From 1904 to 2005, Rover has been in use as a British automotive marque. Originally launched as a bicycle manufacturer called Rover Company in 1878, Rover didn't start making automobiles until 1904. Throughout automotive history, the vehicles carrying the Rover marque have been known for being iconic. Their styling and design are recognizable worldwide. However, working on a Rover can be a headache at times. So, make sure you have a Rover service manual to make the job go smoothly.
In 1967, Leyland Motors took over Rover. While temporarily in the hands of British Aerospace, the Rover marque became the primary brand of the then newly renamed Rover Group in 1988. Eventually ending up in the hands of BMW.
In 2000, BMW sold Rover to the Phoenix Consortium, who in turn started up the MG Rover Group. BMW still retained ownership of the Rover marque but allowed MG Rover to use it under license. However, in April 2005, with MG Rover becoming insolvent, production of all Rover vehicles ceased. While some of MG Rover's assets were purchased by SAIC Motor, the remaining assets were sold to Nanjing Automobile.
Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC), held the intellectual property of Rover 75 car design and was also throwing their hat in the ring for MG Rover. In late 2006, they announced their own version of the Rover 75. SAIC later announced in July of 2006, their intent to buy the Rover marque from BMW. However, their bid was refused on the grounds that BMW had previously made an agreement with Ford to be given the first option on the marque when it acquired Land Rover. Being unable to use the Rover name, forced SAIC to create their own brand with a similar badge and name, known as Roewe. In 2007, Roewe was eventually launched.
In 2006, BMW sold the rights to the Rover marque to Ford. Finally, reuniting the original Rover Company marques. Ford reached an agreement with Tata Motors of India, in 2008, which allowed Tata to use the Rover marque. Legally, the Rover marque is still the property of Land Rover under the terms of Ford's purchase of the name in 2006. Since Ford’s purchase of the Rover marque, there have been no new vehicles produced under it. However, that doesn’t mean you can't find them on the road. So, in preparation for when you do need to work on your Rover, go grab yourself a Rover workshop manual, today!