BMW AG may have agreed to sell the rights to use the Rover name to Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp.
Great Britain's Birmingham Post reported on Saturday, Aug. 12, that Shanghai Automotive will pay BMW about $21.7 million to use the Rover name on its version of the Rover 75 sedan. Shanghai Automotive was the losing bidder last year in a protracted battle with rival Nanjing Automobile for the remains of MG Rover, which went bust in April 2005.
Nanjing paid about $92 million for the company and bought the production tooling for the Rover's powertrains, the MG TF sports car and the famed MG brand. Shanghai Automotive, which had been working with MG Rover, owned the property rights and designs for the Rover 75.
The newspaper said a new Rover badge has been designed, and a press conference announcing the deal with BMW is scheduled for Aug. 22. The first Chinese-made Rovers have been testing in Europe and China and are scheduled to go on sale in China and eventually Europe in 2007 or early 2008.
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