Rover Group’s marketing chief Tom Purves has shelved plans to market its
cars through a chain of shops and is preparing for a major shift in
strategy which will see its cars advertised as a uniquely British
The BMW-owned company also rejected the possibility of reviving classic
brands, such as the Humber, seen by some industry analysts as Rover’s
only hope of adding a premium to its cars.
The decision to concentrate on Rover’s existing dealer network and focus
on the core Rover brand is the first result of an internal review of the
company’s sales and marketing strategy, carried out by Purves, who came
from BMW (GB), where he was managing director, three months ago.
Before he joined, Rover had planned to launch a chain of shops to market
the Mini, MG and Land Rover, but Purves, who took on the role of sales
and marketing director for the Rover Group, is expected to streamline
its global operations in line with BMW’s.
Purves will be joined by BMW’s top UK marketer, Martin Runnacles, in
October. Runnacles will head up Rover’s marketing operation in the UK.
Denis Chick, spokesman for Rover, said the company’s marketing will
change before the launch of its next range of cars, due to be unveiled
through 1997 and 1998. He said the cars will be radically different in
appearance and will distance Rover from BMW.
‘The next generation of cars, the RD1 project, will instil a major
change in Rover’s image. We are looking to link Rover much more with a
sense of Britishness, which is the image it possessed in the 1960s.‘What
we are looking at is taking an extra step with the shape of the car and
its interior.’ Rover is also expected to consider axing the Rover Metro.
Chick denied the company was set to review its pounds 40m advertising
account, currently divided between Ammirati Puris Lintas and Bates