THE STORY SO FAR - MAY 2002 

Phoenix Venture Holdings Limited is an independent, medium-sized, British-owned company with 6,500 employees. From its Longbridge International Headquarters in Birmingham, at the core of the UK’s engineering and manufacturing heartlands, the company engineers, produces, and markets cars that proudly carry the MG and Rover brands. It also owns Powertrain Limited, which produces engines and transmissions for K series petrol engines for Rover, MG, Land Rover, Lotus and many other companies.

Today’s MG Rover is very different from the sprawling company that existed before the acquisition in May 2000.

All car production has been brought together on one site. The process of consolidating production at Longbridge was a major operation, involving such major technical and logistical challenges as the transfer of the Rover 75 production line from its previous base at Oxford. This and other projects were all completed on time and on budget.

MG Rover’s car models include the Rover 25, Rover 45 and Rover 75 series, which have carved out more than respectable positions in their market segments. And the MGF is Britain’s top-selling roadster. In addition, the introduction of new models – from the Rover 75 Tourer variant to the powerful and sporting new MG Saloons - MG ZR, ZS, ZT and sports wagon ZT-T - are in line with the overall strategy of developing or replacing models on an ongoing basis.

Financially, MG Rover has been in a position of strength ever since take-over negotiations were completed in May 2000. The company started its life with a debt-free net asset balance sheet valued at around £740 million and benefited from the fact that the previous owners had made around £3 billion of investments in the company, all of which was included in the acquisition.

Today, Phoenix Venture Holdings’ revenue streams range from car sales to parts and accessories. Outside the United Kingdom, MG Rover owns sales companies in main European markets and operates through local import agents in over 70 other countries.

In its first year alone, Phoenix Venture Holdings exceeded its production, cost and sales targets. In addition, the company established its own parts business and signed a 10-year partnership with Caterpillar Inc for logistics support. Agreements were also made with major financial services providers, such as First National Finance – part of the Abbey National Finance Bank – to provide dealer financial services in the UK. Similar agreements with other providers of vehicle financing have been reached in other major markets.

In May 2001 Phoenix Venture Holdings reached an agreement with BMW Group to settle the Completion Accounts in connection with the sale of Rover Cars. As part of this agreement the previously owned BMW "Powertrain" plant in Longbridge transferred to Phoenix Venture Holdings ownership. "Powertrain" now produces engines and transmissions for itself and third party customers.

In June 2001 MG Rover announced that it had entered into an agreement to purchase the assets of the Italian subsidiary of Qvale Automotive Group. At the 2001 Frankfurt motor show the MG X80 was revealed to the worlds media for the first time. The new MG X80, styled by world-renowned design director Peter Stevens, utilises the outstanding chassis and engineering of the Qvale Mangusta project, coupled to a 4.6 litre V8 powertrain producing upto 380Ps.

Frankfurt also saw the unveiling of the new MG ZT XPOWER 385, MG ZT 260 and the concept "Monogram" programme which allows buyers to personalise their car in a wide combination of exterior colour, interior trims and technical components.

February 2002 saw the announcement of the new MG TF, a replacement for the UK’s top selling roadster MGF. The TF went on to win the ‘Carbrio of the Year’ award at this years Geneva motor show.

Also revealed at the show was a Rover concept vehicle, TCV (Tourer Concept Vehicle). The TCV fulfils the normal Tourer role – a stylish modern ‘lifestyle’ estate car with a roomy five-passenger cabin. The TCV is an integral element of the programme, which will spawn a new generation of MG Rover products, the first of which will go on sale in 2004.

On 21 March 2002, MG Rover Group Limited announced that the Company and China Brilliance Industrial Holdings have entered into a long-term strategic alliance and co-operation agreement to finance, develop, manufacture and market world-class automobiles for the mutual benefit of both partners. The alliance creates the potential for much greater global reach and scale.

MG Sport & Racing under the brand of XPOWER will embark on a full motorsport programme with participation in the Junior World Rally, British Touring Car Championships and Le Mans.