MG Rover is stopping production for Christmas three days earlier than planned for stock taking, following a slump in sales, the BBC reported on its website.

The report said the assembly lines at the Longbridge plant in the West Midlands, will stop on Tuesday, instead of at the weekend - the move follows a four-day suspension of production last month.

The BBC noted that MG Rover's sales fell by almost a third in November compared with the same month last year.

MG Rover, which recently announced a loss of £95 million, has reportedly been running at less than full production for the past month, the report said, noting that the company is also said to have a pensions deficit of £70 million.

A spokesperson told the BBC that sales for the first 11 months of this year had been "broadly in line" with last year and that a stock take would be carried out next week with production line workers redeployed to help.

Tony Parr, of AP Smith, one of MG Rover's suppliers, told the BBC that the early closure was "fairly worrying".

The BBC noted that MG Rover's new small car, the City Rover, is made by Tata in the western Indian state of Maharashtra.