Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point
On Air
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Friday, February 5, 1999 Published at 13:09 GMT


Business: The Company File

Rover closure could devastate economy

The West Midlands' car industry relies on Rover

If Rover's Longbridge plant is closed, it will deal a terrible blow to the West Midlands, a region already reeling from a slump in UK manufacturing orders.


The BBC's Peter Hunt: "Closure would deliver a body blow to the local economy"
As the largest employer in Birmingham and one of the biggest factories in the UK, Longbridge is vital to the local economy.

Rover employs 14,000 workers at the sprawling plant, but that is only the tip of the iceberg. Around 50,000 people are employed in companies that supply the Birmingham plant. Without Longbridge their jobs are in jeopardy.

The 2,500 redundancies already announced are bad enough - but if more were to go it would be a bitter blow for an industrial heartland that was built around the car industry.


Rover workers: concerned
Rover workers were stunned by the threat of more job cuts.

One worker told the BBC: "Yes I am very concerned, we all are..it is quite scary really."

Another said: "It is not looking too good. The management are not saying anything to us."

Bleak job prospects


[ image: Longbridge has been producing cars for 93 years]
Longbridge has been producing cars for 93 years
The chances of Longbridge workers finding new jobs in the area look bleak.

A recent survey by the British Chambers of Commerce said the outlook for manufacturing companies in the region was gloomy. Orders have been hit by a fall in economic growth around the world and the strong pound.

Rover employs around 37,000 UK workers at three plants around the country. Longbridge, its biggest, manufacturers the Mini, MG and Rover 200 and 400 models. It also produces the new Rover 75 model at Cowley and its Land Rover models at Solihull.

If the plant is closed it would end a long and proud car making history at Longbridge.

Henry Austin liked the rural setting on the southern edge of the City and first started producing cars at Longbridge in 1906

The first car produced at the plant was an Austin Endcliffe Phaeton, and since then the plant has given birth to the Mini in 1959, followed by the Austin 1100 in 1963 and the Metro in 1980.



Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©


The Company File Contents


Relevant Stories

05 Feb 99 | The Company File
The Rover breakdown

05 Feb 99 | The Company File
Rover jobs under threat

05 Feb 99 | The Company File
Battle for the driving seat

21 Oct 98 | The Economy
Productivity: Mind the gap!

02 Dec 98 | The Company File
Rover loses 2,500 jobs, and its chief

22 Oct 98 | UK Politics
Longbridge - A cog in the works





Internet Links


Rover Cars

Rover Cars (UK)


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Microsoft trial mediator welcomed

Vodafone takeover battle heats up

Christmas turkey strike vote

NatWest bid timetable frozen

France faces EU action over electricity

Pace enters US cable heartland

Mannesmann fights back

Storehouse splits up Mothercare and Bhs

The rapid rise of Vodafone

The hidden shopping bills

Europe's top net stock

Safeway faces cash demand probe

Mitchell intervenes to help shipyard

New factory creates 500 jobs

Drugs company announces 300 jobs

BT speeds internet access

ICL creates 1,000 UK jobs

National Power splits in two

NTT to slash workforce

Scoot links up with Vivendi

New freedom for Post Office

Insolvent firms to get breathing space

Airtours profits jump 12%

Freeserve shares surge

LVMH buys UK auction house

Rover - a car firm's troubles