LONDON - Rover Group has a new mission as it rolls out its fresh models this year: Keep the focus on the products.
Rover is determined to avoid a repeat of the fiasco at last year's Birmingham show, where former BMW chief Bernd Pischetsrieder's lengthy speech about Rover's problems overshadowed the launch of the 75.
The new mission was accomplished at the London auto show in October with the help of Kate Moss and a collection of other models who strode around the stage. The new Rover 25 and 45 made their worldwide debuts in London.
Rover Chairman and BMW board member Werner Samann was not present for the introduction of the new cars. He was at the Tokyo show instead, introducing the Rover 75 to the Japanese market. So the honor of taking the wraps off the latest models fell to Heinrich Heitmann, member of the BMW board of management for sales and marketing.
Rover also showed the public a new edition of the Rover 75 known as the Classic. The Classic, a lower-priced version of the 75, is available with four engines. Prices range from $29,362 for a 1.8-liter gasoline engine version to $35,762 for the 2.5-liter Classic SE.