became the MG C. The MG C was an earlier vehicle fitted with if you want the Austin Healey 3 litre 6. An extremely heavy cast iron donk which spoiled the handling. There was, however, an MG B V8.
*The* bible on the subject of the UK version of the engine and the quirky way it was acquired is David Hardcastle's The Rover V8 Engine.
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If you consider that BMW lost billions on rover, one ends up understanding that the jobs people had for the extra 5 or 6 years was almost totally enabled by that acceptance of loss and infusion of capital. I think the reality is that rover would have been gone a lot sooner had BMW never bought in to it.
Whether one considers their departure honorable or not, I think the truth is that while there, they behaved in a fashion that allowed people to work for a longer period on the Rover dole than would have otherwise been possible (unless there was another well-heeled suitor I am not aware of)
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