View Full Version : The Longbridge Soap

10-12-2005, 07:47 PM
From Autowired (http://www.autowired.co.uk/news/article.aspx?ExpandStory=True&storyid=15169)

Bhaskar dangles EUR 1bn in front of Nanjing
PROF. KRISH Bhaskar has approached Nanjing Auto, the new owners of MG Rover, with proposals to discuss opportunities for future co-operation.

Bhaskar, who led the unsuccessful 'Triple A' bid for MG Rover, following the Longbridge company's collapse in April, says he has up to EUR 1bn to finance any project. The money is largely provided by the American Arabian Investment & Development Holdings, Inc (AMAR).

"I have approached Nanjing Automotive with a view to exploring opportunities to redevelop sustainable car production at the Longbridge site," he said this morning.

"Nanjing and their UK partners have already stated that should car production resume at Longbridge, it will be on a significantly smaller scale than before. It makes sense to examine the feasibility of acquiring assets at Longbridge which do not form part of Nanjing's plans for the site, and possibly the sharing of core production facilities.

Austin Healey

"In the event that car production will not prove possible at Longbridge, then we would be prepared to consider either an existing facility or a new 'greenfield' site in the West Midlands," he added.

Professor Bhaskar, who has been associated with plans to relaunch a successor to Austin Healey and other venerable marques, would not comment on any involvement in such a project. He did, however, express amazement at recent newspaper reports that GB Sports Cars (GBSC) has acquired the right to use the Austin Healey name.

"I obviously cannot comment on what exactly GBSC has or has not bought, but I am certain it has not the right to use the Healey brand name in any shape or form." He said that the rights belong to a third party and the Healey family who, he believes, are unrelated to GBSC or its financial backers.

"However, I do wish Frazer Welford-Winton and the GBSC team every success in their future endeavours and will be watching their progress with interest," he said.

Longbridge can be world class

A former professor at the London School of Economics, Bhaskar was later appointed to a founding chair at the University of East Anglia where he created the Motor Industry Research Unit and later the 1 Automotive / MIRU group of companies.

In 1994 he moved to Nice in Southern France, and is currently CEO of MIRU and 1 Automotive - a supplier of motor industry research information and forecasting to motor manufacturers and blue chip customers worldwide.

"The UK is indisputably a great place to design, engineer and manufacturer cars as Nanjing will soon find out," he said. "The Longbridge workforce, in particular, has proven itself especially flexible and adaptable. Problems that have occurred are largely due to the uncertainties that surrounded the business and poor management."

He said he believes Longbridge can be transformed into a world class plant in terms of quality, in the same way that Halewood on Merseyside is an excellent example of a 'turnaround' plant.

"When combined with the necessary finance and a credible management team, the Longbridge workforce's inherent flexibility and adaptability creates a unique opportunity to build a truly world class car manufacturer in the UK.

"Through combining AMAR's financial support with MIRU's proven track record in distribution, marketing, productivity, plant location and design, I am confident we can do just that, complementing Nanjing and their UK partner's plans for the Longbridge site," he said.

10-12-2005, 09:37 PM
When combined with the necessary finance and a credible management team.......

If we had the above then we would still be making cars today at Longbridge like the old saying 'To many cooks'.

12-12-2005, 11:51 AM
There are soo many companies involved now I've lost the plot! :o

I agree with Tootall saying about too many cooks. So many people wanting a peice of the action, because they all know what we've always known.

That was that MG-Rover had some of the best people out there doing the job and doing it very well and they all want their share of the glory!

But at the rate this is going, it wont be the Pheonix 4 who have killed the brands, but the International Stir-fry 400!

Why cant one single British company have taken control and have it all back under the same roof and keeping it as busines as usual!

I'm getting very frustrated by all this faffing about, lord knows how those closer to the action must be feeling :angry: