The top stories from Automotive News Europes May 8, 2000, issue – and how they developed.
BMW races to sell Rover
BMW faces a long and potentially very expensive legal fight with dealers if it fails to secure a buyer for Rover.
Rover dealers in the UK and continental Europe have hired lawyers in the event that the proposed sale of Rover to the Phoenix consortium falls through. BMW is expected to keep its promise to shut Rover down if no buyer is found. The Phoenix bid is being led by ex-Rover chief, John Towers.
BMW sold Rover to Phoenix for £10 later that month. Phoenix also got the MG brand. The carmaker couldnt make it, collapsing last month. Administrators are taking offers for pieces of the business.
Renault starts Samsung rescue
Renault has a lot to do to put newly acquired Samsung Motors back to work. Production at the $2.5 billion greenfield plant in Pusan, South Korea, which has capacity of 240,000 units a year, plunged to 13,700 in 1999, from 41,600 in the peak year of 1998. Market share has slid from 4 percent in 1998 to less than 1 percent this year.
Samsung posted a net profit of 7.8 billion won (E6.05 million) in 2004, its third consecutive profitable year. It aims to sell 105,000 cars this year, up 23.3 percent from 2004 because of the arrival of the brands first large sedan, the SM7.