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End of the Road: The Story of the Downfall of Rover. Chris Brady & Andrew Lorenz: The Real Story of the Downfall of Rover Paperback – 24 Oct 2005


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Product details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 2 edition (24 Oct 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0273706535
  • ISBN-13: 978-0273706533
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 280,753 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

No other M&A "case study" is more educative in demonstrating the importance of brand than the BMW-Rover debacle.  Narrated superbly well by Brady and Lorenz

- The Independent 13 March 2008

From the Back Cover

"Like a tale of war with much of the battlesmoke cleared away...if you like a darn good read, this is the book to curl up with" Management Today

"Well-written, informative" Motor Trader

"Very readable" Driving

 
The last Rover car has rolled off the production line. The last great British car brand is finished – for good. The story of the decline of the national institution that was Rover is a business rollercoaster. It’s a story of a doomed merger, battles of executive egos, union in-fighting, boardroom bloodshed and broken promises.

 

It’s a story that ironically begins with BMW promising a bright new future for Rover. In turn, Rover was to keep BMW as the independent car dynasty it wanted to remain. But it all went badly wrong. The clash of cultures, disastrous decisions and ultimately European Union meddling led to the sale of Rover. Just when it was looking all over for Rover, along came the white knights – the Phoenix consortium, comprising four car industry veterans, who promised to save the company. Five years later, when the white knights declared the black day had arrived and MG Rover was finished, the saviours stood accused of betraying the trust placed in them, and walking away rich men as the Rover workforce streamed off to the benefit office.

 

This is the full story, with unparalleled access to all the key players. It reveals where the errors were made, who was to blame, and along the way tells a riveting story of the events that will go down in history as the end of an era for industrial Britain.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Paul Rayson on 2 Jan 2011
Format: Paperback
This is an update of the original book about the failed BMW ownership of Rover Group, which was called "End of the Road: BMW and Rover - A Brand Too Far". This updated version has some added text, primarily a section about the Phoenix years, and the company's ultimate demise.

The original version, which constitutes most of this book, is a very well-researched and clearly written account of BMW's failed attempt to create a premier automotive brand from the company it purchased from British Aerospace. It tells a sad story that makes one feel that the venture was doomed, not just by BMW's mistakes, but by the political and economic situation, and by the fact the no-one quite realised how damaged the brand was by the time BMW's stewardship began. It does leave me with the feeling that with a few more years, and a few right decisions, they may still have pulled it off (my opinion, not the author's), but we will never know.

Despite owning the original, I was very pleased to see an updated version available, and was happy to spend £15 to see the next (last) installment of the saga. Alas, I was somewhat disappointed. As several previous reviewers have stated, the section on the Pheonix years does not seem to have the same level of detail or breadth. It seems to be bolted on somewhat hastily, and just doesn't capture the reader the way the earlier sections do. One reviewer suggested that perhaps this section was added too soon, and I tend to agree - a lot more could have been said about the cause of the failure, and the after-effects.

I would recommend the book, because I still feel the main bulk is extremely interesting, with a good depth of detail, and provides a fascinating insight into the BMW years.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By J. Davies on 17 Sep 2009
Format: Paperback
This book charts the progression of the famous or infamous raise an fall of the British motor industry focusing particularly on the BMW take over of the Rover Group as it then was in 1994 until MG Rover's collapse in 2005.

The book succeeds in both giving a historical narrative and a managerial/business outlook on events in those nine short years when Rover went from the success of the R8 200/400 models, MGF and 600 with Honda input to its failure in April 2005. Both BMW's takeover and the fallout with Honda in 1994 are well covered giving insight into a split within the company, as those (John Towers included) wished to continue with the Honda partnership, and the BAe board which after a period of asset stripping wanted a quick sale to assist its profit margins.

The book also covers the BMW approach after the sale in which management decisions and leadership were lacking, giving Rover no overall focus of direction together with Sterling issues and Honda IP rights on the Rover 600 & 400 ranges which ultimately reduced its profits margins again. Throw in Thatcher, Major and Blair governments indifference toward manufacturing or support for any new project, and the BMW board infighting, the picture of the Rover/MG Rover's downfall looks less clear cut than most of the media would have you believe.

Whist well researched by Chris Brady and Andrew Lorenz, I would agree with past reviews that the conclusion reached in is revised edition, published in 2005, is too soon after the events with no longer term perspective on the 'Phoenix Four' or the hand they were dealt when taking over the company in May 2000.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mr. C. E. Jesson on 26 Mar 2008
Format: Paperback
As a diehard fan of British cars, I wanted to read this very much and was, on the whole very pleased with it. The sections from 1994-2000 under the BMW Years were well described and told me facts I didnt know before. The 'boardroom relations' were also well documented. However I cant help thinking that the republished, extended edition was rushed into print without much thought being put into how much to write. The sections about MG Rover (2000-2005) need more detail and if the book had been written for longer and ,say published last year or this year, the text could have been given more successful ratings. Still worth the purchase though, very much so.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Carroll Barham on 5 Mar 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Undoubtedly well-researched and a fascinating, (if ultimately rather depressing) subject - told mostly from the perspective
of a business study.
Would have made 5 stars if it's conclusions were a little more insightful/slightly broader in outlook at times, which might have then painted a more complete picture of the situation as described. Still, a minor point in an otherwise very good reference book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Phil Drayton on 17 May 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If like me you miss the British Motor Industry, this is a must read.Shocking to see trusted companies be so innept !
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A fantastic read and introduces the reader the key players that, in the end, assisted in the death of major industrial manufacturing in the Midlands and a casting a once proud workforce out with pension issues.
As an historical document or for an enthusiast of the British motor industry, particularly British Leyland, it's forebears and it's children it finalises a remarkable story of hope and yet gripping tale of impending disaster which years on we can look at with our uniquely British stoical and dark humour.
For the business management student it illustrates how you must get the right people in the right jobs at the right time, not too tolerate non team players, to feel the same pain as your team or lose credibility, to have the courage to put the brakes on non value projects and finally, never, ever, sign away any rights of your core business before a final merger deal is struck.
It's like watching an Ostrich bury it's head in the sand and get a spank on it's arse with a cricket bat.
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