motor industry - rover to be shanghaied?


If MG Rover is going to ship production to China as all indicators suggest, they should have told their auditors, Deloitte & Touche, first. D&T's 2003 report on the accounts of MG Rover and the parent company Phoenix Venture Holdings, highlights the "uncertainty" of the proposed deal with China's Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC). In fact the deal is far from completion, might not be on the financial scale hinted at by MG Rover, and may need statutory regulation.

MG Rover continues to record staggering losses (£77 million in 2003) and production and sales have slumped. The famous saving of MG Rover for £10 in 2000 may turn out to be a temporary reprieve after all, but will the death knell toll before or after the General Election?

Whatever happens, the four "saviours" of MG Rover, now directors, will receive £3.58 million together with £2.5 million loan note repayments towards their own pension trust fund in 2003.

• As WORKERS went to press, union members in the motor industry and beyond were set to demonstrate in Coventry on 27 November against Ford's announcement that it would end Jaguar production in the city after 70 years.

The planned closure comes on top of sweeping cuts in manufacturing industry in the Midlands city, with big job cuts at Massey Ferguson and Dunlop.

The march, under the banner of Jaguar workers fighting for a future, is supported by the TGWU, Amicus and the GMB. For more information on the struggle, email