Marketing director quits at struggling MG Rover

MG Rover global sales and marketing director John Sanders has resigned from the struggling car manufacturer to set up his own consultancy.

John Edwards, the deputy chairman of the board of Phoenix Venture Holdings – the consortium which bought MG Rover from BMW in May 2000 for £10, will assume the additional responsibility of global sales and marketing. The company says Edwards has been working alongside Sanders since he gave notice four months ago.

Sanders denies the decision is related to MG Rover’s decision in April to put its agencies, including M&C Saatchi, on notice and redirect its marketing budget to initiatives such as its link ups with Welcome Break motorway service stations. He says: “The agency review continues, but M&C Saatchi is still the number one agency.”

Sanders says he wants his successor to shape the launch of its new small car, built together with Tata in India. Its MGSV super car will be launched in the autumn.

Sanders will leave the company at the end of June, but does not expect his consultancy to open its doors until later this year. Sanders worked at Renault and for the agency Broadway before joining Rover in 1998.

Edwards has worked in and owned Rover dealerships since 1971.

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