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End of the Road: BMW and Rover - A Brand Too Far [Paperback]

Prof Chris Brady , Dr Andrew Lorenz
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

23 Nov 2001
This is the inside story of the BMW/Rover saga, from purchase to sale.   The 8 year story of BMW's ownership of Rover encapsulates virtually every aspect of the business game. It kicked off with an ill-thought through M&A and misplaced strategy, taking place on the last big battleground for the old-style unions. Then followed a clash of the titans - Germany versus Germany in the BMW boardroom; and on the larger playing field, Germany versus England. The disastrous decisions, clash of cultures, and ultimately European Union meddling led to the eventual downfall of the relationship.Andrew Lorenz was commissioned by BMW to write the official history of Rover. As the story unfolded, he and Chris Brady had unparalleled, officially sanctioned access to all the key players. They bring together all the interwoven threads, and the result is spellbinding. KEY PREDICTION:The authors conclude that MG Rover will probably ditch the Rover brand in the medium term and concentrate on MG - the only untainted brand they have. Find out why.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Financial Times/ Prentice Hall; 1 edition (23 Nov 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0273656759
  • ISBN-13: 978-0273656753
  • Product Dimensions: 19.5 x 12.6 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,912,249 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description

About the Author

Dr. Chris Brady is currently the Director of Studies for the General and Strategic Management MBA at the City University Business School, London, and Head Business Coach at Cape Consulting. He has published on topics as varied as US foreign policy, Cabinet government, teamwork, education, the environment, intelligence failures and the United Nations. Andrew Lorenz, former Business Editor of the Sunday Times, is currently the Director of Financial Dynamics, Business Communications. His previous roles have included Deputy City Editor of the Sunday Telegraph, City correspondent on The Scotsman as well as Industrial Editor at The Journal, Newcastle. Andrew has published many articles and columns, and has had contributions broadcast on BBC Radio and ITV television.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A riveting summary of the Rover/BMW debacle 2 Jan 2001
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This is a highly readable tale of the purchase of Rover by BMW and the ensuing fiasco, climaxing in the sell out to Phoenix. There are some fascinating insights into the behind the scenes machinations of BMW, the unions, the government and Alchemy at the time of BMW's attempts to get rid of Rover. Funnily enough - Alchemy who were cast as the villains of the piece by the British press are practically the only players who come out the whole mess smelling of roses.
My only criticism is that this is quite a high level strategic view and there is not much detail on what went wrong at the operational level - I would have liked to have known more!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 'The best laid plans..' 11 Dec 2011
By A. McGrath TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
When BMW went shopping for a volume car manufacturer to enhance its product range, it found the only one available, the ailing and troubled Rover Group. This book describes the M & A nightmare that was to follow. All the main characters are included, Pischetsrieder, Reitzle, Woodley, Kuhnheim, Bowers, Hasselkus and Towers to name a few. It follows the hopes and good intentions, but mostly the litany of failures and errors on all sides, (too many to mention, but include, exchange rate, culture, historic underinvestment, mismanagement, etc), to secure the future of Rover. A sad time for all those affected but an interesting read for anyone who wants some insight into corporate strategy and thinking or answers to - why? One small point however, on page 13 it states in my copy, 'almost 90 years after William Morris had begun making cars at Longbridge' - I didn't know he had!?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This book covers the strategic and management issues surrounding the acquisition of Rover by BMW starting from the initial approach to British Aerospace. The book considers in detail how the BMW management handeled the acquisition and explains some of the background to the approach addopted. The approach was revised as time progressed but in spite of this the success was hampered by a number of external issues. Ultimately the effect of these was going to be greater than the benifits from the revised strategy to manage the two organisations as one. A timely approach by a british company specialising in corporate turn-around provided an opportunity for BMW to extracate itself from a situation which would otherwise have had long standing effects on the viability of the entire company. Ultimately the Rover business was sold to the Pheonix consortium lead by John Towers.
The set-up of MG-Rover by Pheonix and the strategy of the new management is also covered. The book closes with a view on the long term viability of MG-Rover as seen in late 2001.
This book makes excelent reading for anyone wishing to gain an understanding of the management strategy behind the news headlines which rocked the British Motor industry for most of the year 2000
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An Opportunity Missed 28 Mar 2001
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
For starters this isn't good value for money. I think for such a thin book is a bit steep - I'd finished the book within 2 days and I'm not a fast reader!
Secondly it skims over the surface of the issues, it feels like an extended newspaper article rather than an in-depth study. The authors stick to the rather few (albeit very important) people that they spoke to, and treat one or two of them to (unjustified, in my view) hero-worship. They could have added far more interest, colour and drama, if they had perhaps talked to some more operational people to get a feel for what it was like 'on the ground'; (It would also have added a bit more material).
If you're looking for a far more interesting book on a car industry merger gone wrong then buy "Taken for a Ride" on the Daimler Chrysler merger. It's a far more interesting and entertaining read than this, rather unsatisfying book.
If you're looking for a better or comparible history of Rover and BMW then stick to reading the newspapers ...
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It should be a much better book 16 Mar 2001
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
For all the hype, this is a Very light account. For a start the book was half the size I expected... Most of the contents just seemed to be a repeat of what has already been in the papers in the last year. I certainly didn't feel it had the "insider story" as claimed. There is no introduction story, so if you did not know about Rover-BMW then you would be in the dark straight away. Some statistics charting the company's decline would have been good, ie market share, units produced etc. An account of the models produced their strengths and weaknesses would have been helpful. Likewise an account of all the main key people would have helped. There are no photographs as well. As for being the basis of a Harvard Business School case study, no way especially when it lacks so much detail. Worse still it is written like an article in the Daily Mail, there is large bold type on virtually every page to sensationalise what has already been written.
I didn't intend to be so negative, but it is a subject which deserves a far better book.
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