Archive : MG Rover ‘in Fiat talks’

Flagship UK car maker MG Rover is reported to be in talks to fit Fiat engines to future models.

MG Rover, who declined to comment on the reports, nonetheless said that “as a manufacturer of 200,000 cars a year, it would be surprising if we were not approached by the world’s top five engine producers”. MG Rover is currently continuing negotiations with its former owner BMW over the purchase of the Midland Powertrain plant, which provides the Longbridge-based car maker with petrol systems.

And the firm in February revealed it was buying V8 engines from an as yet unnamed source for the top-of-the range ZT model, one of a series of sports cars which will hit showrooms this autumn.

Global engine shortage

MG Rover chief executive Kevin Howe, was contacted by one manufacturer within a week of the car maker, then called Rover, being purchased from BMW in a high-profile deal last May. The Financial Times report of talks with Fiat comes against a backdrop of a worldwide shortage of diesel engines, which MG Rover currently sources from BMW and Land Rover, which is now owned by Ford.

Land Rover last month blamed output cuts prompted by a shortage of diesel systems for a decision to cut 200 jobs.

Leading supplier

MG Rover has for months been in talks with BMW chiefs over the purchase of Midland Powertrain, from which it buys about 150,000 engines a year. The plant, which BMW acquired with the purchase of Rover, also supplies Land Rover and Lotus.

“We would like to buy it, but at the right price,” the MG Rover spokesman said.

Keith Adams

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