ROVER 200/400 CAR OWNERS CLUB
The Rover 200&400 Owners Club covers all Rover-badged ‘medium’ cars built by Austin Rover, Rover Group and MG Rover at the Longbridge factory in Birmingham.
The club was established in 2007, originally covering only the ‘R8’ model 200s and 400s, but expanded in 2015 to cover all 200, 400, 25, 45, Commerce and Streetwise badged cars, plus their Honda ‘partners’.
The club aims to promote these cars and support owners, enabling them to continue enjoying them. We work with parts suppliers, such as Motaclan, to help make all necessary parts available.
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The first ‘medium’ car to be badged a Rover and built at Longbridge was the Rover 200 (codenamed SD3), which was announced in July 1984 replacing the Honda-derived Triumph Acclaim, built at Cowley, Oxford. The SD3 was a mildly reworked Honda Ballade but Austin Rover developed it into a wider range, more suited to European tastes.
The Honda Ballade was also produced alongside the 213/216 for sale by Honda. The car was a big sales success for Austin Rover and led to the Longbridge production line working 3-shifts, 24-hours a day to meet demand. Honda benefitted in increased European sales and expansion of its sales network. This led to Austin-Rover and Honda agreeing to jointly develop its replacement.
This car, codenamed R8 by Austin Rover and YY by Honda, was jointly designed by engineers from both companies The new car would not only effectively replace the then current SD3 Rover 200 but also the Maestro and Montego, so it was always planned with both 5-door and 4-door versions.
The 5-door 200 was launched in September 1989 to a very good reception for its quality and performance, with the 4-door 400 following in April 1990. Sales success followed, as did the expansion of the range to include 3-door, Cabriolet, Coupe and Tourer (estate) versions, with a wide variety of petrol and diesel engines. Again, the partner Honda model, the Concerto was produced on the same production line. Combined sales topped a million vehicles.
Rover, renamed from Austin Rover in 1988, and Honda collaborated on the 400s replacement (codenamed HH) and initially on the 200s replacement (codenamed SK3) but this projected stalled due to low profitability, only to be restarted by Rover, as the R3 project.
The 5-door 400 was launched in March 1995, with the 4-door following later in the year. Honda had by this time opened their Swindon facility to produce the partner Civic model.
The R3 200 was launched in September 1995, hoping to appeal to a younger audience than previous Rovers but high prices relative to their size, handicapped sales of both the 200 and 400, with combined sales falling below the R8s. Lower pricing of the updated 25 and 45, launched in 1999, helped stem the decline but both cars needed replacing by the turn of the millennium, which they weren’t…
Instead, the MG ZR, ZS and ‘Commerce’ light commercial van variants went into production, along with the Streetwise ‘urban off-roader’, which was the last ‘new’ Rover and was launched in 2003. Production of both the 25 and Streetwise was moved to China following the collapse of MG Rover in 2005.
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