Work on a new Range Rover has come full circle. Because Ford Motor Co.'s Premier Automotive Group is taking over the work so late in the development cycle, Ford essentially will buy the new Range Rover from BMW. That means Wolfgang Reitzle, chairman of the Premier Group, will be back working - albeit indirectly - with the engineering team he assembled while at the German automaker. Reitzle left his post as BMW product development chief after a stormy boardroom session last year. He was quickly hired by Ford, which bought Land Rover this spring.
Work on the new Range Rover, scheduled to launch in 2002, gradually will be transferred to Land Rover Ltd.'s Gaydon technical center in the English Midlands. 'I was away from the project for only a year,' Reitzle said. 'Now I get it back.'