| 21 September 2005 - Rimmer Bros Appointed as an MG Rover Parts Distributor
|The uncertainty surrounding the unfortunate demise of MG Rover has left many owners and the trade wondering where they will be able to buy original parts and accessories. Well, it is good news for owners and traders both in the UK and overseas. Rimmer Bros have been appointed as an official MG Rover Parts Distributor.
Over-The-Counter *** Mail Order *** Local Trade Delivery Service
Rimmer Bros have been supplying parts and accessories for classic Triumph and Rover SD1 for 25 years. More recently they have been supplying both genuine and aftermarket parts and accessories for Land Rovers, and are an Approved Land Rover Parts Supplier. The MG-Rover parts franchise compliments these perfectly. Using the latest in mail order technology and order processing they can despatch orders anywhere in the world from the vast stock of parts in their 55,000 sq ft warehouse complex.
This is in addition to the over-the-counter and local trade delivery service they offer. They can be contacted for retail or trade enquiries and orders as follows:
Telephone: 01522 563344
Fax: 01522 567600
3 August 2005 - Press Release from the GB Sports Car Company Ltd
MD GB Sports Car Company Ltd announces the next steps in the development
of MG automobiles at Longbridge
Nanjing Automobile Group and Fraser Welford-Winton, Managing Director of
the GB Sports Car Company Ltd, have reached an agreement to collaborate on
the next phases of activities resulting from the acquisition of the assets
of MG Rover Ltd and Powertrain Ltd and in particular the finalisation of
the UK strategy.
In conjunction with Nanjings established advisers, Arup Group and China
Ventures Ltd, Fraser’s team will work on the development of a range of MG
automobiles to be designed and developed for manufacture at Longbridge,
Birmingham. Other activities will include the consolidation of the
Longbridge site for automobile manufacturing and related activities in
conjunction with St. Modwen Plc.
Fraser Welford-Winton said:”I am delighted I will be at the heart of the
development and implementation of a business plan that will produce long
term skilled jobs at Longbridge and create a centre of excellence for
sports car activities for which the UK is world renowned”
Wang Hong Biao, Vice President Nanjing Automobile Group said:” We are
delighted to have such fine British partners to reach our goals. In
particular the wide knowledge and experience of Fraser and his team will
complement the skills of ARUP and Nanjing Automobiles”
John Miles, Director of Arup Group said:” We welcome this agreement
between Nanjing and Fraser. We look forward to deploying our engineering
and design skills to help them to bring their vision of an MG car range to
GB Sports Car Company Ltd
The GB Sports Car Company Ltd was founded to design, develop, manufacture
and market British sports cars and to provide consultancy services to
automobile related businesses. Fraser Welford-Winton, who held Managing
Director roles in both Delphi Corporation and Powertrain Ltd, leads the
Nanjing Automobile Group (NAC)
NAC is China’s oldest automotive manufacturer with a strong capability in
manufacturing and design- one of only three companies in China who produce
a full range of vehicles and engines. NAC is headquartered in the Jiangsu
province of China, one of the most economically developed provinces in the
China Ventures Ltd (CVL)
CVL is a company focusing on developing Sino-European business. It
provides commercial and technical consultancy services to both Chinese and
European companies in their automotive global strategy and acquisitions.
Led by Dr.Qu Li, CVL has a highly experienced team and has successfully
delivered many significant Sino-European turnkey projects.
Arup has been in the automotive and engineering business for 20 years,
with offices around the world including in the UK, China, the US and
Japan. Arup is already a key supplier for design and engineering for most
of the world’s vehicle manufacturers, providing strategy, product
development, production and operational services.
22 July 2005 - MG Rover Group and Powertrain
Limited have been sold to Nanjing Automobile (Group) Corporation.
MG Rover Group Limited and Subsidiary Companies – In
Administration – Sale of Assets 22/07/2005 00:00
The joint administrators from PricewaterhouseCoopers
have announced the sale of the assets of both MG Rover Group and its
engine producer, Powertrain Limited to Nanjing Automobile (Group)
Corporation. The sale concludes a three month process following the
collapse of MG Rover in early April. Nanjing Automobile (Group)
Corporation was one of the two Chinese groups that had planned to become
joint venture partners with Phoenix Ventures, prior to the collapse of
Tony Lomas, joint administrator, said:
June I reported to the creditors that there were no viable bidders for the
business as a going concern. As a result, plans had been put in place for
a break-up sale, unless a bidder pre-empted that process before it could
be completed. SAIC had offered to buy the engine plant for relocation to
China, so negotiations were underway to sell those assets separately.
“Whilst we have been negotiating with Nanjing Automobile (Group)
Corporation we have been aware of Martin Leach’s interest in the car
production assets, although no bid has ever been made by Mr Leach.
“Until late last week SAIC had offered to acquire only the Powertrain
assets. On Monday of this week SAIC submitted a conditional bid for all of
the MG Rover and Powertrain assets. However the level and conditionality
of SAIC’s bid left Nanjing’s bid as the preferred way forward.
“Nanjing will now begin to take control of the assets and develop its
plans for the future. It has indicated its intention to relocate the
engine plant and some of the car production plant to China, to retain some
car production plant in the UK and to develop an R&D and technical
facility here in pursuit of the same global expansion ambition that it had
when it joined with SAIC as the intended joint venture partners to Phoenix
Venture Holdings before the collapse of MG Rover.
“For a transition period a residual workforce will continue to be
employed by MG Rover Group and Powertrain, assisting the Administrators as
they have for the last three and a half months. In the meantime Nanjing
Automobile (Group) Corporation intends to begin to hire staff to assist it
in implementing and developing its strategy.”
29 June 2005 -
Good news from Luffield cars!
Dealership, LUFFIELD CARS are pleased to announce an Exciting Change to
their business which will take effect within the next few weeks. LUFFIELD
CARS have been very active and passionate with the MG brand for many years
and due to their commitments MG Motorsport, both through TF & ZR Racing
and Sponsorship of the MGCC Speed Championship since 2001, their status as
an official MG XPower Dealer and involvement with MG Car Clubs, they have
continued to receive significant customer loyalty which has convinced them
to continue and strengthen their links with the Marque.
DEDICATED MG LOW COST SERVICE FACILITY
Recognising the need to continue to give a Experienced & Dedicated service
to all current MG customers, LUFFIELD CARS will be opening a NEW
SPECIALIST MG APPROVED SERVICING FACILITY alongside its Belton Road Site.
This new facility will include the continued display of MG Cars on sale
together with Specialist MG workshops, MOT Bay, MG Diagnostic & 4 Wheel
Alignment equipment together with a Relaxing, New Customer Waiting lounge.
Paul Hands, MG-Rover Service Manager said We recognise that to remain
competitive in this market place, whilst still offering true dealer
dedication and professionalism, our prices must challenge the pricing
policies of less experienced independents. He added We have already taken
steps to expand our range of services offering customers Competitively
Priced Servicing packages starting at £69.95. We will now be focusing on
other key areas for the MG Rover driver, and using our status as XPART
MG-Rover Parts wholesalers, will be able to offer many more keenly priced
SPECIALIST MG SPORTS CAR CENTRE
Recognising the passion and enthusiasm that the directors, staff and
customers have for the popular MG sporting brand, Luffield Cars will be
continuing with the Sales of MG Sports Cars and Accessories from their new
MG Centre. Additional focus will be given to MG Sport & Racing and XPower
products, even offering customers pre-booked MG Race Track Days. They aim
to continue their strong relationships with the MG Car Club, MG Owners
Club and X Power Forums, including the continuation of their annual
sponsorship, which commenced in 2001, of the MG Car Club Speed
COMMENTS FROM THE MANAGING DIRECTOR
David Wood, Managing Director of Luffield Cars said We are delighted to
have be in a position to offer continued attention to all MG owners in the
East Midlands, giving them full attention and expertise gained from our
years with the MG Franchise and using Factory Trained Expert Technicians.
I am sure that our future business plans and propose Marketing Activity
will enable LUFFIELD CARS to remain a dominant force in the World of MG
for some time to come.
Belton Road, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 1LR
Tel: 01509 216100
Fax: 01509 218806
June 2005 -
DTI drove ‘news
agenda’ to bring MGR down
The Department of Trade and
Industry has been accused by opposition MPs of aiding the collapse of MG
Charles Hendry MP, the Tories' industry spokesman, says: "The Government
proceeded to bring forward the closure of the company so that it happened
at the beginning of an election campaign and not towards the end. The
Government's hands are not clean on this."
Speaking in a Commons adjournment debate yesterday, John Hemming, a
Liberal Democrat MP, said MG Rover's directors had agreed on December 17
that the car company was "balance sheet insolvent and dependent on the
SAIC deal to carry on trading".
MG Rover's chances of success were undermined when the DTI confirmed
rumours of a £100m bridging loan on April, resulting in suppliers
demanding payment for parts.
He said: "It undermined the credibility of the company and increased its
working capital requirements by £50m. That information should not have
been made public. The DTI made the decision."
While the Chinese needed a few weeks to create an "escrow account" for the
cash lifeline, the DTI ‘drove the news agenda’, first briefing journalists
that talks with Shanghai Automotive had stalled on April 4 and then
announcing that MG Rover had appointed receivers in a late night press
conference on April 7.
Hemming added: "That announcement should not have been made by the DTI. It
was a totally inappropriate thing to do for a public announcement. This
deal could have been done."
Meg Munn MP, a junior DTI minister, said the Government had been
monitoring MG Rover since last autumn and insisted it was inevitable that
the loan would become public. She said: "The loan would have had to be
decided by the European Commission. There was no prospect of it remaining
2005 - MG Rover race dream ran up debt of £48m
By Chris Morley, Evening Mail
MG ROVER'S attempts to break into the glamour world of racing succeeded in
selling fewer than ten cars - and clocked up £48 million debts.
The Phoenix Four's bid to create a "halo effect" to boost the image of the
group proved a hugely expensive flop, selling cars at £80,000 - when they
would have needed double that to come in at a profit because of the
hi-tech materials used.
The full disaster of Longbridge-based MG Rover Sport and Racing venture
was exposed to creditors at a meeting at Birmingham's Hilton Metropole
Out of the £48.2 million owed when the subsidiary crashed into
administration in April, £41.2 million was owed to the parent company,
mainly in pension payments.
Virtually nothing has been left with which to pay the 200-plus companies
saddled with unpaid bills.
Joint administrator Steven Pearson told the Evening Mail: "The reality is
when you divide anything by £50 million, you don't get very much.
"We hope to preserve a few jobs and do a sale of the business, but I would
not expect there to be anything except a few pence in the pound for
Sixty interested parties had inquired about the business but only three
serious contenders were left in discussions, he revealed. A sale would go
through in a month when checks had been carried out on finances.
Mr Pearson said the operation had been set up by MG Rover to ape bigger
car makers who had loss-making supercars in their range.
But the Birmingham attempt had been beset with problems and Mr Pearson
said that sales "were politely described as disappointing".
Finally launched for sale in September, the powerful V8 Mustang-engined MG
SV sports car was not a hit in a highly competitive market. Fewer than ten
were bought as the firm fought in a market range containing the likes of
prestige Aston Martin.
Mr Pearson said the image was also dented by revelations from Mr Bean
funnyman Rowan Atkinson that the car continually broke down as he
test-drove it for a motoring magazine. The car's body was made from highly
advanced carbon fibre which could have cost up to £30,000 alone.
"Arguably, the car should have been sold at £150,000 not £80,000," added
The antics of the racing division were criticised this week by design guru
Peter Stevens, who criticised John Towers and his directors for running
the group like a "corner shop". He claimed money was lavished in attending
glitzy racing meetings such as Le Mans.
13 June 2005 - Why Rover
Julia Finch, City editor of the Guardian
The consultant director of design claims senior
staff wasted company cash by taking business flights to Europe from
Birmingham airport, when they could have flown for a fraction of the price
on low-cost carriers.
He also accused the car group's top executives of
naivety in the way they handled negotiations with Shanghai Automotive,
whose withdrawal from takeover talks pushed MG Rover into bankruptcy.
His comments, in a TV interview to be screened
tonight and on Friday, come just a few days after the car group's
creditors were told they are unlikely to receive a penny of the cash they
are owed. MG Rover's debts, the administrators revealed, totalled £1.4bn
and they have now all but given up hope of selling the business as a going
Mr Stevens, who designed the McLaren F1 racing
car before joining MG Rover in 2000, said the chances of pulling off the
rescue deal with the Chinese were never more than 50-50. Even if it had
been successfully concluded, he says, the benefits were never going to be
as people had imagined. "They [Shanghai Automotive] weren't going to take
on the factory here, continue production just as it was and send cheap
seat frames from China or something to cut the cost. It wasn't going to
happen like that."
He describes Shanghai Automative as "undoubtedly
very sharp people" and tells of a dinner for the two teams of negotiators
in China. Mr Stevens claims the Chinese plied the MG Rover team with
alcohol before starting talks after midnight in a bar. "I think the
Chinese would have given themselves an advantage there."
Mr Stevens says that an alternative deal could
have been done with Fiat, but says the car group's chief executive, Kevin
Howe, seemed "over-awed" at a meeting with the Italians.
Fiat, he says, were keen to do a deal. "They were
really up for that, totally," but Rover backed out. Mr Stevens says the
Rover bosses were worried about doing a deal with a company they did not
know and concerned about the number and cost of redundancies it would have
caused at Longbridge.
The car designer said executives refused to
consider taking cheap flights to save money: "The concept of getting up
early and driving to Stansted was just absolutely anathema to people
within the company," he says. Instead staff would spend £640 to fly from
Birmingham to Italy. "I just used to die of frustration at that."
Mr Stevens also criticised huge overstaffing at
the plant. There were people employed, he says, to ensure snow chains
would fit on cars.
The TV programme also suggests Rover wasted
millions of pounds trying to build the brand with a return to motorsport.
Former racing driver Mark Blundell, who was employed by the company as a
driver and adviser, says: "There was a massive muddle in terms of what
they were trying to do ... There was disarray at so many different
A department of trade and industry inquiry is now
under way into the collapse.
· Why Rover Crashed: Tonight with Trevor
McDonald is on ITV1 at 8pm on Monday June 13 and on Friday June 17.
June 2005 - PWC briefing!
MG Rover Group Limited - in administration - news
conference alert 07/06/2005 00:00
The joint administrators of MG Rover Group Limited will
be holding a news conference on Friday 10 June at 1.30pm to provide an
update on the company’s affairs. The conference, which follows the MG
Rover Group Limited creditors’ meeting, will take place in the Arden Room
at the Hilton Metropole NEC Hotel, Birmingham. Broadcast crews and
journalists will be able to set up equipment from 11am.
Media are requested to respond via email to confirm attendance.
Journalists who are unable to attend are invited to dial-in to the
conference by following the instructions below. Again, journalists are
requested to register for the dial-in facility by emailing either Jon Bunn
or Caroline Feltham by Thursday 9 June.
Full PWC Release!
23 May 2003 -
The Bidders according to Autocar!
Is bidding for the MG brand, the MG TF and the plant to manufacture it. It
claims funding from a consortium including an overseas vehicle
manufacture, a US based investment fund with a wealthy investor.
The Chapman plan involves reviving TF production and moving it to another
West Midlands facility, but not producing any more MG saloons.
Production would begin "later this year" and cars would be sold through a
revived dealer network in RH drive countries. A return to the US would
also be on the cards. Chapman was involved in the production of the
seductive but unsuccessful Tommy Kaira and MD Colin Spooner was a leading
light in the production of the Mk2 Elan.
Six ex-Powertrain bosses have banded together, led by MD Fraser
Welford-Winton, to form a company called UK Sports Cars Ltd, aiming not
only to resurrect MG but the Austin-Healey marquee as well with a V8
powered rear wheel drive roadster.
The consortium's first move will be to restart MG TF production at
Longbridge and soon afterwards launch a coupe version of the car, first
revealed last November. The company is also believed to be planning an
entry-level MG Midget. If its bid were successful, UK Sports Cars would
aim to have the Austin Healey 4000 in production by 2010. The plan would
be to give the car an extruded box-section chassis, of the type used by
Lotus Elise & Aston Martin range, and to use super formed aluminium body
Bid now withdrawn
MGR's proposed Chinese partner in 2004, which has already acquired rights
to several MGR models and to some K-series engines, is believed to be a
bidder for much that remains at Longbridge. Other bidders fear that it
maybe interested in some of the MG properties - perhaps not all, but
enough to make revival of the sports car company an impossibility.
The seriousness of its intentions in the UK wee underscored last week by a
cryptic announcement from Ricardo engineering consultancy late last week,
which stated it had signed a "significant contract" with SAIC. The Chinese
have yet to approach BMW to negotiate the rights to use Rover's name. The
fortunes of those negotiations will affect how SAIC views bidding for MG.
Peter Stevens is behind both British Bids!
May 2005 - PWC Update
Price Waterhouse and Cooper Website!
Group Limited and subsidiary companies (in administration) - update by the
joint administrators - 20 May 2005 20/05/2005
The joint administrators of MG
Rover Group Limited asked potential bidders to provide proof of funds for
their bids by the end of last week and have spent this week examining
these. Interest in the MGTF sports car business has been narrowed down to
three potentially viable proposals, which will now be explored in detail
to see if one of these can be transacted, and discussions for the sale of
the rest of the business and assets are continuing with two credible
Tony Lomas, joint administrator
and partner PricewaterhouseCoopers said:
“We are still discussing a sale
of the rest of the business and assets with two credible interested
parties. They are particularly concerned to understand what rights SAIC or
other third parties have in physical assets at Longbridge and in the
intellectual property rights. We can now provide them with a lot more
positive information regarding these points as we have further examined
“While there is still an
outside possibility that some form of car production could recommence at
Longbridge, the cost and complexity of the challenge should not be
underestimated. Engine production would be a lesser, but still very
demanding, challenge. The potential buyers are known to be looking at the
alternative scenarios of continuing production at Longbridge or relocating
“While efforts to sell the
business continue, we are progressively downsizing the support functions
in order to further reduce costs. Around 400 people are still employed at
MG Rover, helping us mothball the facilities and support car sales
activities in the UK and Europe. A further 110 people are employed at
Powertrain undertaking similar roles.”
“We will be posting letters to
creditors early next week, notifying them of a meeting on 10 June at which
we will report on the companies' affairs.”
1. On Friday 8 April 2005, Ian
Powell, Tony Lomas and Rob Hunt were appointed joint administrators of MG
Rover Limited, while Tony Lomas, Rob Hunt and Steven Pearson were
appointed joint administrators of Powertrain Limited. Steven Pearson and
Rob Hunt were appointed joint administrators of MG Sport and Racing
Limited on 12 April. Tony Lomas, Rob Hunt and Steven Pearson have also
been appointed joint administrators to eight European subsidiaries of MG
Rover Group Limited.
12 May 2005 - Chapman Automotive Limited bid for the TF line!
Chapman Automotive Limited is
in the final stages of putting together a bid to purchase assets related
to MG from the administrators of MG Rover Group Limited and Powertrain
Finance for the bid - which relates only to the MG brand, the TF
two-seater sports car and associated manufacturing equipment – is
supported by a consortium of investors including an overseas vehicle
manufacturer, a US-based investment fund and a wealthy entrepreneur.
The Chapman Automotive plan sees the revival of the MG TF model only and
the transfer of its production from Longbridge to another facility in the
West Midlands. It does not include the MG range of saloons, hatchbacks and
It is envisaged that production will commence later this year, with sales
through a revived dealer network in the UK, Europe and other right-hand
drive markets. A return to the US market is predicted within the medium
Chapman Automotive was founded by Colin Spooner former design director of
Lotus Cars; Colin Cushing, founder of Canewdon Consultants Group; and
Barrie Wills, who, for the last 20 years has acted as a consultant to
mature and emergent car OEMs.
Past clients of the three include: Proton, Lotus, Lamborghini, Ford, Fiat,
Yulon Motors, Eicher Motors, Iran Khodro, Tianjin Auto, Kia and Tata
9 May 2005 - Former MGR Head of training launches FREE website to help
people back into work!
has been launched (Tuesday 10th May) to help anybody who has
been affected by the recent closure of MG Rover, Longbridge Birmingham
back into work.
Former Head of Training at MG Rover Longbridge, Jo Cameron of
has teamed up with Paul
and local award winning web designers
to launch this innovative solution to assist people in their job seeking
activities. It is the first service of its kind to match job seekers
directly with employers. All parties have friends and family who have
worked at Longbridge and have been deeply affected by events there.
The website will enable
people looking for work (the seekers) to post their profiles, providing a
shop window for employers (the finders) looking to fill vacancies. It will
hold details of people with a whole range of skills who make outstanding
employees in most sectors from IT to Manufacturing, from Engineering to
Finance and HR to Sales and Marketing.
The service is free to
employers, employees and agencies and will run initially until the end of
September. It is a one-stop shop for local and national employers to plug
their skills gaps.
Ken Kelly Head of Vehicle Assembly who has worked at the company for
nearly 25 years and managed over 2000 employees commented, "There are
thousands of highly trained, adaptable, flexible skilled people who are
now looking for work. If employers are having difficulties filling
vacancies simply log on to the website”.
Adrian Ross of the Longbridge works committee supports the idea,
commenting "When something likes this happens it affects a whole
community, its great to see so many people helping out"
For more information
please call :
Cameron 07841 764 781
Curtis 07780 663007
Kelly 0771 5699369
April 2005 - Glasses Guide reassess MGR depreciation!
Following on from the news that MG
Rover was being put into administration, there has been widespread
speculation about the effect this might have on residual values. According
to Glass’s, a definitive situation regarding increased rates of
depreciation for MG and Rover-branded cars has yet to emerge fully, with
most dealers unwilling to make dramatic price reductions until patterns of
demand become more clear. However, it is already apparent that the market
can expect minimum additional falls in value of around 10 per cent.
"It is still too early to provide a definitive
assessment of how MG Rover is perceived in the eyes of the wider buying
public and how this translates into what they are prepared to pay,"
explains Adrian Rushmore, Managing Editor at Glass’s. "Not unsurprisingly,
this uncertainty has initially resulted in low trade and part-exchange
prices as the measure of risk is considered to be high. When market prices
start to stabilise, it is likely that some of the recently quoted prices
will appear to be an over-reaction."
Glass’s says the question of price is more acute
in relation to the age of the car. "MG Rover cars beyond six or seven
years old are scarcely affected because prices are low and customers are
far less brand conscious. For these older cars, the buying criteria have
much more to do with reliability, practicality and low running costs.
"However, for younger cars the issues are
greater. Warranties have to be offered to make them saleable and
prospective customers need to be reassured about future backup for
servicing and parts. Rover cars will also carry the stigma of being
‘defunct’. These are the key elements that will determine the market price
realignment that is necessary."
Another qualifying factor is that in recent
months MG Rover prices have been falling across the board, and at an
accelerated rate compared to the broader market. "Prior to the closure
announcement, market jitters had already repositioned prices against
competing brands and, for the key models of 25, 45, and 75, the residual
value ranking was already low," states Rushmore. "Clearly, since the
announcement, prices have stepped down again."
Glass’s says franchised dealers have made
additional pricing adjustments with their stock over recent days, but
there was little evidence that prices were slashed. "Price reductions were
more in line with the actions that would be taken as stock ages. A logical
approach would be to test the market with incremental drops of perhaps
£500, measuring customer reaction at each price adjustment. The
practicality of doing this will depend on the urgency to liquidate stock
and the actions taken by competing dealers with a similar profile of
"Glass’s Guide values for MG Rover cars are down
in the order of 10 per cent. We are conscious that some of the low prices
we have recorded recently are a possible market over-reaction and the last
thing we want to do is to lead prices to an artificially low level. What
we are reflecting is the highest possible level that prices could settle
at in the coming weeks, given that values are now lower than all competing
brands," concludes Rushmore.
18 April 2005 - Warranty Direct offers 20% discount on MGR Warranty!
Following the demise of MG Rover, independent warranty company, Warranty
Direct is offering MG Rover customers 20% off any new warranty policy
purchased. The offer is applicable to cars under 5 years old.
Last Wednesday, the administrators, PriceWaterhouse Coopers (PwC), wrote
to MG Rover dealers confirming that they will no longer be able to meet
the cost of repairs.
Previously, MG Rover had reimbursed franchised dealers for the cost of any
repairs carried out for a period of up to three years after a new car was
sold. However, following the analysis of their financial state, PwC has
confirmed MG Rover can no longer afford to honour the commitment.
It's estimated 150,000 MG Rover owners have lost their car warranty cover
- vehicles which were ranked 16th out of 28 in the annual Warranty Direct
Reliability Index Survey (www.reliabilityindex.co.uk)
"MG Rover owners have been left in the lurch with their vehicle
warranties. Should their vehicle develop a fault, they will no longer be
able to return to their franchised dealer and expect the cost to be
covered by a manufacturer warranty," said Warranty Direct managing
director, Duncan McClure Fisher.
"Under the Sale of Goods Act, consumers can find some protection. Should
their car need remedial work, depending on the fault and age of vehicle,
they may be able to claim through the small claims court. However, the
industry is already raising questions marks about the futures of many of
the franchised dealers.”
For further details please visit
www.warrantydirect.co.uk or call 0800 731 7001
For further information please contact Andrew Francis or Charlotte Latham
at Performance PR on Tel: 0208 946 3456 Mob: 0787 981 3639
Warranty Direct’s annual Reliability Index (www.reliabilityindex.co.uk),
15 April 2005 - A
statement from PVH!
course of this past week the administrator, PWC, the Trades Unions, the
DTI and members of the management team have explored every avenue aimed at
avoiding today’s redundancy announcements.
not enough progress has been made on this to provide comfort for the
administrators, and for the DTI, to continue the payment process that
began last week.
In May 2000, when Rover was saved from BMW’s liquidation process, a lot of
people said that the business could not last for more than 14 months. The
management and employees of MG Rover have defied those conventional
predictions and worked tirelessly to create a positive result. Almost
five years later, and within weeks of what we believe to be its natural
long-term outcome, it is devastating to be stopped at the final hurdle.
In a meeting with the administrators this afternoon, the directors of PVH
discussed whether any other possibilities, including use of PVH and
personal assets, could provide a further mechanism to allow employees to
continue to be paid. The conclusion of this discussion was that the best
use of those assets would be to quickly realise their value for the
benefit of the Trust established to benefit the families and dependants of
the Longbridge workforce.
This will enable the initial Trustees, Carl Chinn and Nigel Petrie, to
start providing financial assistance to the employees of Longbridge, and
their families. We can also announce that the Bishop for Birmingham, has
approached us, and has agreed to become a Trustee of that fund.
In addition to the many millions of pounds being made available for the
Employee Trust, we are also committed to provide any other support that
the administrators request in creating the best possible employment
outcome for this business emerging from insolvency. Despite a concerted
view to the contrary, we remain hopeful that car making at Longbridge is
not at an end.
For all of us this is a
desperately sad day. Our hearts go out to all of our employees, their
families, and the local community, at this terrible time.
Peter Beale, John Edwards, Nick Stephenson
April 2005 - XPart speaks out to MG and Rover Customers!
Desford, UK – 12 April 2005 – XPart, the
company that owns and operates the entire spare parts business for
MG Rover, today reassured owners that the ongoing parts support of
their vehicles is in good hands. XPart, a division of Caterpillar
Logistics Services, is largely unaffected by the current
difficulties at MG Rover and is running its spare parts
distribution operations as normal.
“With £40million of parts in our warehouse, and strong ongoing
partnerships with the 800 companies that supply parts for MG Rover
models, we are in an excellent position to maintain uninterrupted
supply to MG Rover dealers worldwide,” said John Parkinson,
Chairman of Xpart.
“Whatever the outcome of the negotiations at MG Rover in the next
few days and weeks, it is important that everyone who owns one of
the three million plus MG Rover vehicles on the road today
understands that the entire dealer network is supported by a
thriving, dedicated and world-class spare parts business.”
XPart’s Desford facility, one of the largest warehouses in Europe,
carries the manufacturer’s total range of parts required for all
MG Rover vehicles, present and past.
Background Information about XPart!
XPart is a division of Caterpillar Logistics Services, Inc. Cat
Logistics provides world-class supply chain solutions and services
to its parent company, Caterpillar Inc., and more than 50 other
leading corporations throughout the world. Headquartered in
Morton, Illinois, USA, Caterpillar Logistics operates more than
100 offices and facilities in 25 countries on six continents.
Caterpillar Logistics provides its full service capabilities to
companies in market sectors, which include automotive service
parts, industrial service parts, consumer durables, technology and
electronics, manufacturing logistics, and aerospace service parts.
More information is available at
8 April 2005 - Appointment of
The Board of directors has met with
PriceWaterhouseCoopers this morning. The directors are taking the
necessary steps to appoint administrators from PWC for MG Rover
Group and Powertrain.
Following the completion of these formalities
the administrators will issue a statement and press release later
All employees are asked to come to work
normally on Monday.
7 April 2005
- Statement from board of directors!
The board of MG Rover has asked Price
Waterhouse Coopers to accept engagement to advise the board of
directors on the current position of the company.
The management is committed to working closely
with the Trade Unions, DTI and Advantage West Midlands agency who
can provide support.
This is a deeply worrying time for everyone and
our thoughts are with the workers and their families. We would
like to thank everyone for their loyalty and commitment at this
very trying time.
April 2005 -
calls on government to decide on loan!
Today MG Rover called on the Government to make a decision on the
bridging loan which will open the way to the car maker completing
complex negotiations with the Chinese company SAIC. The loan is
crucial if the partnership is to be established.
PVH vice chairman commented:” We requested the bridging loan from
the Government to provide the additional time needed to complete
our partnership with SAIC. The PVH directors will provide £10
million of personal money to convince the Government of our
commitment. What we need now is the Government to decide.
“Speculation about the ability of MG Rover to survive will
continue to mount as long as the decision on the loan is delayed.
The speculation has affected the confidence of our suppliers and
dealers and time is clearly running out.”
30 March 2005 - Lewis Day embrace the Unmistakeable Style of Rover
LEWIS DAY EMBRACE THE UNMISTAKEABLE
STYLE OF ROVER
When you operate an executive car
service you want to offer an experience that’s welcoming and
refined, style that’s distinctive and elegant in an environment
that feels effortlessly reserved and stress free.
Having recently taken delivery of 128
Rover 75s Lewis Day Transport provides that exact same
experience. With clients who range from the cream of the FTSE 100
executives to the darlings of the media world, each patron is
rewarded with premier service in a luxurious atmosphere.
“The Rover 75’s smooth drive, refined
looks, reliability and spacious boot make it a perfect executive
vehicle,” said Jeffrey Ritterband, Lewis Day Transport, operations
director. “The drivers think the car is fantastic and it’s even
been the cause of one or two arguments as they all want to drive
one, I’ve never heard of that happening before!”
The Rover 75s are not the only
Longbridge models Lewis Day purchased. As rapid response vehicles
for delivering urgent medical supplies the company recently opted
for two MG ZT 190s. “Not only are they exceptionally quick,” said
Ritterband of the ZTs, “but they have a real presence which makes
other road users sit up and take notice.”
“We’re delighted that Lewis Day has
recognised the essence and core brand values that each of the
marques offers,” said Kevin Brown, MG Rover Group, director,
17 March 2005
- Hands free Kits available
Group today announces it is equipping all Rover 75 and MG ZT
models with integrated wiring for
telephones. To complement this action, a full range of
compatible phone kits offering extensive choice and value is now
available from dealerships.
By making the ‘hands free’ wiring part of the standard line
build specification, installation of the cradle and microphone
is reduced from two hours to 15 minutes. Also, and more
importantly, the fitment of the external equipment does not
disturb the car’s integrity and quality.
The initiative developed with leading telephone accessory
supplier Pama, gives MG and Rover customers the benefit of being
able to keep their current mobile phone and easily install it
into their new car. The integrated wiring combined with the
Basic Car Kit is compatible with 95 per cent of all mobile
phones. No other manufacturer currently offers this level of
compatibility with integrated phone preparation.
“The mobile phone is a part of everyday life so I am delighted
that we’re the first to integrate mobile phone wiring with such
a wide choice,” said Rod Ramsay, MG Rover Group managing
director, sales and marketing. “The chances are that you change
your phone more often than your car,” added Ramsay, “so the low
cost of repeat telephone installation is a key issue to
encourage legal phone compliance.”
Four optional packages are available with different levels of
sophistication and range between £229.99 and £299.99 with
MG Rover Basic Car
Kit – £229.99
The harness operates
with 95% of phones – includes a phone holder, Peiker microphone,
electronic control unit and installation.
Rover Standard Car Kit – £259.99
A range of bespoke
telephone cradles operates with 70% of all phone designs and kit
includes a Peiker microphone, Panorama antenna, electronic control
unit with integrated harness and installation.
MG Rover Deluxe Car
Kit, with user interchangeable cradle – £289.99
A range of bespoke
telephone cradles with user interchangeable connections operates
with 75% of customer phone designs. The kit includes a Peiker
microphone, Panorama antenna, electronic control unit with
integrated harness and installation.
Rover Bluetooth Car Kit – £299.99
Works with all voice
enabled Bluetooth phones – includes a phone holder, Peiker
microphone, electronic control unit with integrated harness,
charging lead and installation.
Since 1 December 2003, the law prohibits holding a telephone while
driving, however due to widespread disregard, the Government is in
the process of introducing greater penalties and high policing to
ensure compliance in 2005.
17 March 2005 - MG Ice Maiden is Double World Champion -
While ice and
snow brought the UK to a standstill, one lady was using the
elements to her advantage. Down the icy curves and straights of
the World Cup bobsleigh tracks, MG sponsored-Sandra Kiriasis and
her German team were cutting up speeds of over 80 miles per hour
and taking corners at four times the force of gravity to take the
World Championship and World Cup titles.
With over 1475
metres of adrenaline, raced in under 60 seconds, Sandra took the
MG motor racing spirit to the ice. Together with her team-mates
Anja Schneiderheinze and Berit Wiacker, Sandra had the perfect end
to an excellent season by winning the World Championships at the
final round in Calgary, Canada. The World Cup, a competition that
runs consecutively over seven selected venues, was secured with an
outstanding five wins.
MG-sponsored women’s bobsleigh is a genuine high-speed ride of
excitement, so we are naturally thrilled that the ladies have
achieved success and are odds-on for more,” said MG Rover Germany,
managing director, Jürgen Voss.
Sandra and the
MG bobsleigh team are now looking ahead to the winter Olympics in
2006, “Our recent success is brilliant, now we’re aiming for gold
in the Turin 2006 Olympics.”
On or off the
track, in or out the car, the MG race fundamentals remain the
same: speed, ambition, skill and an unconditional desire to
perform to the limit. This explains why the women’s bobsleigh
team ‘take the MG’ and the winning title.
March 2005 - SUN scoops the RDX60!
Sun leads the way with MG Rover news. The picture ellegedly leaked
by someone from the Longbridge reveals the concept for the RD/X60,
and is something of an evolution from the
we've been expecting.
course, it can be assumed this is in no way an official picture,
and it may well be unrelated to the final design.
12 March 2005 - Herbert Austin joins Automotive hall of fame!
1 March – It is 100 years since Herbert Austin founded the Austin
Motor Company at Longbridge in the UK. Today, he is to be honoured
by the European Automotive Hall of Fame. He will be remembered
alongside other industry legends such as Henry Ford, Karl Benz,
Etorre Bugatti, Alec Issigonis and Armand Peugeot.
during the Geneva Motor Show, the European Hall of Fame honours
technical, managerial and entrepreneurial achievements in the
industry. In 2005 Herbert Austin joins with Vincenzo Lancia,
Pierre Lefaucheux and Ferdinand 'Ferry' Porsche.
The European Automotive Hall of Fame has a permanent home at
the Palexpo in Geneva. The presentation will take place at a
celebration dinner, attended by over 300 senior automotive
executives, following the opening day of the motor show.
Austin was one of the founding fathers of the British motor
industry. He was born in Little Missenden, Buckinghamshire in
1866. At the age of 16 he went to Melbourne, Australia, where he
worked as an engineer before returning to Birmingham, England in
1889 to supervise Frederick York Wolseley’s sheep shearing
The two later started making cars, and Austin started his own
company a century ago, this year at Longbridge. Austin Motor
produced 120 Endcliffe Phaetons. The 25 BHP car was priced at £6.
His business ingenuity and dream to build cars saw the company
export cars all over the world. Notable products made at
Longbridge include the Austin Seven, which was unveiled in 1922.
The Seven set the standard for a European small car that was
inexpensive and met the needs of the family. By 1926 annual
production was 14,000. The car was built until 1939, when Austin’s
Longbridge factory was turned into a manufacturing base for
military vehicles, equipment and aircraft – the Hurricane fighter,
Stirling and Lancaster bombers being the most famous. During the
war, the Longbridge factory tripled its size to 22,000 employees.
He was knighted for his contributions to the war effort but Austin
died in 1941.
An event is being held at Longbridge to celebrate and
commemorate the founding of the Austin Motor Company and 100 years
of continuous motor vehicle production, during the weekend
starting Friday 8 to 10 July 2005. It will be the largest ever
gathering of Longbridge built motor vehicles and is to be held on
Cofton Park, opposite the factory in South Birmingham. Visit
for more information.
7 March 2005 - Auto Express visits
all know hi-tech robots build cars, but you can't just plug them
into a three-pin socket in the factory wall and expect them to
work their magic. They need power - and lots of it. But when we
heard about what's beating at the heart of MG Rover's Longbridge
factory, we had to get a closer look. No, your eyes aren't
deceiving you. It's a jet engine, and it's identical to the ones
strapped to the wings of the RAF's giant Hercules transport
This awesome powerplant, built by American firm Allison and
installed 10 years ago, is on full throttle in the battle to save
the struggling Midlands car manufacturer. Housed in a huge green
steel box deep in the bowels of the Birmingham site, you need
earplugs to go anywhere near it - we know, because we've been
The engine is essential to the site's £7.5 million Combined Heat
and Power (CHP) plant, and it's waste gases are burned in a boiler
which helps meet the factory's demand for heating - everything
from the paintshop to the radiators in the boardroom. It also
fires a generator that provides up to 10 per cent of the
electricity Longbridge consumes.
And there's one man who knows more about it than any other; as
site operations services manager, Tony Osbourne's job is to keep
everything running smoothly. But there's more; he's also a walking
encyclopaedia of the site, and that's why he seemed like the ideal
person to take us on a guided tour. But we didn't just want to
have a look at the secret stuff. Why? Because Longbridge is about
to celebrate it's 100th birthday.
Tony is immensely proud of the CHP. Tapping a tickling dial in the
control room, he told us: "Everytime that meter clocks, I have
saved the company a few more pence. CHP replaced the old
coal-fired boilers, and this is still the only gas turbine
generator installed at a UK car factory. It means we have both
reduced emissions and generate, on average, up to 10 per cent of
our own electricity. That saves us roughly £600,000 annually, and
we have some power-hungry facilities here, I can tell you - the
Tony is an expert in running a car factory. He started as an
apprentice at Longbridge in 1972, and MG Rover bosses are in awe
of his knowledge of the place and the models it has produced.
That's why, dwarfed by the boilers in the huge CHP plant, there
stands a vintage Austin Seven. This was the car that put
Longbridge on the map, and the company chairman John Towers has
entrusted Tony to get it into tip-top running order. It will be
part of MG Rover's centenary celebrations.
There has been a factory on this site since 1894 - when a
Birmingham firm set up shop to make printed tins - but by 1905 it
was disused. Herbert Austin, a former chief engineer with
Wolseley, was anxious to establish his own car company, and the
modern yet idle Longbridge factory was ideal. That's partly
because it was so far away from the industrial centre of
Birmingham, where airborne soot particles made a perfect paint
finish virtually impossible!
He bought the place for £7,750, bargaining the liquidator down
from £10,000. In November 1905, things started to happen, and
within weeks he'd formed the Austin Motor Company. By the end of
the following year, 26 cars had been built, and the rest they say,
Our next port of call was just as amazing as the CHP - how many
modern car plants boast their own air-raid shelters? Longbridge
was a target for the Germans in World War II as it made Hurricane
fighter planes and Lancaster bombers, but Austin was prepared for
the attacks. It had space for 10,000 people built into the
hillside behind the factory. Some shelters were later used as part
of a 16 mile underground parts conveyor belt network, but today
they're abandoned. Tony took us to the bricked-up front of one of
the tunnels where the terrified employees sheltered from the
bombs. Just looking at it was a sobering thought.
Nearby is evidence of German destruction of a different kind.
Several rubble-strewn acres are all that's left of Longbridge's
old seat-making building. It was demolished by BMW to make way for
a paintshop that would have helped Longbridge make the new MINI.
But when BMW sold Rover and MG in 2000 - and kept MINI fir itself
- the Phoenix Consortium, which bought the plant for a token £10,
cancelled all construction. "BMW did a lot of damage before it
abandoned us." said Tony.
Herbert Austin controlled his empire from a small, first-floor
wood-panelled office near the entrance to the factory. He was
renowned for working there seven days a week, but the building had
to be bulldozed to make way for what is now the South Engineering
Sadly Austin died in 1941, but loyal executives moved his office
in it's entirety into the new building, even down to it's carpets
and light fittings. Despite British Leyland's mid-Seventies bids
to destroy the past, the office survived, and in 2003 it was
dismantled and transferred to a new position inside MG Rover's
conference centre. It has been perfectly re-assembled to represent
the room as Austin left it in his last working days.
Visitors can see the office from a gallery, but Auto Express was
given unique access. I got to sit in Austin's very own padded
chair behind an enormous oak desk, and even pick up his personal
Bakelite telephone. It was the very spot where the venerable
tycoon gave the go-ahead to all-time greats such as the Austin
seven, and signed off designs for cars like the 1938 Austin 12, a
restored version of which is Tony Osbourne's pride and joy.
The office is crammed with Austin's personal effects, and the
panelled door that would have led to Herbert Austin's personal
lavatory is still in place, even if the toilet is long gone! Fixed
to the wood walls behind Austin's desk is an old coin; it's a
reminder that Longbridge's current fight for survival is nothing
The half-crown (the equivalent of 12.5p today) is said to be the
one that Austin tossed to decide whether to shut Longbridge in the
early Twenties when his company was facing bankruptcy. Heads said
to keep going - and heads it landed. Austin asked his workforce to
work for a month on no pay in return for "a job for life", and
Longbridge bounced back. "Some people were still working those
jobs in the Seventies when they were well into their seventies, "
Longbridge has one more secret that most people don't know about -
but it's not actually on the giant site. A stone's throw to the
north is an estate of neat and identical little wooden bungalows
on quiet, leafy avenues. Passers-by would perhaps never realise
this is what remains of 'Austin Village', created in 1917 by
Herbert himself to house key workers. They were built from cedar
wood kits imported from the USA, and today they are carefully
preserved by their proud owners. Something which, despite all it's
troubles, could also be said of Longbridge itself.
21 February 2005 - MGR signs a deal
to meet end of Life Vehicle Regulations!
today announced that it has signed a 10-year agreement to meet its
long-term compliance with the new UK End of Life Vehicle (ELV)
‘Producer Responsibility’ Regulations 2005.
In partnership with Cartakeback.com Limited, MG Rover will provide
owners with access to a national network of facilities that will
ensure environmentally acceptable treatment of end-of life
vehicles, optimising recycling of the cars and reducing waste.
As an incentive, all owners of complete MG Rovers will qualify for
free take-back through the network from 1 January 2007.
Cartakeback is a joint venture company backed by a consortium of
independent metal recycling companies. The network of Authorised
Treatment Facilities (ATFs) will guarantee regulatory standards
for de-pollution treatment and recycling of ELVs, and provide a
Certificate of Destruction to owners.
Enhanced Cartakeback and MG Rover standards will reflect further
operational and customer service quality requirements not stated
in the regulations.
Rob Oldaker, MG Rover product development director, said: "We are
delighted to be one of the first car companies to have complied
with the UK ELV regulations.
"We make continued efforts in product development to restrict
hazardous substances to within legal limits and to implement an
ethic of ‘Design for Recycling’. We now look forward to working
with Cartakeback to ensure the actual re-use/recovery performance
of our vehicles moves from the current levels of around 77 per
cent to the new legislated targets of 85 per cent in 2006 and 95
per cent in 2015."
Growth of the network will develop across the whole of the UK
during 2005, but the free take-back of all MG Rover Group’s ELVs
registered new from 1 July 2002 has already been implemented.
In keeping with the ‘producer responsibility’ rules, MG Rover
‘legacy’ brand cars manufactured before the year 2000, including:
Austin, Morris, Triumph, Wolseley, Riley, and the original Mini,
are also covered within this plan.
When the main free take-back regulation for all ELVs is invoked in
2007, MG Rover will have a car parc of approximately 2m with
around 200,000 ELVs arising in the UK during that year.
4 February 2005 - Rover steps out in leather for NEW ad campaign!
Rover Group launches its new advertising for Rover this week,
targeting a discerning, affluent audience.
It is the first work from St Luke’s since the
agency was awarded the business and marks a return to Rover’s
focus on product quality and design heritage.
The press and radio campaign features Rover’s
new ‘Leather as Standard’ proposition, whereby all 2005 Rover 25
and Rover 45 models come with leather upholstery as part of the
This campaign principally targets ‘empty
nesters’ who are taking advantage of their freedom to choose the
kind of life they want to live. This is reflected in the new end
line: "Rover – Your Space" which features in both the press and
press campaign, which will appear in national newspapers, Sunday
supplements and consumer magazines, uses the values of the marque
to create an up-market, aspirational feel to the ads. The
photography, together with the strong black and red colour theme
signals a renewed sense of sophistication.
Two 40-second radio ads support the leather
proposition with a sensual but humorous approach. The first,
‘Aromatherapy’, plays with the smell of leather, whilst the
second, ‘Cloth’, examines the differences between the look, feel
and durability of leather upholstery and that of cloth.
Steve Robertson, director marketing and product
services at MG Rover Group, says of the new ads: "This campaign
illustrates the value that Rover is putting back into our
products. By offering leather as standard on Rover 25 and 45 we
are creating a unique proposition which will appeal to our target
Neil Henderson, joint MD of St Luke’s adds:
"We’ve gone back to the brand’s roots and picked up on the
quality, style and attention to detail that Rover is rightly proud