|Ford Motor Company To Buy Land Rover From BMW, Expanding
Lineup Of Premium Brands
DEARBORN, Mich., March 17, 2000 - Ford Motor
Company announced today that it has reached a memorandum of understanding to buy Land
Rover from the BMW Group. The transaction is subject to BMW and Ford reaching a definitive
agreement, due diligence and regulatory approvals. If successful, the acquisition is
expected to be completed in the second quarter.
The acquisition involves the entire Land Rover line of vehicles Range Rover,
Discovery, Freelander and Defender - including assembly and engineering facilities. It
does not include Rover's passenger car business or any assumption of debt by Ford.
"Land Rover is a terrific global brand with a wonderful heritage," said Ford
Motor Company President and Chief Executive Officer Jac Nasser. "It is our intention
to leverage Land Rover to its fullest potential."
"The board is enthusiastic about this opportunity," said Ford Motor Company
Chairman William Clay Ford Jr. "Land Rover is known throughout the world and fits
perfectly into Ford's growing family of world-class brands."
"In the automotive market Land Rover is certainly one of the most famous and
strongest brands in the world," said Joachim Milberg, chairman of the board of
management of the BMW Group. "The decision to sell Land Rover was certainly not easy.
But in the light of our new strategy, we welcome the approach of Ford."
The Land Rover business will become part of Ford's Premier Automotive Group, which
includes the Lincoln, Volvo, Jaguar and Aston Martin brands. Land Rover sales for this
year are projected at about 200,000 vehicles.
"Land Rover is consistent with the strategy of growing our global premier brands
with vehicles that achieve high margins and are complementary with our present product
range," Nasser said. "Land Rover is considered to be the 'Jaguar' of
four-wheel-drive vehicles. It solidifies our market position and business strategy for
this high-growth, lucrative segment."
BMW announced on Thursday that it is conducting negotiations to sell its Rover car
business to Alchemy Partners, a private investment group.