When BMW acquired Mg Rover in 1994, the focus of the deal was the Rover and Land Rover brands. Eighteen years later, and ten years in the U.S., Mini, for now, is the only piece left from that deal and the only piece some key executives at BMW wanted in the first place.
The idea was for the storied Munich-based automaker to acquire Rover and turn it into a stronger mass-market brand in Europe, and introduce it to the U.S. This would allow BMW to concentrate in the luxe end of the business. Land Rover was to be BMW’s foray into SUVs because the thinking then was that BMW could not spawn SUVs under its own brand. That was before the X5 was on the road and proving those naysayers wrong.
Full story: Autoblog