Blog: SAIC wants to base in the UK… should we be surprised?

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

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SOME of MG Rover’s redundant staff could be offered jobs by SAIC. The plan is a simple one – the Chinese believe they own two of Rover’s model ranges, and what it would like to do is take on a bunch of former MGR staff as consultants to aid getting the car into production, as well as working on future projects for the Chinese. It’s certainly no surprise – after all, we all know that the Chinese wanted Rover, so now it seems it could have it without being saddled with the need to produce cars in the UK, or the complications of a potentially messy joint venture.

It’s so simple, and almost elegant. And if it hadn’t happened to MG Rover, you’d probably admire the business acumen of the people behind what’s been going on.

I think it’s a terrible thing what has happened, but if some jobs can be rescued, while keeping a core of engineering excellence in Birmingham, then go for it. And we have some of the best engineers in the world right on our doorstep, so who can blame the Chinese for wanting to get their hands on them? There probably aren’t a huge number of alternative options to choose from.

But when those Chinese Rover 75s start rolling into the UK, don’t expect many people to buy them. One major factor behind buying a new Rover was the ‘supporting the home team’ standpoint. With that gone, a fair chink of the cars’ appeal melts away.

I suppose the problem I’m facing at the moment is that MG Rover’s future is still being questioned. We all know it’s looking pretty bleak, but we really can’t start grieving while PwC continues to talk with ‘interested parties’. I guess we haven’t had closure on this – and although things are bleak, while things are still ongoing, there’s always that sliver of a chance.

I suppose we’ll know it’s really over when the bulldozers move in on the CABs… There are already a number of ominous looking ‘Advantage West Midlands’ signs adorning several fences around the Let’s hope they stop shy of the Elephant House, Kremlin and Conference Centre – these building should be listed.

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

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