On this day in auto history - December 23rd

Wed 23rd Dec 2020

It was on this day in 1997 that production abruptly ended on the Rover 100 - formerly known as the Metro - following the fallout from a disastrous safety rating.

The best-selling city car was the highest-profile victim of a push for increased safety standards brought about by the introduction of Euro NCAP, a new European car safety programme introduced by the EU earlier that year.

When crash tested by Euro NCAP, the Rover 100’s dated 18 year design gave an extremely poor result, being one of the only cars of the time to receive a dreaded one-star safety rating.

When video footage emerged of the test, graphically showing the Rover 100’s cabin structure suffering horrific damage at just 30mph, the story became a major news headline and sales collapsed as a result.

In all its guises...from Austin Metro to Rover 100…the vehicle sold just shy of 1.5 million vehicles in it’s 18 year production run, enough to make it the seventh best selling vehicle in UK history.