Blog: Dave LeggettFor the British masochists out there

Dave Leggett | 11 September 2009

If you're in Britain you have probably been hearing in the news about the government's report into the demise of MG Rover - the last 'indigenous' volume car maker in Britain. The headlines are predictable - 'directors made off with millions' etc.

But it was actually a car crash in the making well before the 'Phoenix Four' rocked up for the final unsavoury chapter.

I have just been skimming through the full report over morning coffee. Some of the detail in it is fascinating - Moulton/Alchemy; BMW's inglorious role; the BMW 'dowry'; Phoenix machinations; Deloitte's bang-on views in 2000. And there is some detail of the contacts with potential collaborative partners (the Proton negotiations were quite advanced before they abruptly sent CEO Kevin Howe a fax saying not-on-your-nelly).

For the masochists out there, there are two lengthy pdf files available at the below link. As I say, not pretty reading but the detail holds a kind of morbid fascination.

I heard Robert Peston on the radio this morning - he's fronting the BBC's analysis of the report. I'm a big Pesto fan and he's great on simplifying the arcane developments of the financial world, but I'm not sure he's on totally solid ground with the Rover saga.

Why did SAIC back off from rescuing Rover, the interviewer asked him? Pesto thought that was mysterious. Mr Pesto, they obviously knew it was heading for administration and figured they could get control of the assets/technology much more cheaply that way. And they eventually got their hands on just what they wanted, without having to deal with political hassles over Longbridge production or commitments to its workers.

http://www.bis.gov.uk/mgrover-report


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