MG Rover statement


Richard Burden MP, Chair of the All Party Motor Group and whose constituency includes MG Rover’s Longbridge plant, said today:

“I am sure that many of tomorrow’s headlines will be dominated by reports that the Phoenix directors have put another £4m into their pension pot and by confirmation that they have now received payments from the multi-million pound loan note. Like many other people, I am critical of those payments and have told the company so. But the big picture, which is of most concern to my constituents and the MG Rover workers themselves, is not controversies over directors pay but the future of car making at Longbridge. Sales of MG Rovers have been disappointing recently. There is also no doubt that these are tough times for all car-makers and the challenges for a medium-sized company like MG Rover are particularly serious. But remember this is a company that was being written off by many experts back in 2000. They said it would be out of business in six months. Nearly five years on MG Rover is still there and the losses have been dramatically reduced from what they were a few years ago.

“For the long term though, everyone knows that MG Rover needs a partner to secure the investment it needs for new generations of models. Their agreement with Shanghai Automotive has the potential to provide just that, together with technological benefits for both companies and the prospect of new markets in the Far East and elsewhere.

“These things mean that MG Rover can have a sustainable future. In an industry as competitive as the motor industry, nothing is guaranteed. But people should be cautious before they again make the mistake of writing off this company.”

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Richard Burden

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I was Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield between 1992 and 2019 and a former Shadow Transport Minister. I now chair Healthwatch in Birmingham and Solihull, and the West Midlands Board of Remembering Srebrenica. I also work as a public affairs consultant. I am an effective community advocate and stakeholder alliance builder with a passion for human rights. I am a trustee of the Balfour Project charity and of Citizens Advice Birmingham, and a former Chair of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

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