BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Business  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
E-Commerce
Economy
Market Data
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Friday, 27 October, 2000, 10:50 GMT 11:50 UK
MG Rover plots its future
Longbridge
MG Rover's Longbridge was bought from BMW earlier this year
The board of car maker MG Rover is meeting to map out the troubled company's future, just one day after two of the firm's non-executive directors resigned.

Brian Parker and Terry Whitmore cited intense pressure from the media and rumours of plots to break-up the MG Rover groups as reasons behind their decision to go.

Analysts say the resignations have strengthened the position of MG Rover chairman John Towers.

Mr Towers hopes to preserve MG Rover's status as a mid-volume carmaker, producing about 200,000 vehicles a year. Some board members, though, are said to have been in favour of splitting up the firm and turning it into a small-volume niche producer.

Mr Parker and Mr Whitmore had been linked to rumours of a planned revolt against Mr Towers, which was supposed to come to a head on Friday during tthe board of MG Rover's private holding company Techtronic (2000).

Towers' reaction

Articles in national newspaper had suggested that there were plans to oust Mr Towers as chairman and separate the MG brand from Rover.

But Mr Towers dismissed these on Thursday at a rally of shop stewards and workers at Rover's Longbridge plant.

He again stressed that there were no plans to split MG and Rover.

Mr Towers said he was sad the two men had been "forced" to resign and expressed his gratitude for their help in achieving the remarkable buyout from BMW.

Duncan Simpson, chief car industry negotiator for the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union (AEEU), said: "This is the last thing Rover needed but it is better to get rid of a cancer rather than let it do permanent damage.

"This shows that John Towers is still committed to Rover and proves that he has the strong leadership needed to make Rover a success.

"Hopefully this will put an end to the recent speculative press reports which have not been helpful."

Financier Brian Parker said he wanted to focus on his own business.

Terry Whitmore, managing director of vehicle systems at engineering group Mayflower, said he had been reluctant to step down but was tired of rebutting press speculation.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Stephen Evans
"They have been fighting like cats in a sack"
TGWU chief negotiator Tony Woodley
"The plan is robust"
See also:

26 Oct 00 | Business
15 Oct 00 | Business
10 May 00 | Business
09 May 00 | Business
10 May 00 | Business
Internet links:


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

Links to more Business stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Business stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes