OT: The long slow death or Rover

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Slightly off-topic but just heard the news that Rover might finally stop production (unless the UK government bails it out with a 100m pound loan).
Suppliers are very concerned about being paid. I don't want the government to use my money to prop this farce up any longer.
They are in talks with a Shanghai automobile company, but if I were the Chinese I would run a mile, nay ten miles. Apparently they are interested in the technology and the brand names (not the production plant). Why, I don't know... Well, maybe they can wait for the company to fold and then buy the relevant bits cheaply.
Will the company be put out of its misery, finally ? The BMW episode finally proved, in my opinion, that the Rover company was/is the walking dead.
The current top management includes, again IMO, some crooks, in that they promised to keep production above 200 000 per year. In the meantime they paid themselves large salaries and stuffed their pension funds while stuffing their workers...
The good bits are out of there anyway: Land Rover (Ford) and Mini (BMW).
RIP.
DAS
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No matter what country we live in, we all have our Enrons, GlobalCrossings and Adelphias to bear :^) Except our guys manage to "stuff" the investors too.
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government
buy
Yup,
Its all very well people wanting this deal to go through to protect jobs and looks good as so called investment. In my opinion they are just buying more time to prevent the obvious, what a sad state of affairs for what was once a huge british motor industry.
Can you imagine telling people in the 1960's about Rovers current situation approaching a Shanghais company!
Even if it does go through all we are going to be offered is a rebadged probably poor quality car. Sad but the true they should have years ago applied for a loan and developed there own vehicles, the current 200, 400 models have been in production for nearly 10 years now, im amazed that they still get them through safety tests.
A very sad day and situation indeed for Rover.
RIP :-(
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Yes. It would be simply throwing money away.

The engines - K Series - are still possibly an asset. They are a remarkably sweet unit. Far better than the Chrysler el cheapo fitted to current Minis. Though not without reliability problems. But it's possible those could have been sorted by development..

To me, if the government had provided substantial funds - in whichever way, loan etc, if they were allowed to under EU laws - to keep BMW there and modernise the entire range, it *might* still have been viable. After all, the one BMW designed model - the 75 - is a rather fine car. It was a serious competitor to my current E39 when I bought it some years ago - let down only by the largest engine being a 2.5 V6 without the torque of the 2.8 BMW engine. That decided it - although I preferred the interior of the 75 - a very pleasant place to be in.

Yup again. But par for the course, IMHO.

It's obvious BMW originally wanted Land Rover. Mini was just a name.

Sad. I've had many Rovers through P4, P6, and SD1. And I still own an SD1.
Fine cars all of them - and in the BMW 'mould'.
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Dori A Schmetterling wrote: ...

Now it's officially dead. Rover is in receivership.
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/business/articles/timid399539?source Well, at least BMW got 10 pounds for it.
Randy
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No, Randy, they got a lot more than that! They got the name "mini" and the 4wd technology that they desparately needed, that would have cost them millions in development costs, and saved a whole lot of development time into the bargain. Rover shouldn't even have existed really, the company almost folded in the very late 70's, being saved only by what was the then intended mini replacement, the Metro. A thoroughly disgusting O.A.P.'s rusty motorised shopping trolley, the only saving grace of which was the development of the amazing 6R4 rally machine. I've been a "passenger" in one on a rally stage, and believe me when I say it's the only metro I've ever wanted to get in again! The company has suffered from various incompetent management strategies and trade union dictators over the years, jumped into bed with various partners in an attempt to keep its head above water, the best of all being Honda as products really did improve once they had a hand. Various owners failed to make any real investment after the government sold it off and let's face it, the worst period of ownership was with BMW. I tend to refer to that as the "asset stripping" period. At the end of the day, rover were left as a small manufacturer with only one decent product, the BMW assisted Rover 75 design, and reducing sales due to future uncertainty, coupled with considerable overheads. Something had to give. It's a shame in some ways, as they gave us quite a few really innovative cars over the years (under their various names - BMC, BLMC, Leyland Cars, British Leyland, Rover Group etc etc) such as the Mini and Morris 1100, (front wheel drive pioneers), Maxi, (ultimate car for camping!), Princess (I defy anyone to find me another UK market car with more legroom and comfort at the price!!) and of course the SD1. One of their most under-rated cars ever was the fairly recent Rover 600 series, the best handling chassis ever to have a rover badge on it. It was based on the Honda Accord but was a joint design venture between Rover and Honda - I had one before buying a BMW, the bm being the only car that could match or surpass the whole driving experience of the 600!! Praise indeed, in fact, the 600 was more reliable.
Rover. R.I.P.
Badger.
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In

Unfortunately, with the impending general election here in the UK, along with the recent postal vote scandal in Birmingham, The Labour Government will bail out Rover in an attempt to shore up the votes in the area.
It is time for Rover to be closed down, and tbh this is what should have happened when BMW sold the place - the money that generated should have been used to retrain the staff and find them new jobs.
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Think you'll find you're wrong.
In any case, there are EU rules against this. You'd be subsidising the making of one product thus giving it an unfair advantage over the competition from other EU countries.

If a subsidy had been allowed, it should have been given to BMW to allow then to develop the new models needed, and to modernise the factories.
At least BMW have a proven track record in making profitable cars that the public want to buy.
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Better mention that to the french then!

Very true, but BMW didn't want to compete with itself, which is why many people reckon the Rovers got better once they were out of BMW's hands.
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You're joking? The only decent car Rover make is the 75 which was designed in the BMW era.
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What I meant to say was that the 75 got better with bigger engines, better handling etc etc after the BMW era.
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Eh? The best version uses a BMW diesel.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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Hear, hear!
John Towers was part of the team that continued the mess-up of the old Rover company. How he could convince everybody that his business proposal was superior to the rival one beats me.
The rival proposal from venture capitalists Alchemy Partners was, in essence, a specialist MG sports/sporty car range selling about 50 000 a year. This brought a chorus of disapproval.
This old news item sums it quite well: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/729294.stm
Phoenix's concept would save more jobs. What a stupid illusion (and I thought so at the time).
I agree that Rover's best last chance was with Honda, who was treated very shabbily when BMW appeared on the scene, despite the fairly decent Rover BMW 75. I remember reading a review in a German motoring mag. "Good for a Rover but not good enough for a BMW". Biased maybe, but certainly with more than a grain of truth.
Unfortunately, because of the elections, I have no MP to whom to write to tell him (the last was a him and the next will probably be a him) to oppose any government bail-out of any sort. We have paid hundreds of millions of pounds, probably billions, over the years already.
Car manufacturing thrives in the UK. We don't need a lame duck/zombie.
DAS
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Right on cue, an interview with Jon Moulton (Alchemy Partners): http://driving.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,12389-1560634,00.html
Text of article below.
Now the government is pouring in GBP 6.5m to pay the workers (at home on full pay) for a week while another attempt is being prepared to negotiate with Shanghai Automotive.
These people are living in cloud-cuckoo land. If I were the Chinese I would stay firmly at home and keep my door firmly shut. It is a disgrace that prime minister Tony Blair has phoned the Chinese leadership to persuade them to buy up this appalling mess with no chance of anything.
Rover is dead, gone to meet its maker, it is a late company...
DAS
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Perhaps if a Rover pay cheque paid your mortgage every month you'd not think that. Any hope of saving jobs should be explored.

And not after time. My techie and I were talking about it today. He asked if Rover had made a profit at any point in the last 30 years, good question!
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I have every sympathy for the redundant workers but they should not be led down the garden path. I sure agree with helping them but not on basis that they are still employees of a zombie company.
When BMW sold they should have been given good pay-offs and the few staying on with MG, a sports-car manufacturer, would probably still be in fairly safe jobs.
DAS
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If Longbridge had been wound up at the time BMW threw in the towel, the workers could have received up to 60,000 gbp redundancy. And all pension commitments would have been honoured. Now they'll get statutory redundancy of up to a few 1000 gbp, and there's a vast pension problem for the majority who transferred from the BMW scheme to Phoenix.
With a decent redundancy package, the individual has the time and means to re-locate and re-train (if necessary) A couple of month's pay doesn't allow either.

Who can really tell, since with a vast organisation it's all down to internal bookkeeping.
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At last somebody spoke about that (the better redundancy available from BMW) on TV here.
What we really should have is an investigation into why the then government joined the vociferous chorus of support for the John Towers Gang of Crooks and why it did not make a noise when it was becoming obvious that Rover wasn't going anywhere (sales continued to plummet).
However, even if found guilty, what punishment is there? You can't fine 'em. The best would be for Tony Blair to lose the election...(unlikely)
What gets me is how all commentators are still talking about a "volume" manufacturer. It was only selling just over 100 000 p.a. when Phoenix bought the company. That's a tenth of what the 'specialist' MB is selling.
And now a brief moment of silence for Rover.....no, a moment to mark the shafting of the workers.
DAS
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Dori - the UK has had an *unprecedented* period of economic stability - despite world recession. And a steady improvement of the standard of living for the vast majority of the population who are in work. True, those who depend on state benefits haven't done so well - but then under a Tory government are you really saying they'd have done better?
Perhaps you're one of the super rich who'd do better with a Tory government. Or even of an age where you don't remember how the Thatcher administration, etc, moved taxation from the rich to the poor?
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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I wish I were super rich... I am just angry with the attitude of the government over the Rover affair.
Actually I don't suppose there would have been much overall difference between a Tory and a Labour government for most people.
I do think that our dear Gordon Brown (UK minister of finance) has a great tendency for micromanaging the economy and complicating everything, including the tax system. The Conservatives had been going the other way. On top of that, we might have had some reforms of the health system, which is hopeless. You may recall that Labout undid a number of significant Tory changes, including separating Budget (tax revenue raising) Day from the announcement of planned expenditure. But the Tories have only themselves to blame for losing the election in 97 by collapsing into a shambles (and confirming the adage about oppositions never winning any elections).
I am nit sure what you mean by M Thatcher's tax burden shift, but I do agree with her abolishing those stupid top rates of tax. She was actually a true (democratic) revolutionary, but that discussion is left for another day and glass of wine or six...
DAS
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