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New Small Rover To Be Built in India

Fri, 20 Dec 2002
MG Rover has today announced that it will launch a new small Rover car in 2003 based on the Tata Indica platform first seen at the Barcelona Motor Show in 1999. The new car will be built "to MG Rover's design and engineering standards" in India, by Tata Engineering, at its Pune factory. It will be sold throughout the UK and Continental Europe by MG Rover's dealer network.

Tata is a major conglomerate, based in India. Its diversified interests include steel, communications, consumer products, chemicals, hospitality and IT as well as automotive production. The $9 billion group comprises 80 companies and has about 225,000 employees.

Some questions and answers

Q. Why is the car being made in India?
A. It is the most cost effective way of making the car. The new small Rover is derived from the Tata Indica, a small car which is already in production, in India. The Indica has been extremely successful in India in the face of direct competition from some of the major international automakers. Indicas are also being exported to Europe already.

Q. Did you consider making the car in the UK?
A. In the current economic climate, given the strength of the Pound, it would not be possible to make such a car in a profitable manner, in the UK.

Q. How different will the new small Rover be to the Indica?
A. The Indica is a well-designed car and there is little need to make major changes. However it will be modified to better suit Rover customers needs.

Q. What is the nature of your relationship with Tata/any partnership?
A. We simply have a manufacturing and supply contract with Tata to make a small Rover car.

Q. Has Tata replaced China Brilliance?
A. No. There is no link between our relationship with Tata and CBIH.

Q. In which countries will you sell/are allowed to sell the new car?
A. We will sell the new small Rover through [all] our existing UK and European dealers.

Q. Who will own IPR on the new Rover?
A. MG Rover will own the IPR on the modifications it makes to the car, in order to create a new small Rover.

Q. Is it possible to replace the R25 with this new car?
A. It is too early for talk of the replacement to the R25. (If pressed.. we have many options but we are not considering using the Indica platform to replace the R25.)


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