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Is Rover Doomed?

9476 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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Yes, but not the last ones.

You are just spouting the stereotypical crap doused out by the London Press and the pratt on Top Gear.

Rover quality surpassed BMW's own under their ownership. Problem for Rover is that BMW didn't put the PR money into Rover that they do into their own unreliable crap.

I know several unfortunate BMW drivers who have endless reliabilty problems. Funnily enough, those with Rover 75's seem to always have them...

Conclusion: Check your facts before spouting shite.
Incidentally the last MG Rover car "The Prat On Top Gear" tested was the MG ZT V8.

Clarkson did his usual thing of taking the piss out of the car, and its prehistoric engine which MG-R had bought from Ford. Also pointing out that all of the development budget had been spent on making it rear wheel drive, and only had "A sprocket set from Halford's and the money from the back of the sofa to spend on restyling."

Then, he drove it. And absolutely loved the way it handled, and praised its looks. Signing of the report, he mentioned that the budget development for the Spitfire was something like £12,000, and compared the MG to that!

Further, the 75 was originally build at Cowley in Oxford, which was kept by BMW and now builds the MINI - A good car. When BMW & Rover split, R75 production was switched to Longbridge. If you consult any used car guide, it will tell you that when buying a 75, to try and get a Longbridge built one, as they are better built than the Cowley built examples.

Rover did not make bad cars. It made old and outdated cars. But, they consistently beat some very big manufacturers in customer satisfaction surveys - even beating Fiat, Renault, Citroen, and Peugeot the year after they went bust in the JDPower customer satisfaction surveys!

The biggest tragedy about the whol thing, is that the replacement for the Rover 45/MG ZS was almost ready for production when they went under. If they'd been able to hold on for a few more weeks, they could have released it, along with the very pretty 75 coupe (like a modern SD-1 crossed with a Bentley) which they were also developing.

75 Coupe prototype, 2004

Rover 45/MG ZS replacement - now badged as Roewe 450. Was almost ready for production when Rover went under. Pictures from Auto Express
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Just MG - They can't use "Rover".
Ford bought the Rover name, to stop anyone else using it, as it owns Land Rover at the moment.
Does that mean we'll see the return of the likes of the Allegro, Maxi, Metro, Maestro and Montego?? :happy: :happy: :happy:
Square Steering wheels for all!
Hm. BMW did shaft Rover, I think. But that isn't what ultimately killed them. Just about every major car manufacturer is struggling against lower sales, and increased costs. Rover was too small to cope, and were the first to fall.

They might not be the last though.
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