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Last Updated: Friday, 28 October 2005, 12:17 GMT 13:17 UK
Ex-Rover staff get Nanjing invite
Thousands of workers lost their jobs after Rover's collapse
Around 200 former MG Rover engineers have been invited to work for the car firm's new owner, Nanjing Automobile, the BBC has learned.

Letters have been sent out to workers who lost their jobs when the firm collapsed in April.

The letter asks the workers: "Would you like the opportunity to work in China for up to 10 months?"

It also suggests the applicants would be dismantling equipment from Longbridge then rebuilding it in China.

The letter encloses a recruitment application form "to work for the Nanjing Project on the dismantling, reassembling in China consolidation in Longbridge of MG assets purchased by Nanjing".

Longbridge question

The news comes a month after Nanjing said it remained committed to restarting production at the Longbridge site.

Company vice president Wang Too Jing had said up to 1,200 jobs would be created at the West Midlands plant under plans to restart production next year - with a target of making 100,000 cars annually by 2007.

When Nanjing bought Rover in July for an undisclosed sum, administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers said the firm intended to relocate the engine plant and some car production plant to China, but to "retain some car production" in the UK.

They also said the firm, China's oldest carmaker, had plans to build a research and development and technical facility in the UK.

The UK's last British mass-produced car maker collapsed in April with debts of 1.4bn, a hole in its pension fund of 415m. and the loss of almost 6,000 jobs.

Since then reports have suggested that the Chinese firm has been removing machinery from Longbridge under plans to shift all of its car making equipment to China.

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