2 June 2005

A prominent motor industry analyst is claiming to have access to £15bn with which to buy MG Rover. Krish Bhaskar, who heads the Motor Industry Research Unit, says his backers are prepared to pay at least £65m for MG Rover, and invest heavily in the company with an ambitious product plan that would pump over £1.6 bn into it over the next four years. Bhaskar has two alternative plans, one of which would involve Shanghai Automotive Industries Corporation – the company with which MG Rover failed to form a joint venture – and one which would halt production at Longbridge for four years before a relaunch based on a new range. Bhaskar also plans a pair of green vehicles. The first plan would continue production of some models, in league with SAIC. Beyond that, the two would develop new models. The second plan, without SAIC, has the company going into hibernation to develop a new model range that would include a replacement for the 75, an off-roader, a replacement for the MG TF and an Austin Healey. This plan is similar to the one detailed in Autocar (19 April), and all these cars would be based around the same Lotus-inspired Variable Vehicle Architecture platform.

However, Bhaskar says he is struggling to convince PricewaterhouseCoopers, MG Rover’s administrators, that his bid is genuine. Bhaskar believes his bid to be very competitive, but needs time to organise funding in a form that will satisfy PWC.

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