German Press: BMW Considering Sale, Partner For Rover

HAMBURG: German carmaker BMW is planning radical steps to solve the problems with its troubled UK unit Rover, an advance release of a report in German news magazine Stern says. Options being considered are the sale of Rover Cars (but not of Land Rover) or finding a new partner for Rover, the magazine reports. Stern says BMW has called a meeting of employee council representatives this weekend to discuss plans for Rover. It says sales forecasts of Rover's new Rover 75 mid-class model have been "drastically" corrected downwards. Options being considered include the sale of Rover Cars, with BMW possibly retaining the profitable Land Rover unit, or finding a partner. Rover's problems are so large that major stockholder the Quandt family could sell its 45.6% BMW stake in the short term, Stern adds. The magazine said Ford, Toyota, and Volkswagen would be interested in a purchase if the family decides to sell.

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