Rover crisis hangs over marketers

The future of MG Rover’s 150-strong marketing department is in doubt following claims the struggling car marque is just days away from going bust.

Its top marketers include John Edwards, one of the four businessmen who bought MG Rover from BMW in 2000. He took over responsibility for marketing in 2003 after long-serving marketing director John Sanders resigned. Former Kia marketing director Guy Jones was appointed as top UK marketer last year (MW September 9, 2004).

The company’s financial crisis is worse than first thought and its deal with China’s Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) hinges on a &£100m “bridging loan” from the Government.

But rescue talks appear to have stalled over the question of MG Rover’s solvency. Officials from the Department of Trade and Industry have been in China since last week to smooth the deal, but SAIC is understood to want proof MG Rover can remain solvent for two years.

MG Rover chairman John Towers says both sides are “committed” to sealing a deal and are working hard to ensure a “successful outcome”.

But he admits this is a “worrying time” for staff and cannot give an indication of when the two companies might reach an agreement.

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