SAIC set to manufacture Rover 75 models in Shanghai

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The Independent Online

The Chinese company that pulled out of a rescue deal for MG Rover is set to begin manufacturing its Rover 75 executive model in Shanghai.

The Chinese company that pulled out of a rescue deal for MG Rover is set to begin manufacturing its Rover 75 executive model in Shanghai.

Component companies which used to supply MG Rover have been approached to sell parts to enable the Rover 75 model to be built in China, it was revealed last night.

The firms said they had been approached by the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) and that production could start by the end of the year.

Jerry Blacket, the policy director at the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: "Although the suppliers have been approached there is an issue over who owns the rights to the tooling of the 75.

"We wish it was different circumstances, but the fact that first-tier suppliers may be able to sell to SAIC offers some glimmer of hope to those companies hit hard by the MG Rover demise."

BMW, the German car maker that sold Rover in 2000, still owns the rights to the name, but SAIC bought the intellectual property rights for the Rover 25 and 75 models last year.

Earlier, the boss of MG Rover claimed there was a "slim hope" that some form of car production could be rescued at the company's Longbridge factory in Birmingham.

John Towers said he believed there was still some hope for the Birmingham factory, adding that he had been just 20 minutes away from securing a partnership deal with SAIC.

PricewaterhouseCoopers announced it had been appointed administrators to eight European subsidiaries of MG Rover in Germany, Holland, Spain, Italy, Portugal, France and Ireland.

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