Skyscraper City Forum banner

Your predictions please...

1 - 20 of 136 Posts

·
Yep
Joined
·
3,821 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So what does the future hold for MG Rover and its 6,000+ employees, not to mention the thousands of jobs that are sustained in its supply chain? Will the company soon cease to exist? Or will the talks in Shanghai bear fruit? Even then, will that just be delaying the inevitable? It seems the company is a dead duck - and the public seem to have got the message loud and clear if the slumps in sales are anything to go by. Was this a self forfilling prophesy brought about by press reports? Even more importantly, just how many question marks can I use in one paragraph?

from the birmingham post

Let Rover 'go to wall'

Apr 6 2005

By John Duckers And John Cranage


The Government should let MG Rover go to the wall instead of "pouring good money after bad", a West Midland business group has said.

The comment came as Harold Musgrove, a former chairman and chief executive of MG Rover predecessor Austin Rover, described the carmaker's situation as "very serious indeed".

According to Bob Michaelson, regional chairman of the Institute of Directors, the £100 million the Government is said to be prepared to contribute to a rescue package for the Longbridge manufacturer would be better spent on job creation and re-training the company's 6,100 employees.

"Spending £100 million in the West Midlands is a far wiser use of the money than sending £ 100 million to Shanghai to prop up what is clearly a struggling company with a bleak future," he said.

"The subject of MG Rover is naturally very emotive but as a taxpayer I want to see the best use made of our resources, not just for the next month but for the future and to support generations that are just coming into work."

Mr Michaelson was speaking as talks aimed at rescuing the floundering life-saving joint venture between MG Rover and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation continued yesterday in China after appearing to have stalled on Monday night.

He continued: "The collapse of MG Rover would be a disaster for the West Midlands, but it would be up to all the organisations and local authorities in the region to pull together to mitigate the effects and create something positive out of a negative.

"Many of us remember the day when Round Oak Steel Works closed and 2,000 people walked out for the final time.

"Now that area has been revitalised and the Merry Hill shopping centre, the Waterfront business park and associated hotels, restaurants and pubs have created more than 10,000 jobs.

"We need to rediscover that spirit and get behind the employees of MG Rover to support them and try and ensure that their transition from initial redundancy to gainful and sustainable employment is as smooth and painless as possible."

In the event that MG Rover collapsed, it would be important that fair value is realised for all the company's assets and that the Longbridge site be made available as soon as possible to facilitate both inward investment by companies moving in to the area and promote and support start-ups in the south west of Birmingham, Mr Michaelson added.

A second business organisation warned that the collapse of MG Rover would have a " profound" impact on smaller supply chain companies.

"Many of the manufacturers involved in supplying MG Rover will be pushed close to the brink if the rescue package fails to materialise," said Nick Goulding, chief executive of the Forum of Private Business.

"If firms involved in the supply chain are forced to close it will cause grave problems for the remaining car producers across the country.

"Many may be forced to look elsewhere, probably abroad, for new suppliers and the job losses that follow will have a grave impact on the region's and the UK economy."

Mr Musgrove, aged 74, who ran Austin Rover from 1980 to 1986, said he was unaware of the financial situation at MG Rover, but added: "It would be folly to think it is anything other than very serious indeed."

But he insisted the company did still have assets which others would want - the K-series engine is one of the best in the world; the ability to design and manufacture suspension units; the MG image and a Longbridge workforce who were among "the finest carmakers".

However he went on: "I am sad that it has been allowed to get into this appalling state."

Giving his support to the workforce and offering hopes that the Chinese would stay involved, he nevertheless warned: "We must not fool ourselves or anybody else. Whatever we decide to do, it must be profitable."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
Its tragic, but simple economics will dictate that Rover has no future. The best it can hope for is that becomes part of one of the multi national car companies like Ford so that he MG marque continues. However, production at Longbridge will cease completely within 3 years.
 

·
Yep
Joined
·
3,821 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It seems production has been halted at Longbridge until the £100m bridging loan comes through. Some suppliers are refusing to deliver because they think they wont get paid.

I dont think production will ever restart :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
95 Posts
Rover was always going to struggle, and having to fight so much bad press hasn't helped. If it's true that production has stopped because suppliers are scared of not being paid, then those sections of the press who seem to have really had it in for Rover finally seem to have got their way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
291 Posts
MarcusValhalla said:
Rover was always going to struggle, and having to fight so much bad press hasn't helped. If it's true that production has stopped because suppliers are scared of not being paid, then those sections of the press who seem to have really had it in for Rover finally seem to have got their way.

I think that Rover have been hurt very badly by the Britsh disease of assuming that anything british is rubbish - In Italy when Fiat was in trouble the public carried on buying their cars - the same with Renault in France. But in England there's a sneering section of the media that attacks anything British and this becomes the nosedive that we're seeing now - unfortunately I think that, although the name will be saved, Longbridge will be a giant Barrat housing development in 5 years time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,918 Posts
oh come on the British motor industry hadnt built a decent mass volume car since the decline of British leyland! Patriotic duties is what the British motor industry has always muddled through on! Now the public is tired and in this intense global market, where national identity of products is blurred, probably doesnt care. This is now a world of huge volume sales, world markets and conglomerations. The worry that we should have is if creativity and technology is stifled. We should be investing in research and not trying to hold up a dying company
 

·
heavymetalmayhem
Joined
·
92 Posts
I think the company could be turned around if only they could secure funding to develop new models. I saw a concept for the replacement of the Rover 25 and I thought it was far more appealing than fords incredibly dull new focus.

Just look at the huge success of other British motoring brands that were once making a loss, Land Rover, Aston Martin, Jaguar and mini to name a few, until they were bought by ford or in the case of the mini BMW.

At the very least I am confident we haven't seen the last from MG.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
95 Posts
potto said:
oh come on the British motor industry hadnt built a decent mass volume car since the decline of British leyland! Patriotic duties is what the British motor industry has always muddled through on! Now the public is tired and in this intense global market, where national identity of products is blurred, probably doesnt care. This is now a world of huge volume sales, world markets and conglomerations. The worry that we should have is if creativity and technology is stifled. We should be investing in research and not trying to hold up a dying company
As others have said, despite the "global" market, in other countries people do care. And as for British Leyland producing "decent" mass volume cars... their alleged "decent" cars are an albatross that hangs around Rover's neck - even now, the press just can't seem to help but mention the Allegro when talking about Longbridge!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,421 Posts
I was at the Rover factory a few months ago as the carparks were being used for the National Xcountry. Very impressive i thought seemed absolutely massive.

However I dont think the Rover brand will continue. However i do feel that MG will and i dont mean the rovers with the MG name on them. The convertable sportscar, which i feel on its own would do well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,918 Posts
MarcusValhalla said:
As others have said, despite the "global" market, in other countries people do care. And as for British Leyland producing "decent" mass volume cars... their alleged "decent" cars are an albatross that hangs around Rover's neck - even now, the press just can't seem to help but mention the Allegro when talking about Longbridge!
that's because we are a more mature market, we`ve been there and done the patriotic stint. I was inferring that British Leyland cocked it all up big time in fact British shipbuilding, the aircraft industry and car industries all capitulated spectacularly all in the face of increased competition and dwindling assured (protected) markets. We should be looking at the next evolution of transport as lets face it the car as it is now is not living up to its social and environmental duties! This will mean more cross-national partnerships and even more erosion of national identity of products
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,918 Posts
one thing that I think has been a mistake in this painful decline, particularly in terms of the EU, was allowing cheaper goods to be imported into the EU from countries where there has been litttle or no social or environmental impact added to the cost of their production. This should have been dealt with much more strongly and across the board. This could have had a number of benefits; the playing field would have been much more level providing for a softer and less dramatic decline in the already indsutrialised world and ...ideally... the added 'tax' injected directly back into infrastructure of the then emerging industrialising nations... oh well it didnt happen and its probably too late in the day to try
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,232 Posts
Just been reading up on this, shocking although not suprising.

Hundreds of small businesses will get ruined over this, thousands (up to 40,000 are involved in some way to longbridges economy) face an uncertain future at best while the Chinese will come in and pick the business up for a song before relocating to China.

I couldn't care for the Rover marque, it's got shoddier and shoddier over the years through a lack of investment, I'm more interested in how people and their communities will be able to recover from this.
 

·
Wheels...
Joined
·
4,236 Posts
Like everything British, people don't want or trust it anymore... Leyland days were a reflection of the wider UK scenario and my god how the press have punished the workers of Longbridge ever since, ironically the best products that have come out of the plant in decades have been since the all British MG Rover amalgamation took form.

I would like to see the plant cut right back, kept mainly British with aid from the Government and an overseas investor and then concentrate on a smaller number of really top quality cars, to continue on the scale that has been of recent years is very unwise as the same problems will recur to the delight of the British press and certain other self-righteous carpers I know.

MG Rover doesn't want people to buy their cars out of patriotism, they want to sell cars to people that are proud to own an MG Rover and the fact that it is British designed and made and has a history that dates back to the very beginnings of automobile manufacture is regardless.

Or of course we could simply give up, redevelop Longbridge into an XL Currys, DFS, Ikea etc and then we can be proud of the fact that the state of Britains industry is not just in decline but now almost nonexistent!

Some history:

http://www.technispec.com/a50/default.htm#begin

http://derela.republika.pl/austin.htm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,232 Posts
Good points Betty.

The damage was done before the current ownership came in, for years the leadership and on going development wasn't there. I suppose it was doomed when BMW shafted it.

It's hard to see anyway out but the supply chain and skilled workforce must be worth something to somebody a long the line.

I always feel embarrassed and angry when I see the old works in Coventry - it's now a supermarket, KFC and shite hotel etc. while the area around it is slowly dying. once you put retail crap up there's no way back, the economy is reprofiled and people go into subsistance mode, surviving on the bare minimum like they did 100 years ago.
 

·
Wheels...
Joined
·
4,236 Posts
"Herbert Austin was installed as Manager at Wolseley cars and won international renown, but in the early summer of 1905 he resigned and looked around for somewhere to start on his own company.
After numerous exploratory cycle rides all round Birmingham, he came to Longbridge, seven miles out of the city (then a leafy area). There he found a small derelict printing works, which proved to be just what he wanted. Friends came forward with financial help and the Austin Motor Company was born."

This is even more saddening, ironically it will be exactly 100 years ago that Longbridge was first thought out to produce cars.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,412 Posts
This is just appalling. The French and Italians pumped 10 times more into their national brands, and protected them.

Britain has world class automotive engineering and design acumen - there are a huge number of jobs in Oxfordshire built on that (and Forumula 1). Britain has world class marketing and logistical capabilities. We have a flexible labour market, and can make cars more efficiently and profitably for multi-nationals than Belgium or Germany.

We need to find a way of making this work, it is vital for our economy and our nation. This IS an election issue. The future for Longbridge may well be different, well obviously it will be, but I cannot perceive that we cannot harness a) world class automotive design b) world class marketing skill c) efficient and flexible workforce, with a successful car industry. We need to find a way.

I will regard Rover going down as worse than a failure amongst one of the big banks, or Somerset being allowed to join Estonia as a new country under obscure EU regulations we dont know about. It cant happen.

The Chinese can gain an affordable foothold in European design and manufacturing.

I am going to hold my breath and be optimistic on this one. I know the company is too small, has run out of money, and has an ageing product range, but I have faith. They should launch a "Rover Bond" the way Government's do in wartime - I would happily invest £100 in a "Rover - Great British/Chinese Cars Built in Birmingham and Shanghai" bond.

Incidentally, if people in Birmingham don't SCREAM AND SHOUT AND SULK AND POUT AND CRY AND DEMONSTRATE over the future of Rover at this time, then that would be a pity. Now, with a general election taking place, would seem a very good time for Birmingham people to make the future of Rover a big national issue. Demand support from all the parties.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,670 Posts
heavymetalmayhem said:
I think the company could be turned around if only they could secure funding to develop new models. I saw a concept for the replacement of the Rover 25 and I thought it was far more appealing than fords incredibly dull new focus.

Just look at the huge success of other British motoring brands that were once making a loss, Land Rover, Aston Martin, Jaguar and mini to name a few, until they were bought by ford or in the case of the mini BMW.

At the very least I am confident we haven't seen the last from MG.
I really can't see this as the end either. Yesterday we had a former chairman and chief executive of MG Rover's predecessor Austin Rover, who although described the carmaker's situation as "very serious indeed" insisted the company did still has assets which others would want, these being:

- the K-series engine - which is one of the best in the world
- the ability to design and manufacture suspension units
- the MG brand and heritage
- and a dedicated Longbridge workforce

Admittedly there has been a lack of investment in new models from before the Pheonix consortium took control which has not been helped by BMW's asset stipping of the Mini and Land Rover marques but I just can't see all this going down. The company is owned by some very successful businessmen and I honestly believe there is a certain ammount of brinkmanship by both MG Rover and SAIC going on - funny how this has all come to a head when a general election date is announced. and looks even more unlikely when when you see MG Rover products suprisingly coming out top in reliability and customer satisfaction surveys.

http://icbirmingham.icnetwork.co.uk...64737&method=full&siteid=50002-name_page.html

Lets remain optimistic and keep the faith
 
1 - 20 of 136 Posts
Top