The Rover 100

The Rover 100′s dismal safety showing was not its only problem by 1998. It was fast falling behind the best cars in its sector when it came to design, build quality, refinement and specification, although it remained strong in terms of fuel economy and affordability. Unlike the Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo and Vauxhall Corsa, the Rover 100 could still provide sub-17,0 motoring.

Facing a complete collapse of sales, Rover withdrew the 100 from production. It marked the end of nearly 18 years of production, during which time the Metro had proved itself to be one of the most important British cars of all time.

There was no direct replacement for the Metro/100, although the 1995 Rover 200 had been developed inside Rover Cars to serve as a replacement for the 100 as well as the previous 200 model, which was slightly larger. The 100 and 200 were sold concurrently until 1998, when the former was cancelled. When the Rover 200 was facelifted in the autumn of 1999 and rebadged as the Rover 25, Rover marketed this as a supermini reflecting the continued,steady, growth of all car classes. The plan was for the both the 100 and the 25 to be on the market until the launch of the true replacement for the Metro in the shape of the MINI. However, BMW’s sale of Rover put an end to those plans. BMW kept the MINI design and MG Rover’s notional successor to the Metro was the Rover 25 and its MG ZR badge-engineered relative.

The gap left by the Metro as a true Rover supermini was not filled even in the autumn of 2003, when the CityRover was launched – it was a 1.4 engined supermini built in India alongside the Tata Indica. This model was nowhere near as popular as the Metro or even the Rover 100, and was not included in the revived product range by Nanjing Automobile following MG Rover’s bankruptcy in 2005.

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