BL resisting ministers on £250m investment
By Clifford Webb. Motoring Correspondent
BL is resisting government pressure to reduce its investment plans over the next five years by £250 million. The arguement is delaying approval of the state-controlled motor group’s corporate plan. Sources close to the company said last night that such a substantial cutback would seriously jeopardize the next generation of new Austin Rover cars.
The Government appears to have been preparing the way for a cutback announcement by suggesting that closer involvement with the Japanese manufacturers, Honda would be preferable, to the proposed investment programme which, it insists, BL will have difficulty in supporting without further government financial assistance. In reply BL has said that it believes its capital requirements can be raised in the City if the Government will reaffirm its existing guarantees to the banks.