Rileys - The Future
What does the future hold for Riley? - as seen in 1999After The Recent break up of the Rover Group, it is unclear what will happen. BMW have given away the Rover and MG brands to Phoenix, and sold Land Rover to Ford. Of the other Marques BMW owns, there is little news. We know that BMW are hanging onto the new Mini, as well as the Riley, Triumph and Wolsley names. However, there were rumours of a bid from Ford and other companies seem interested in buying BMW.
It seems unlikely that Riley will be making a comeback anytime soon, Sorry folks.
Previous bitsSince Rover was bought by BMW in 1994, BMW has frequently stated it's ideas on re-vitalising many of the marques lost in the BMC-BL era. The recent success of the new MGF has further increased their ideas on this. In a recent exclusive, one of Britain's Car Magazines revealed that plans to bring the Austin Healey marque back to life, along with the support of the Healey Family, were well advanced, and that the car should be on sale by the end of 1999. The same report also stated BMWs commitment to bring back the Triumph name, and since then sketches of the proposed TR9 have been printed. This has increased many peoples hopes that Riley will be resurrected, as we remember that the first time BMW mentioned these plans, the 2 marques named were Austin-Healey and RILEY. So lets all keep our fingers (and toes?) crossed and hope that BMW/Rover have a nice surprise up their sleeves!
The above was written in April 1997. Since then, many things have happened. The first was the Centenary of the Riley Company. Many of you will be saying 'well what has the centenary to do with the future?'. The answer is everything.
At the celebrations at Gaydon, Warwickshire, England, the chairman of BMW, Bernd Pischetsrieder announced that a new Riley Motor Car would be built. Since then, pictures of a new 'Rover' Coupe, based on the forthcoming Rover 75 have been printed by several leading car magazines, with Riley Badges.
The speculation surrounding the rebirth of Riley is mounting. One English Mag has suggested that if the new Rover 75 fails to meet all expectations, then Rover may be shelved as a marque, and Riley would recieve a much more important role in the British Car Industry, but that is even further in the future.
The main news is that Riley will be back, hopefully before 2002, and hopefully back with all guns blazing, leading the way for the British Motor Industry.