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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.
 

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Good news for Labour I suppose, the last thing people want now is a party that would not spend a penny of taxpayers money to build up a nationally important strategic industry.

Couldn't come at a better time for Rover - political parties have to say if they support its future or not.

Towers and his colleagues will, I hope, be asked to pay back the ridiculous salaries they took out of a business they have seen through to bankruptcy.

This country will not live on taking in its own washing, or in shopping, and we need to draw a line in the sand now. Rover has to be saved and rebuilt as a viable company.
 

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Jonesy55 said:
No, the £100m would be better spent on retraining the workforce than throwing our money away to keep Rover going for a couple of months.

We don't have to have a large manufacturing sector at all. Most of the worlds leading economies are scaling back their manufacturing.

Rover made some good cars it's true, the 75 and the MGs especially but the range was just too oldand they didn't have the investment funds available to bring out new models. The 25 and 45 were hopelessly outdated.
Nonsense. We can design, manufacture and market high volume high technology goods, with global collaborators. Dyson does it. Rover can. The Chinese may get a good deal, financially, but we need to invest some taxpayers money in value-adding activities, and personally I don't care if Shanghai citizens (who own the Chinese company involved) get a better deal than some capitalists based in England on this deal. I want the company to be rebuilt as part of a successful entity.

We have enough people with an NVQ in saying "sorry, out of stock", we need to rebuild the craft and technical base of people who can make things. Manufacturing will be a part of our economic future, including mass manufacturing.
 

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Where is Advantage West Midlands?

We would be suffering full page "boast" adverts from them if the deal had gone through (paid for by the taxpayer).

Where are they now? Issueing press releases like this:

http://www.advantagewm.co.uk/mg-rover-news-release-8-april-2005.doc

They are shameless in being an arm of DTI in Victoria Street, now effectively trying to shut out hope for Rover. There is not a single word of hope, not a single word about trying to save the company. Nothing, just using DTI monies to temporarily support suppliers. Disgraceful.

Where is the Regional Development Agency for the West Midlands? An agency that would fight to save one of the major employers of its region? It doesn't exist. There is a just a branch office of the DTI with a fondness for placing adverts with the words "world class" in them.
 

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What a disaster. In time it will be good to learn how the DTI could have acted more proactively and wisely to intervene and support the company through what should have been a transition rather than closure. I think the workers were let down by incompetent Whitehall civil servants, and their poodles in Advantage West Midlands. Others will want to try to blame the owners, and maybe they do share some of the blame.

It's such a pity, I really hoped that for once the company would be lucky, find a good partner, at the right time, and find a way back as part of a bigger grouping. The whole country seems a bit weaker and smaller without Rover.
 
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