BMW Chairman Bernd Pischetsrieder wouldn't be doing his job if he didn't complain loudly to his British hosts about poor productivity at Rover's Longbridge plant.
Talking tough a few hours after launching the Rover 75 at the Birmingham auto show was justified. When governments hand out money, it is the duty of the chief executive to go after it.
Longbridge can hardly be expected to match BMW's German productivity figures or that of Nissan's greenfield Sunderland plant- the most productive auto factory in Europe, according to the Economist Intelligent Unit. It is too big, too old and it builds one car, the Mini, that dates back to 1959.
What Longbridge needs is great products. With the 75, BMW has shown a commitment to improving Rover's products. The new Mini and the 200/400 replacements are not far behind. They will be the keys to the future of Rover. Asking that the UK government help bring them to market is not off limits.