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Is Rover Doomed?

9252 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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I think the 75 is an excellent model and the MG versions even look cool and were selling pretty well. The MGRover story is one of poor management not just in the latter days but for decades. They tried to keep up with big boys and in the process lost sight of their market. They tried too hard to protect too much when they should have realised that the market was going to require them to be a niche player. Marketing was poor, in their darkest hour they built the worlds fastet estate car that I believe broke the 200mph barrier, but did anyone hear about it? New models were much too late in arriving too. I do blame Phoenix because I suspect they did little at the top level to stop things going pear shaped.

Its tempting then to suggest the government should have helped more but as Tony said we don't want public money going this way and nor do we want public money to be seen as a fallback for other poorly managed companies. Perhaps the government should have kept a more watchful eye over the sale process but I guess business is business.

A really sad story, the sale went to the wrong people and the split up of the brand name from its intellectual property is a sad final betrayal. Maybe they'll be reunited again in the future.
the site is something to behold at the moment, it is bizarre, such a mass of land now opened up for development, in all honesty the Rover works had become a real eyesore, I just hope we don't get bland supermarkets and ikeas, I'm sure investment will come or is on the way and to keep car manufacture there is at least something we didn't expect.
Roewe is the SAIC one, who bought the model and possibly the Rover name.

The Brummie cars will be Nanjing and will be MG Rovers :yes:
Just MG - They can't use "Rover".
Roewe is the SAIC one, who bought the model and possibly the Rover name.

The Brummie cars will be Nanjing and will be MG Rovers :yes:
Ford bought the Rover name, to stop anyone else using it, as it owns Land Rover at the moment.
Just MG - They can't use "Rover".
I think that Rover has had such a bad press over the years I am not that bothered about the name going, MG is a good name to promote with owners clubs and enthusiasts across the world.
Yup, as I said earlier, Ford had first refusal on the name, and decided to buy it to avoid confusion in the marketplace.
Ford bought the Rover name, to stop anyone else using it, as it owns Land Rover at the moment.
Quite right all!

Incidentally, just to underline BMW's shafting of Rover, the bulk of their R&D resources and Budget at Longbridge went into the new Mini.

That is a product designed and engineered by Rover at Longbridge. That is what they were capable of. BMW took it with them, and left them with little or no product development on the drawing board.

But it's OK 'cos all the cretins that criticise Rover all drive BMW's.
Nanjing are likely to resurrect the Austin name.
Does that mean we'll see the return of the likes of the Allegro, Maxi, Metro, Maestro and Montego?? :happy: :happy: :happy:
Nanjing are likely to resurrect the Austin name.
Square Steering wheels for all!
Does that mean we'll see the return of the likes of the Allegro, Maxi, Metro, Maestro and Montego?? :happy: :happy: :happy:
And the cretins who endlessly blame the Germans are just ignorant - and the sad fact is that BMW still has a car factory in the UK (Along with an engine plant). There was massive overcapacity in the UK car industry, and the global car industry, and it was inevitable that some would close. Rover was a large factory producing vehicles that were not selling and were not even needed in the marketplace. The real "baddies" were the jokers who took it over, shifted bits of it around to line their pockets, and pretended to be keeping it going.
Quite right all!

Incidentally, just to underline BMW's shafting of Rover, the bulk of their R&D resources and Budget at Longbridge went into the new Mini.

That is a product designed and engineered by Rover at Longbridge. That is what they were capable of. BMW took it with them, and left them with little or no product development on the drawing board.

But it's OK 'cos all the cretins that criticise Rover all drive BMW's.
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.
Ultimately those who blame John Towers et al rather miss the overall point. Rover was doomed. They did a bloody good job of maintaining it for 5 years which gave the West Mids economy the time to prepare for it's eventual collapse.
Had Rover gone down in 2000 then there were an estimate 50,000 jobs at risk ion the wider west mids economy. In those 5 years all the suppliers grew up and diversified. Those that didn't died slower reducing the impact on the economy so that when Rover collapsed not only were the impacts much smaller but there was no wide scale impact on the regional economy. Not only that plans for the reuse of the site were already reasonably advanced with the new technology unit... & as we are now seeing with the Area Action plan and proposals from St Mowden and Advantage West Mid for the site.

It would have been a different story had the other proposal gone forward in 2000 to end mass car production there and then
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