Blog: Dave LeggettHold your horses

Dave Leggett | 22 November 2004

I'm a little surprised at the news over weekend that MG Rover is in the 'final stages' of concluding a big deal with SAIC - the news apparently emanating from Rover. After the appalling China Brilliance fiasco*, you'd think the MG Rover people would want to stay quiet until the deal really is signed and sealed. But there's no point in second guessing those guys. Longbridge is a world unto itself. Maybe they think the publicity they are generating now makes it all the more likely that those signatures on the dotted line will really happen or that the Rover hand is strengthened in some way. 

I hope things work out (I'm thinking of the employees), but I can't help thinking that Rover had, potentially, a much better partner in Tata. (I'm just going on what I know of Tata Motor, the people from that company I have met and what I hear from well connected people in India. SAIC is big, is Chinese and has lots of partners - there may be trouble ahead.) But you can't blame Tata if the people there suspected that the Rover management's intentions towards them were not entirely honourable. The evidence is all too plain to see. MG Rover plays around. 

But, as I say, the deal is still to be struck.

*In a nutshell: Yahoo! - we've done a megadeal that saves our bacon, no, all our bacons with a company called Brilliance. Aren't we clever? Such a superb dovetailing match. Hurrah for Phoenix! Oops, the guy we did the deal with - Yang Rong - has legged it and appears to be in exile while under investigation and involved in legal wrangles with the Chinese government. And the other guys on the board aren't too friendly for some reason. Now the deal's off. What deal are you talking about?


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