MG Rover’s alliance with China’s Brilliance Holdings does not appear to have been affected by the recent Chinese investigation into asset-stripping by to executives and the replacement of its chairman.

In a statement accompanying its latest financial results, holding company Phoenix Venture Holdings Group provided a detailed update of the Chinese alliance:

“Visits have been made to proposed manufacturing sites in China by both senior management and operational staff to help develop the manufacturing plans. During these visits constructive discussions also took place with senior governmental officials from the relevant provinces,” the statement said.

“A joint sourcing committee has been set up to work towards the optimisation of material costs for both current and future models. The joint engine strategy is advancing in terms of definition of range, applications and specifications. This is being dovetailed with the proposed model plans of the partners.

“China Brilliance Industrial Holdings marketing staff have visited MG Rover to share current expertise and develop future plans for the range of models and markets to be covered by the alliance.

“Product development work is continuing on the new medium and small cars, which are the key foundation stones of the strategic alliance.

“All of these actions are being supported by the development of a detailed legal and financial infrastructure necessary to ensure clear processes and controls are in place to manage such a wide-reaching alliance.

“The project is advancing on all fronts with great vigour. The first tranche of cash from the joint venture company, formed to fund the new models, has been deposited with MG Rover and we look forward to a productive period converting the opportunities into reality.”