The UK Government is to call on BMW to allow more time to find a future for thousands of Rover workers threatened with redundancy.
BMW has said all bids for Rover must be in by Friday and expects negotiations to be concluded shortly with venture capitalist firm Alchemy.

"Mass production at Rover [as proposed by Phoenix] would require a £200,000 subsidy per man per year to be viable." John Moulton, Alchemy Partners

But on Tuesday Trade and Industry Secretary Stephen Byers is to try to persuade BMW to postpone the sale.

The move would give more time for rival bidders Phoenix to finalise a rescue package which they say would save thousands of jobs at Rover's Longbridge plant in the West Midlands.

Representatives of the Transport and General Workers' Union (TGWU) also plan to travel to BMW's head office in Munich on Wednesday to ask them to extend the deadline.

Every extra day of owning Rover is said to cost BMW about £2m in losses.