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Rover, now the MG Rover Group, based itself in the UK, and manufactured its automobiles at the Longbridge plant in Birmingham. After becoming insolvent in 2005, the groups assets were purchased by the Nanjing Automobile Group, and the new group plans to start production anew in 2006 in China and possibly again at Longbridge.
The Rovers origins come from cycles, notably tricycles and bicycles such as the famous penny-farthing. Three years after founder J.K. Starleys death, in 1901, the company began building automobiles, starting with the Rover Eight with help from an ex-Daimler designer, Edmund Lewis. Rover also produced cycles both motorcycles and bicycles until 1925.
In 1929, when Spencer Wilks took over as general manager, Rover became interested in creating cars that were more upmarket than their competitors, Ford and Austin. After the end of WWII, the Rover Group began manufacturing the Land Rover, which proved to be a phenomenal success.
In 1967, Rover was annexed by the Leyland Motor Corporation, which became British Leyland. After many boondoggles in the 1970s, it was decided that all Rover cars would be made in former Austin and Morris plants.
The 1980s found Rovers name on several cars developed by British Leyland and Honda, including the Triumph Acclaim and the Rover 200 the first Honda-sourced model. Around this time, the name Austin Rover was being used, although it was renamed the Rover Group shortly thereafter. Almost a century after Wilks conceptions, the Rover Group once again was poised to become an upmarket competitor for Ford. In 1994, however, a takeover by BMW assailed the company before a de-merger in 1999. As simply the MG Rover Group, the company existed until its insolvency in 2005.