Car Maker, MG Rover is gearing up for a possible revival as potential bidders are lining up for Rover’s asset acquisition. Among the suitors is the Chinese manufacturer, Shanghai Automotive (SAIC) who has teamed up with ex-boss of Ford Europe, Martin Leach.
The SAIC and Leach duo have decided to launch a joint bid for all portions of the firm which is expected to help the embattled Rover spring back to life once again at its Longbridge division. Another suitor for the deal is SAIC’s opponent firm, Nanjing Automobile, which is against the idea of restarting Longbridge production.
MG Rover reported its insolvency in April with debts of about £1.4 billion and a loss of over 5,000 jobs that excruciatingly ashamed the government just days before the elections.
SAIC had purchased intellectual property rights of chief Rover models, Rover 25 and 75 last year for £67m and has been keen to restore the company’s existence since the past couple of months. Shanghai intends to take full control of Rover’s sister concern, Powertrain that manufactures Rover engines in its joint bid, whereas Leach, using the name Magma in the bid, plans to create an independent firm at Longbridge.
SAIC has thought of relocating the engine production to China that will reduce the manufacturing cost considerably. Engines will later be sent back to the UK for their installation in Rover cars. Leach, meanwhile, expects to establish an all new research and technology centre at Longbridge that will look into the development of fresh models, in turn generating a set of 1,000 and above jobs for architects and engineers. The SAIC/Leach bid has received support from the Transport & General Workers Union.
The third bidder for MG Rover is supposedly a Birmingham executive group headed by the corporate troubleshooter, David James. David James is a recognized name associated with the resuscitation of the Millennium Dome. Allegedly, SAIC merged with Leach for a bid following the breakdown of negotiations with David James. James is known to have applied to the government to guarantee a £80 million loan for an opposing bid.
It is also being said SAIC will move the court in case Nanjing or David James win the Rover bid, using its Rover intellectual property rights card.