Sales of Rover cars were running at just 30 a day in Britain in August as the Birmingham-based car maker recorded a 37% slump in August car sales, the Daily Telegraph reported on Tuesday.

The paper said figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders showed that just 922 Rover cars and 764 MG sports cars left British showrooms in August - the combined monthly sale for MG Rover of 1,686 vehicles was the worst for at least six years and reverses an upward trend since 2,013 cars were sold in 2000. Industry-wide sales fell 5% to 80,221 cars in August, the report added.

Phoenix Venture Holdings, which bought MG Rover in 2000, reportedly said the figures were "disappointing" but added it was planning to make cuts of £100 million and return to month-by-month profitability next year.

A spokesman told the Daily Telegraph: "August is always a quite difficult month with the September plate change and it is hard for a business like MG Rover which is not chasing loss-making business."

The company reportedly said Nigel Petrie, the newly appointed non-executive director, was now leading a committee charged with making a profit at MG Rover for "some months" next year.