Rover and MG cars are now distributed in Australia by a new company, MG Rover Australia, a division of the Classic Motoring group.

The company is marketing an expanded range of MGF roadsters and this week launched two V6-powered versions of the Rover 75 at the Melbourne motor show.

The 75 Tourer station wagon was also unveiled in Melbourne just two days after its Geneva show debut and will go on sale Down Under later this year.

“We are delighted to have secured responsibility for the continuation of the MG brand in Australia and to be able to launch such an excellent new car as the Rover 75,” said Ian Pagent, managing director of MG Rover Australia.

“We’ve been surprised by the sustained level of interest in the re-launch of Rover and the customer enthusiasm for the 75, given its protracted launch in this country,” said David Watson, general manager of marketing & communications.

“The 75 was first shown at last year’s Melbourne show and customers seem genuinely delighted that Rover is once again available in Australia.”

Six new dealerships have been appointed to support the 75, in addition to five existing MG dealers, bringing the total network handling both marques to 11.

The Classic Motoring group, directed by Ian Pagent and Greg Duncan, is Australia’s largest imported car organisation. Its dealers also retail and service Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Honda, Jaguar, Land Rover, Peugeot, Porsche, Volkswagen and Volvo.

The group has become known for introducing innovative retail outlets.

In 1997 it opened the MG Garage, which incorporates a ‘fine dining’ restaurant, and the concept has since been expanded with Fuel, a ‘smart casual’ bistro set amongst sports and touring cars.

In 2000 the group sold over 10,000 vehicles, approximately one percent of the total number of new vehicles registered in Australia.