Blog: Chinese takeaway?
Dave Leggett | 28 October 2004
MG Rover's latest financial results highlight a stark situation for the company. 2003 losses may be lower than 2002's, but losses they are and the company is losing sales as the market increasingly rejects jurassic models way past their sell-by date (the 75, still a decent punt, excepted). But SAIC is coming to the rescue, or at least that is the plan. If a deal isn't signed early in 2005, as MG Rover maintains it will be (sceptism on that claim, given the MGR track record, is not unreasonable) the future for Rover looks bleak.
And if a deal is signed, it is less bleak, but it's still not quite break out the champers (unless you're part of Phoenix perhaps...).
If a mid-sized replacement for the 45 is indeed jointly developed, there's still a nagging concern: why would you make cars in cheap-as-chips China, assuming they're of international quality, and also in relatively cost heavy Britain? SAIC could actually herald the beginning of the end for Longbridge (and the people there deserve a collective medal for what they've had to put up with over the years, and their resilience), but it's hard to see other options now.
I'm starting to get a small idea of the scale of things here in China, but really, I'm only scratching the surface of this vast country....
Given the startling complexity of obtaining a journalist visa for China - the code 'J2' is now indelibly stamped on my mind - it was with some surprise how swiftly I managed to sail through airport im...