Rover is bucking the trend among major UK companies to play down
their national heritage and is reviewing its branding to emphasise its
The Rover Group’s new identity will be launched later this year, as part
of the company’s plans to raise its profile in international markets and
create a clear umbrella identity for its four marques: Rover, MG, Mini
and Land Rover.
Other major UK companies, such as British Airways and Jaguar, have tried
to lower their British profile because they believe it hinders their
Jaguar said that, for a car manufacturer, British branding still
reminded foreign buyers of poor technology and industrial disputes.
However, Rover’s German parent company, BMW, is known to be keen to use
Rover’s British heritage as its key point of difference in the
overcrowded car market and as a way of differentiating Rover from its
Rover is using London-based agency Edward Briscoe Design, which has been
briefed to ’emphasise a strong British character, one that is not only
built on heritage but at the same time considers the future’.
A Rover spokesman refused to comment on whether the new design would
include a Union Jack or the word ’British’, but said that it would not
affect the appearance of the individual car brands.
The company has also launched a strategic review of its Land Rover
brand, which is to be repositioned in preparation for the launch of its
new small off-road vehicle, the Freelander, which is designed to appeal
to family car drivers instead of off-road enthusiasts.
BMW bought Rover in 1994 and has placed its own staff in key positions
within the UK marketing operation.