Ford to gain Rover trademark

19-09-2006

US car giant Ford has said it will buy the Rover trademark from BMW, its German owners.

Ford, which already owns Land Rover, said it wanted to exercise its right to acquire the Rover name.

BMW gave Ford a first refusal to acquire the trademark when it sold the Longbridge operation in 2000.

The trademark was not included in sell-off of Rover to Chinese firm Nanjing Automobile.

In a statement, Ford said: "We believed then as we do now that it is in the interests of the Land Rover business to own the Rover trademark.

"We have today informed BMW of our desire to exercise this right to acquire the Rover trademark."

Earlier reports had suggested that Chinese carmaker Shanghai Automotive had agreed to buy the brand name.

Any potential restarting of Rover car production in Britain depends upon the stance of Nanjing, which owns the design rights.

Ford, which made a $1.4 billion (£0.74 billion) loss in the first half of the year, recently revealed plans to axe 10,000 jobs as part of its root-and-branch restructuring plans.


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