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tspest, that's not all the news yet....let go your buddy's eyeball too
Shanghai SAIC takeover of Rover signals end of Britain's once-thriving car sector|
After a century producing some of Britain's best-loved - as well as its most-loathed - cars, Rover yesterday confirmed a takeover deal by a Chinese state-owned company that marks the passing of Britain's last major motor vehicle manufacturer into foreign hands.
Or read from here:
SAIC to bail out struggling MG Rover
Updated: 2004-11-22 11:16
Chinese automaker Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. (SAIC) was set to control a crucial joint venture with Britain's struggling manufacturer MG Rover, the Longbridge-based company said Saturday.
SAIC was ready to inject about 1 billion pounds (US$1.8 billion) into Britain's sole remaining carmaker as part of a new joint venture, MG Rover said in a statement.
SAIC would hold a 70 percent stake in the new company and MG Rover would take the remaining 30 percent stake, said Stewart McKee, MG Rover's head of international media.
The joint venture would develop and produce cars in China and England and was expected to make 1 million cars a year, McKee said.
The deal was a “tremendous opportunity” for both sides, he noted.
SAIC's investment will provide crucial liquidity for the ailing British group and securing its 6,100 jobs, while the MG Rover brand will give the Chinese automaker a solid base in Europe as it steps up overseas expansion.
However, MG Rover spokesman Daniel Ward stressed at a news conference that his company would remain independent. “It is not a takeover, it’s a partnership,” he said, refuting earlier reports that SAIC would acquire the group.
The investment would be used to develop a new range of models, the first of which would be a replacement for the Rover 45 due in 2006, Ward said, adding a new small car, a large executive model and a new sports car were set to follow.
“The plan would be to build all the core models in both locations,” he said.
Final details of the deal were still being worked out, but the plan could be submitted to the Chinese Government later this year and approval was expected by the end of January, he said.
MG Rover has been struggling to break even after being sold four years ago by Germany's BMW AG for just 10 pounds.
Analysts said there would be separate British and Chinese companies to make the new models in Birmingham and Shanghai but the key assets and intellectual property rights would be contained in the venture, giving SAIC effective control.
SAIC, one of China's largest and most profitable automakers, sold 600,000 cars last year — more than four times the number sold by its British partner.