Rover Company is a former British carmaker, an ancestor of Land Rover. more
The company was founded as Starley & Sutton in 1878 by John Kemp Starley and William Sutton. The company started its business with producing bicycles. The first bicycle was produced in 1884. In 1886, the Rover Safety Bicycle was patented. In 1889, the company changed its name to J.K. Starley & Co. Ltd. and later to the Rover Cycle Company Ltd. In 1888, the first car of the brand was introduced, though it wasn’t put into production. In 1904, the first series of cars, Rover Eight, was presented. In 1912, Rover 12 was released and turned out to be very successful. In 1932, Rover 14 Speed was introduced. It reached the speed of 130 km/h and contributed a lot to the company’s reputation as a manufacturer of fast and elegant cars.
1950-1960s were the most prosperous years of the brand. Land Rover, P5 and P6 saloons were a huge success. In 1965, Rover bought Alvis company in order to release a V8-powered supercar under its brand name. In 1967, Rover was sold to Leyland Motor Corporation, which in a year merged with British Motor Holdings, forming British Leyland Motor Corporation. In 1978, Land Rover became a separate company, managed by British Leyland. In 1984, Range Rover became a separate product too. In 1988, the company was sold to British Aerospace and adopted a new name “Rover Group”. In 1994, the business was sold to BMW and Land Rover became a part of Ford company.
In 2000, former Rover executive John Towers acquired the Rover and Morris Garages marques and formed MG Rover brand. In 2005, MG Rover went bankrupt. Rover marquee was purchased by Ford. At the moment, the company is owned by Tata Motors.