5 May 2005

A group of British businessmen, backed by money from a US investor, are said to be mounting a bid for the remains of MG Rover. Autocar has learnt that the bid team includes some well-known names from the UK motor industry, and that they are on the verge of getting the green light from MG Rover’s administrators to make their interest public.

The news comes as controversy raged over pictures of up to 10,000 unsold MG and Rovers in an airfield in Oxfordshire (right). The cars remained parked as MG Rover dealers claimed the company resorted to ‘dumping’ new cars on them in its last few weeks in business.

As Autocar goes to press, details of the first organised bid for MG Rover are sparse, but it is understood that the consortium intends to concentrate on sports car production and aims to return MG to the US market. Sources say the team can secure engines from a ‘major original equipment manufacturer’ including a large-capacity V6 engine.

It is thought that the bid team will initially launch a ‘shell company’, much the same way as venture capital firm Alchemy launched the ill-fated ‘MG Car Company’ in April 2000. It is most likely that the MG TF and SV models will be part of the deal, and possibly a version of the rear-drive 75/ZT, which is still owned by MG Rover.

There’s also a chance of a tie-up with another sports car maker. Lotus could be a candidate as production of the Vauxhall VX220/Opel Speedster finishes this year, and manufacturing could be boosted by a new MG version of the Elise. There are also rumours of interest from TVR’s management, who are said to have visited Longbridge recently.

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