AM Online

BMW open to talks on Rover brand

BMW has said it would be open to talks over granting the future use of the Rover brand to other rivals after the firm called in the administrators last week.

"If an interested party came to us, then we'd have to talk about it, but at the moment this is not even an issue nor are there any discussions being held," a company spokesman said.

MG Rover acquired a license to use the Rover brand name from BMW when Phoenix Venture Holdings was sold in 2000 for £10.

The British carmaker collapsed last week after failing to agree a rescue deal with China's Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. Its licence to use the Rover brand would expire automatically if the company became insolvent.

When asked whether BMW would also consider selling the Rover brand rights should an interested party emerge, the BMW spokesman said "we'd have to see".

SAIC already owns the intellectual property rights to build some Rover models, including the BMW-developed Rover 75, but cannot market them under the Rover nameplate.

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