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Is Rover Doomed?

9259 Views 135 Replies 39 Participants Last post by  Engels
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."
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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.
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.
I think the engineering and manufacturing cost is appalling and the human cost atrocious.

Speaking to ex British Leyland workers up in Liverpool though and they have no sympathy for Longbridge workers, they feel the Longbridge union reps and workers shafted them back in the 70's when Hunts Cross was shut.

I can see where they are coming from but that doesn't make the loss of good jobs and incomes (which despite what the propagandists and mancs will say will NEVER be replaced - get ready to work in ASDA and B&Q) to families in the Midlands anything other than a tragedy.
For the anti industrial economy bods, how do you explain BMW, Mercedes and VW?

Never mind the German steel works and shipyards. They understand the national importance of retaining heavy industry and in the car sector they've been able to compete in a highly competitive world wide marketplace with high labour costs.

The demise of Rover wasn't purely down to economics, it was greed and self, self, self.

One day this country may require shipbuilders, heavy engineering and mass manufacturing to retain it's independance and sovereignty. Will the Hungarians, Chinese and Indians works their bollocks off for our national interests?

That's what we're throwing away.
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