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Ford to take on Rover as MG rises again

The former head of the MG Rover dealer council says retailers will welcome the brand’s re-birth, providing it doesn’t pose a liability.

Richard Cort’s remarks follow revelations by Duke Hale, the head of MG Cars North America/Europe, that he will build a 90-strong UK dealer network to sell the TF Roadster.

Days later, Ford revealed it is taking up an option to buy the Rover brand from BMW. It says it is not ready to say what it will do with the Rover name; however, the measure protects its Land Rover business and blocks Rover from being sold to a Chinese carmaker.

Cort says he has yet to be approached by MG, but would welcome discussions with Hale. He adds: “Its appeal depends on the model line up and cost to the franchise.

"I think all dealers would welcome a profit opportunity, but not a liability. But before we know details of the financial commitment or tooling situation, for example, it is difficult to make a full informed decision.”

The TF Roadster is due to go on sale first in the UK, and then in the rest of Europe in the first or second quarter of 2007.

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