Rover & Rootes

Interesting facts and anecdotes about the company itself
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Rover & Rootes

Post by Dkenner » Wed Nov 21, 2018 3:38 pm

Besides mention in some interesting histories of the decline and fall of the British motor industry (basically British Leyland), I have not been able to find any details on the agreement between Rover and Rootes to sell Rover products in North America. In short, following the War, Rover made some attempts to sell into Canada and the United States. They were not very successful as Rover lacked any experience in the market. As a result, Rover contracted with Rootes, who did have a solid presence, to sell Rover cars and Land-Rovers. The agreement seems to go from 1950, or 1951 model year, through to at least the end of the Series One Land-Rover, when Rover again entered the North American Dollar Area (NADA, as it was then termed).

Would anyone have any details on this agreement, or arrangement? Or be able to point me somewhere or to a publication? Being in Canada, Gaydon is not an option.

I note that for Land Rover, this agreement meant that Land-Rovers sold by Rootes were slightly different from Rest Of World (ROW) products for the year. A simple example is the stop/parking lamps on the back of the 1951 are Lucas 488 lights, as opposed to the domestic and export vehicles for the ROW, which used Lucas D lights. I expect the same happened for cars.

Thank you.

Dixon Kenner

Note: North America was a bit of a complicated market as vehicle safety requirements were not "federalised" until the 1960's in the USA and 1972 in Canada. So vehicles sold had to meet State or Province standards. A salient example is seatbelts, where they were required in California before the rest of the US in 1968 and Canada in 1972.
Dixon Kenner
1950, 51, 52 Land-Rover, 1976 101FC

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Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 5:08 pm

Re: Rover & Rootes

Post by GOY189 » Fri Nov 23, 2018 3:34 pm

There could have been a family connection. Spencer Wilks, Rover's CEO, married William Hillman's daughter Kathleen and HIllman was a constituent of Rootes group. The Rover Company Board minutes are still available but at Warwick University in the UK.

Hope this helps
Mike Maher
Chairman, Rover Sports Register

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