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Sunday, 15 October, 2000, 10:00 GMT 11:00 UK
Rover boss under 'pressure'
Longbridge car plant
Mr Towers will be under pressure to reveal his plans for Longbridge
MG Rover chairman John Towers could be facing a boardroom revolt later this month, a report in a Sunday newspaper said.

Non-executive directors are threatening to vote him out of the chairman's office, the report in the Sunday Times said.

The directors want him to clarify his plans for the sale of Rover, to reduce his annual production target of 200,000 cars and to hand over 35% of equity to workers at Longbridge, the report said.

The supervisory board of Techtronic (2000), the private holding company of MG Rover, is to meet on 27 October, the report said.

Vulnerable

Reports that Mr Towers' position is vulnerable is the latest in a string of reports about the carmaker and its attempts to turn itself around.

The Phoenix consortium, led by John Towers, took over the loss making Rover group from BMW in May, paying 10 for the huge Longbridge plant.

BMW put Rover up for sale after the Birmingham based carmaker ran up losses of 2.85bn in six years

Alchemy Partners in March emerged as favourites to buy Rover, planning to turn it into a niche sportscar manufacturer, and threatening at least half the 10,000 jobs at the carmaker's Longbridge site.

Intense scrutiny

But Alchemy pulled out of the bidding a month later, following the emergence of Phoenix, headed by former Rover executive John Towers, which said it could maintain high-volume production at Longbridge.

Since then, MG Rover has faced intense political and media scrutiny, amid fears that the Phoenix consortium's plans were too ambitious.

Last week the Conservative Party called on Trade and Industry Secretary Stephen Byers to "come clean on the state of Rover."

It sent him a letter asking him to shed light on issues such as Rover's ability to keep output at 200,00 cars a year and its search for a partner and the impact on job losses.

See also:

06 Oct 00 | Business
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17 Aug 00 | Business
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