Rover Company 1878

Bicycle manufacturer, Motor vehicle manufacturer

Founded as bicycle manufacturers Starley & Sutton Co. by John Kemp Starley and William Sutton in Coventry in 1878; in 1885 produced the Rover Safety bicycle; in 1889, the company became J.K. Starley & Co. Ltd., and in the late 1890s, the Rover Cycle Company Ltd.; developed and produced the Rover Imperial motorcycle in 1902; began producing automobiles with the two-seater Rover Eight in 1904; produced lorries, motorcycles and cars during the first world war but only become to prominence as a motor car manufacturer in the 1930s; after producing aircraft and tank engines during the second world war Rover produced experimental diesel and gas turbine cars during the 1950s; in 1967 Rover ceased to be independent becoming part of the Leyland Motor Corporation (LMC), which in turn in 1968 merged with British Motor Holdings (BMH) to become the British Leyland Motor Corporation; the Rover and Land Rover brands continue in production to the present (2010).

1878-1889 - Starley & Sutton Co; 1889-1890s - J.K. Starley & Co. Ltd. 1890s-1904 - the Rover Cycle Company Ltd; 1904-1967 - Rover Company; 1967-1968 - Leyland Motor Corporation; 1968-1975 - British Leyland Motor Corporation; 1975-1986 - British Leyland (BL); 1986-1988 Rover Group; 1988-1994 - British Aerospace; 1994-2006 - BMW; 2000-2005 - licensed to MG Rover Group; 2006-2008 - part of Ford Motor Company