West Midlands car industry activists are poring over the fine detail of the government report into the collapse of MG Rover to establish whether there are grounds to bring a civil action against the so-called Phoenix Four, the executives who bought the car company from BMW for £10 in May 2000. MG Rover watchers are said to be angry at the extent to which the Phoenix Four benefited personally while overseeing the demise of Britain’s last volume car manufacturer. They believe the report, compiled after a four-year investigation by two government inspectors, has opened the door to civil action. “Company law on fiduciary responsibility is complex and unclear,” said Nick Matthews, an academic at Coventry University and car industry analyst for 15 years. “The inspectors agree that it is uncertain, particularly in respect of the deal to buy MGR Capital. […]
Seen from Longbridge, MG Rover’s former base, the business’s industrial legacy five years on looks decidedly threadbare. In one portion of the cavernous and almost deserted plant – once one of Europe’s largest – China’s Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, owner of the rump MG brand, began making its TF two-seater sports car last year in small numbers for the UK and Ireland, using Chinese and European parts. The company will not comment on production volumes, but acknowledges they are modest. “It’s not MG Rover numbers – it’s a single model we’re producing,” says Peter Brooking, marketing manager for MG Motor UK. Most MG cars are now made in China. In 2006, a year after buying rights to the brand from MG Rover’s liquidators, Nanjing Automobile Corporation moved an entire production line from Birmingham halfway across the world in 4,900 shipping […]
The first run of MG cars have left Birmingham’s Longbridge factory for the first time in more than three years. The cars, which departed the plant shortly after 11am on Thursday, will go on sale from September 20. Chinese owner SAIC/Nanjing began producing the sports car model, the TF LE500, at the factory last month. The Nanjing Automobile Corporation (NAC) bought the assets of the collapsed MG Rover organisation in 2005. Approximately 6,000 workers lost their jobs at Longbridge when the huge car plant closed in April that year. The return of car production to the plant has been heralded as a boost to business in the region.
In China the Chinese MGTF is to make its worldwide debut in just over a week – 6,000 miles away from Longbridge. Longbridge owners Nanjing today opened their doors to the British press to reveal that the two-seater MGTF would finally roll off the Nanjing production lines from May 20 onwards. The Chinese launch of the sports car paves the way for the long-delayed introduction of the two-seater in the UK in early August. Saic-Nanjing’s confirmation of the production launch came in response to the No More Chinese Whispers campaign by the Birmingham Mail, calling on the Chinese to come clean over their intentions for Longbridge.