Blog: Dim sums?
Dave Leggett | 18 July 2006
The Nanjing Auto 'MG revival' press conference in London earlier was quite something. It was a packed room at a plush hotel in central London. Plenty of TV crews milling around as well as a good turnout from all sections of the press. I guess the sheer audacity (or nonsense, depending on your viewpoint) of the Nanjing project and the Rover/MG history as well as the still sensitive economic impact of MG Rover's failure in the West Midlands (there were plenty of people from Birmingham along - a few councillors too) gets 'em in.
Did the Nanjing people give the answers the crowd wanted? Not really. But this was always going to be a tough crowd to please. Maybe Nanjing were ambitious in what they said they wanted to do at this conference. Building confidence and credibility will take time (information released in bits more regularly being better than occasional blockbuster set-pieces, I'd say). And the guy in the US (Duke) who shot his mouth off last week probably hasn't helped. But at least they are trying to communicate.
Interesting to reflect on the whole Moulton/Towers saga when BMW wanted to offload Rover six years ago. Might have been better to go with Moulton back then, at least for the redundant workers who would have got generous terms. And maybe he'd have had a clue in turning that MG brand into something. But no, we wanted to keep the dream of a UK volume player alive (me included, at the time). Hindsight's a wonderful thing.
But at least the Nanjing boys are apparently giving it a go and a product portfolio well past the sell-by date isn't stopping them. Are they after state-aid? Investment partners? They'd take anything they could get their hands on I would think.
News item below:
Nanjing Automotive Corporation (NAC) has set out its initial plans to revive the MG brand and return low-volume car production to the Longbridge site in the UK’s West Midlands....
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....