Page last updated at 21:00 GMT, Thursday, 10 September 2009 22:00 UK

MG Rover collapse: As it happened

MG Rover logos at former dealership
MG Rover collapsed with debts of 1bn

The government is preparing to publish its report into the collapse of Rover in 2005 - an inquiry which has cost more than £16m.

Here is a guide to the events which led to Rover's going into administration, and the developments which subsequently ensued.


1994: Rover is sold to BMW, which invests heavily to try to revive the company's fortunes.

May 2000: BMW breaks up the business and Rover is sold after a boardroom upheaval. The company resists an approach from venture capitalists Alchemy Partners in favour of a group headed by former Rover executive John Towers. Phoenix Venture Holdings buys it for £10 and aims to make a profit within two years. It becomes MG Rover, reviving the famous British marque.

October 2000: The final Mini rolls off the Longbridge production line. Having sold Land Rover to Ford, BMW takes the Mini with it, depriving Rover of its more successful component and switching production to Oxford.

2000-2004: Makes losses of £611m in the first four years - amid falling sales. In 2002, it announces an alliance with Chinese group China Brilliance to help fund investment in new models.

January 2004: The bulk of the Longbridge site is sold to raise investment cash. It rents back the land and reinvests the proceeds in the business.

November 2004: MG Rover announces plans for a £1bn joint venture with the Shanghai Automotive Industrial Corporation. (SAIC)

April 2005: The UK government says it has offered a £6.5m loan to cover wages and try to prevent redundancies being made at MG Rover.

April 2005: Beleaguered MG Rover calls in the administrators after SAIC pulls out of a deal to save the whole company. About 6,000 people lose their jobs after firms that are owed money stop supplying and production halts. It has debts of more than £1bn.

July 2005: China's oldest carmaker Nanjing Automotive buys MG Rover, pledging to retain "some" vehicle production in the UK. Nanjing says it plans to use the MG marque on any cars it produces in Europe.

August 2005: The UK's accounting watchdog announces it will examine the role of MG Rover's accountants and auditors Deloitte in the period leading up to the car firm's collapse.

January 2006: A committee of MPs announces an inquiry into the government's role in trying to save MG Rover. It says it will examine whether it did too much or too little to try to save the ailing firm, focusing on the roles of former Trade and Industry Secretaries Stephen Byers and Patricia Hewitt.

March 2006: The National Audit Office criticises the government, saying much of the £6.5m it spent on trying to help MG Rover in its final days had been wasted and would not be recovered. However, it adds many workers had been found new work as a result of the loan and it praised some of the DTI's groundwork. The Tories say the loan was a bribe ahead of the election.

January 2007: Nanjing resumes MG production at the Longbridge plant.

February 2007: A union survey suggests that a quarter of ex-Rover staff are unemployed - two years after the firm's collapse.

May 2009: The government says that its inquiry into the Rover collapse has cost £15m so far.

July 2009: Government says the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is to investigate the circumstances surrounding the demise of MG Rover.

August 2009: The Serious Fraud Office says it does not intend to launch a criminal investigation into the collapse of the carmaker.



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