§ Mr. Austin Mitchell
To ask the President of the Board of Trade what assessment he has made of the current ability of Rover to design and produce a car, including engine and gearbox, with no outside help and the effect on this ability of its transfer to German ownership.
§ Mr. Sainsbury
Rover is now profitably designing and producing cars. The Government expect that this will continue, with a very high proportion of the value being added in the United Kingdom. The extent to which Rover draws on outside help to achieve this is a commercial matter for the company. But BMW has confirmed that Rover will retain and strengthen its own design and engineering facilities. The acquisition by BMW enhances rather than impairs Rover's technical capability.