BMW says the talks with the Phoenix consortium are now the only chance of avoiding the closure of Rover, which employs thousands of workers — many at the Longbridge plant in Birmingham in the English Midlands.
Phoenix says it wants to keep Rover as a mass producer of cars, unlike Alchemy Partners, whose negotiations to buy the group collapsed on Friday.
BMW says it will retain a smaller plant at Oxford to build a new Mini. BMW bought Rover six years ago, but has failed to make it profitable.
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