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Last Updated: Friday, 22 April, 2005, 16:26 GMT 17:26 UK
Rover: What happens next?
Tony Blair and Gordon Brown arriving at Birmingham's New Street Station after cancelling general election campaigning following the Longbridge announcement
About 5,000 MG Rover workers are searching for new jobs after receiving redundancy notices in the post on Monday.

Companies that supply MG Rover have been given grants of around 300,000 to help stave off further job losses.

Tony Blair said that 150m of government aid was being made available in the wake of Rover's demise. Conservative leader Michael Howard welcomed the support package while Charles Kennedy, leader of the Liberal Democrats, said the government should have acted sooner.

Meanwhile sources close to Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) have told the BBC that the company is set to build Rover cars in China.

What impact will the collapse of Rover have on the West Midlands? Should government support have come sooner? If you have been involved has it changed your vote? What would you like to see happen?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.



The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

Rover died a long time ago when it was taken apart and its profitable components sold to BMW and Ford. What was left was a company producing poor quality, out of date vehicles that no-one wanted to buy. It is easy to try to blame government for the collapse but the true blame lies in the usual case of zero investment and reliance on someone always coming to the rescue at the last minute. When British companies realise that making the same old product range is not the way to keep a satisfied customer base, then we may just regain our place in the world as a manufacturing nation.
Gordon Tate, Redcar, Cleveland

Instead of waiting for a handout, get out there and start looking
Philip, Surrey
I'm afraid this is life. Cheaper wages elsewhere in the world mean redundancy here. I was made redundant last year after 28 years + 270 of my friends. All I got was the basic package. It annoys me to hear people at Rover saying the payout is not enough. Well that's life, wake up to the real world. I have a disabled wife and 3 young children and I now have a job 32 miles away. It means leaving home at 6.30 am and getting back home at 7.00pm. I don't like it but it's a job. So instead of waiting for a handout, get out there and start looking.
Philip, Surrey

Cars have become a commodity, and the car industry globally is in trouble. Rover won't be the last car company making thousands redundant. Just wait until oil starts getting really expensive!
Anthony Cartmell, Lancing, UK

That a so-called Labour government allows the last British-owned volume car maker to go bust is clear illustration that any pretensions of being a socialist party are well and truly gone. Only in Britain would this happen. In France their government has bailed-out numerous privately owned companies against EU rules. Why couldn't we?
Andy Roberts, Newquay, Cornwall

We were not given special treatment
Robin Norman, Oxon
Why should Rover workers get special support from the government. I have been through a few large scale redundancies within the rail industry, we were not given special treatment.
Robin Norman, Oxon

This is nothing more than a political stunt! I have seen many friends and family go down that path but not-one has received that much money. My sympathy goes out to these workers. But let's face it if it wasn't for the elections they wouldn't stand a chance.
Rob, Hartlepool, England

Rover is simply a company that cannot make ends meet - just like many others. If my company was insolvent I would not expect the government to bail me out, nor should Rover. Make what the customers want at a realistic price or get out.
Christopher Sutton, Fort William, Scotland

I watch with sadness the continuing demise of British industry. To a lesser extent it is happening here in Australia. I hope there is are repercussions to the government, since they set the agenda that governs how and where investments are made, and subsequently how industry flourishes.
Paul Harrison, Perth, Australia

We know global competition is making it difficult for all companies
David Humphreys, Metro Detroit, USA
Being an expat automotive engineer in the USA, I feel nothing but sadness to see another UK manufacturing company fail. We know global competition is making it difficult for all companies. A week never seems to go by without any Detroit press reports discussing supplier and car manufacturer cost cutting, increasing steel prices, layoffs, and intensifying Far East competition. At the end Rover was too small and too impoverished to truly survive these conditions unless a strategic partner could be found. But despite all this, I cannot help but think that successive UK government "laissez faire" attitudes to manufacturing is wrong and a more proactive position should be taken. What is being done to develop high-tech manufacturing jobs? Let's hope that Longbridge is not replaced with a supermarket!
David Humphreys, Metro Detroit, USA

I find it laughable that the politicians talk about giving businesses freedom and reducing red tape. But when a high profile business fails they criticise each other for not intervening. Government is there to manage the public sector and the economy, its role is not to micro-manage every employer in the country. Businesses fail, it's a fact of life. The Phoenix consortium had 450M to invest in a new model but wasted that chance.
Giles Jones, Staffs, UK

I cannot believe how our life has been turned upside down. I took an apprenticeship with Rover under BMW in 1990. Then had to be moved to a contract house five years ago to finish the Mini off when BMW walked away. I returned to MG Rover with the hope of developing a new car, and now I'm left with three years service out of 15 years commitment, giving me around 700 redundancy. Add to that two loan cars that could potentially amount to a debt of 20,000 and my wedding in 5 weeks, things can't get much worse.
Mark Osborne, Bromsgrove

Rover workers need to realise times have changed
Philip Johnson, Telford, England
I have been made redundant four times. No one from the government came to my aid with a compensation package. Rover workers need to realise times have changed. It is totally unfair to everyone else who has lost jobs if they get taxpayers' money. Perhaps if they had been a bit more flexible and not so preoccupied with militant unions the place would still be open.
Philip Johnson, Telford, England

As a Ford worker I can sympathise with the Rover workforce. Ford stopped car production at Dagenham a couple of years ago and within another several years you will see what is left here close as well.
B Benney, Essex

I don't think any amount of money would help MG Rover without a new and inspiring model range that could dispel the legacy of BL and Austin Rover. Appalling cars such as the Allegro, Marina, Princess and Metro have left a lasting impression. It's a shame they are capable of producing a car as good as the 75 and still can't turn their fortunes around.
John, Manchester

The best bet would be to sell off MG to the highest bidder and admit defeat
Roger, Stockport, Cheshire
The decline and fall of Rover has been going on for decades. The good bits have been cherry picked by Ford and BMW. What's left is a plant making cars based on an obsolete Honda and the Rover 75. The best bet would be to sell off MG to the highest bidder and admit defeat.
Roger, Stockport, Cheshire

The biggest mistake Rover and its parent company made was to ditch an excellent partnership with Honda and align with BMW. Honda helped to turn Rover round in a big way. Once BMW bought Rover, the rot started to set in.
John Darcy, London

What happened to Rover is symptomatic to what is happening to the British Manufacturing industry. The root of the problem is very simple: we don't get good students to study manufacturing at university. The university departments have either been scaled down or disappeared in the past five years. All we are doing is training Chinese and Indian students in advanced manufacturing technology, so they will continue to enjoy the surge in their manufacturing.
Amy Wan, Liverpool

Rover has an "old man" image that has been impossible to shake off for decades. How about the government buying the company in order to develop eco-friendly hybrids for a greener future?
Gerry Noble, Salisbury, UK

Why are Labour and Tony Blair being blamed for Rover's failure in the open market?
Bossman, UK
Why are Labour and Tony Blair being blamed for Rover's failure in the open market? Are they the ones running Rover? Are they the directors and managers? Are they the ones making the cars? No. They have nothing to do with it.
Bossman, UK

The only reason MG Rover workers are out of jobs is because the quality of the vehicles were such that nobody wanted them. Also the Phoenix Four plundered the company. Finally, as far as buying British as one of your contributors has suggested, people will buy cars on the basis of reliability and not on nationality. If hat means German and Spanish cars on the roads then so be it.
Alex, Leeds, UK

Do not blame the politicians this time. Blame yourselves. I drive a British made (Land) Rover. What's the make of your car?
Patrick, Broadstairs

This is yet another wake up call for UK plc
Pete, North Yorkshire
This is yet another wake up call for UK plc. If the product you manufacture is not providing value for money, someone else will do it instead. Alchemy Partners, who put forward proposals to save Rover the last time it was in trouble, but were cynically shunned by this government, must feel vindicated. Why should Rover employees get any additional help? There must be an election around the corner! This government recently decimated a profitable industry, hunting, out of pure prejudice and offered no help whatsoever.
Pete, North Yorkshire

I have owned three Rovers and had a further two as company vehicles. The quality of their cars went downhill as soon as their relationship with Honda ended. When BAE wanted out, Honda was Rover's natural partner - from the moment BMW took over they were doomed, and when BMW offloaded them it was only a matter of time. Much as I feel for the workers and their families, MG Rover is a private company. The taxpayer should not pick up the tab for improved redundancy packages for the workers.
David Cooper, Hull

I feel very sorry for all the Rover workers and their families, but this is a private company. My firm made redundancies a few years ago. We're a very small company and only statutory redundancy was paid. That's life in the private sector. I don't understand why people are blaming the government.
Claire, Aberdeen

You can not keep a company going just to provide employment
Andy Wilson, Hove
Whilst it is very sad that these people have lost their jobs, you can not keep a company going just to provide employment.
Andy Wilson, Hove

I'm surprised they lasted this long. They had a very bad reputation in America and withdrew along with the Yugo, Fiat and Peugeot. Peugeot owners tell me that it was a dealer/parts problem. But the Yugos, MGs and Rovers were assembled poorly from poor designs. You just can't sell poor cars in a harshly competitive marketplace.
Peter, La Marque, Texas

I do feel sorry for the people of Longbridge, and all that rely on the plant for its work. However, it should have happened years ago. When others are made redundant, they accept it and move on. Why should the car workers be any different?
A Buchanan, West Midlands

A great tradition is now gone
Richard Westwell, Hua Hin, Thailand
I read the story of the collapse at MG Rover with great sadness. A great tradition is now gone. Morris Garages and the Rover Car company, two of the most famous names in British motoring history now confined to the history books. Some will make money out of this collapse, but it is never the man on the production line.
Richard Westwell, Hua Hin, Thailand

Thousands of people will be losing their jobs and Britain will be losing an iconic symbol, I really wonder what is happening to this country, it is a sad end to a car manufacturer over a hundred years old.
Andrew, Cheshire

Directors should be held more responsible for Rover's demise and must account for the large dividend payments taken from the company for the mysterious decline in pension fund assets. The former directors of Equitable Life and their auditors are currently in court. So should the directors of Rover be.
Jon, Ascot, Berkshire

For the government to provide any more money for Rover would be throwing good money after bad. How can a company losing 25m a week ever hope to stay in business?
Philip, London

Now that the government have ordered an enquiry into Rover, it effectively puts the whole fiasco off limits until well after the election
Gerry Noble, Salisbury, UK
Now that the government have ordered an enquiry into Rover, it effectively puts the whole fiasco off limits until well after the election. Nice move Tony. It remains to be seen if the Birmingham voters will swallow it.
Gerry Noble, Salisbury, UK

Why should it be politically damaging? The managers should be asked to offer their salaries of the last two years and their pensions to the workers. Mismanagement in a private company can't be blamed on politicians, can it?
Yolker, High Wycombe, England

It's not just the 5,000 or so at Longbridge, thats bad enough but don't forget there is the wider effect on the franchise dealer staff countrywide. A dealership with no franchise is on rocky ground.
Stephen Wilkinson, Middlesbrough, England

Of course this is a political issue because the government tries to meddle with most aspects of our lives. The question is why did it not touch Rover in the same way? The answer is that with Rover, it was up against some real issues which could not be solved by setting targets or imposing its own views!
Vic, UK

It is a disgrace that the government presumes to spend 150m of our money to buy votes before an election. Companies go bust, that's life. We already have a welfare state to provide support for people between jobs, why are these people getting extra subsidy? Utterly contemptible behaviour.
David Johnson, Belfast, UK

If the British taxpayer is going to be forced to subsidise MG Rover, the very least the government can do is buy those cars exclusively for government use and stop buying Jaguars, Rolls Royces and other expensive automobiles instead. At least the British taxpayer will get something of value for his money. If the bureaucrats and politicians don't like it, maybe they'll think twice before they spend taxpayer money on a politically motivated bailout next time.
Mark, USA

We live in a capitalist economic system. This is the choice the British people make in election after election
Kyle Duncan, Cambridge, UK
We live in a capitalist economic system. This is the choice the British people make in election after election; therefore we have to face the reality of a competitive economy in which all business is governed by market laws not employment or welfare ideals. If people really care about the loss of Rover jobs they should consider the benefits of state-operated manufacturing, not whine in a nationalistic way about a run-of-the-mill car manufacturer.
Kyle Duncan, Cambridge, UK

The Labour Government have made the right decision to offer funding to help supplement redundancy payouts and retraining of those redundant. To keep a company that had a poor product and even poorer management structure would be a criminal waste of taxpayers money. If there was a viable way of saving the company and making it profitable their would have been a queue of companies waiting to take them over.
R King, UK

One word describes the failure of British industries including Rover - unions!
Dave, New Jersey

To all those who think that it is the government's job to save Rover: What car do you drive? We should all buy British, or stop complaining.
Lucy Bird, Southampton, Hants

I have a close friend who just lost his job at Rover after 23 years. He's in total shock - he's 40 and hasn't got a clue what to do next - he's been working since the age of 17 and has never set foot in a dole office.
Kashif May, Birmingham, UK

It is within the government's power to take over the company itself
Mike Dailly, Glasgow
Tony Blair states on BBC Radio 2 today that he will do everything within his power to help MG Rover employees, but he insists that the UK government cannot keep the company afloat. Why not? He has the power to do so, and without MG Rover our car manufacturing industry is gone. It is within the government's power to take over the company itself. That would be good for the people of Birmingham and the UK. Why should political ideology get in the way of saving a UK industry?
Mike Dailly, Glasgow

When the steelworks closed in Cardiff hundreds of workers lost their jobs and pensions. My husband's job was as important to our family, as Rover workers' jobs are to their families. There was no government help for us, why should our taxes now be used to support Rover?
Carolyn John, Cardiff

How many of the now ex employees who are moaning about the loss of jobs are members of the unions who have, on so many occasions over the last 25 years, held this company to ransom for more pay and benefits? It is not only the latest management who have milked this company. Moreover, if you were offered a chance to become excessively wealthy off an investment of 60k wouldn't you take it?
Matt, Solihull

This is a very sad day for the local area. Rover is integral to Longbridge - a huge raft of local businesses which rely on Rover workers for business, such as simple firms like newsagents, will probably go under now. The effect on the local community cannot be underestimated. I sincerely hope the government will help the local area. What we do not need is a huge supermarket built on the site.
Manjit Mand, Rednal, Birmingham

If necessary, Rover should be re-nationalised
Ben Drake, York
As a trade unionist I firmly believe the government should step in now and save these jobs. The company bosses may not deserve help but the workers and their families and communities do. If necessary, Rover should be re-nationalised. Don't let the government tell us it can't be afforded, they found the money for war quick enough!
Ben Drake, York

A sad end for the workers, but shameful comments by the government that "it has done everything it can" are far from the mark. The whole of UK manufacturing is suffering from a policy of slavishly following Euro policies that have made UK manufacturing progressively uncompetitive.
James, Marlow, Bucks

What's wrong with British governments? Can you imagine the Germans letting BMW go under or the French Renault? In the past our government has helped Honda, Toyota & Nissan set up in the UK, but let our own underfunded industries go to the dogs.
B Jarrald, Bolton

We all live and work in a global economy and no one can expect to have a job for life. Rover and the car industry in general is no different to those who have gone before like the ship builders, miners, steel workers, printers and carpet makers, to name but a few. It's sad but these are the economic facts of life.
Andy, Bromsgrove

The workers should pick themselves up of the floor, stop whinging and move on
Martin, Birmingham, England
I work in construction and was made redundant four times in the recession of the 90's and take poorly paid jobs to survive. There was no rescue package for me. I'm against tax- payers money being used to bail out a private company. The workers should pick themselves up of the floor, stop whinging and move on like what I and many of my colleagues had to.
Martin, Birmingham, England

What is the big fuss with Rover collapsing? It is just like any other normal businesses. If you are cursing and swearing at Phoenix Four for not having done much, what about yourself? As an employee, you should have seen it coming if you are really involved in your work. Isn't it obvious that your "work" is less than before? Is there something wrong with the company? Look around, what cars are the Oxbridge yuppies driving? BMW, Mercs and Audis! Rover does not even qualify. Is this British or Un-British since we have the Aussies call themselves Australian if they buy a Subaru and not a BMW?
Jonathan Sternberg, London

The Labour government has shown no regard for manufacturing industry throughout its tenure. Manufacturing jobs are down 50% since they came into power less than 10 years ago. As long as "other" low paid jobs are available to replace skilled workers, and therefore no state benefits are paid out, then they smugly ignore the social catastrophe for 100s of thousands of UK citizens and their families. This has been a government for non-working classes as opposed to working classes.
Ann Smith, Manchester

Simple fact is that Rover cars were not as good as other cars on the market. Painting them yellow and "re-badging" them MG really wasn't going to solve the problem. It carried on doing what it thought was best not what other manufacturers were doing and now they have paid.
Nick, Telford

I run a small bakery firm employing 60 people and over the past 20 years have had to compete with the supermarkets and large multiples. I was upset to read that Rovers VAT liability was deferred and they did not have to pay over employers national insurance contributions. What is so special about them, why do us small companies have to suffer when a large company can do things we would be in court for if we did?
Vince, Kent

MG Rover should have produced better cars
Lin, Norwich
The onus was not on us to buy Rover cars simply because they are British. MG Rover should have produced better cars. The public should not be accused in this way.
Lin, Norwich

So Rover is finally dead, and the press will have to find another company to undermine confidence in and finally destroy. Hope you are pleased with your recent success.
Chris, Warks

Why don't the Labour Party keep their sticky fingers out of this mess? Without the help of the Labour party and the taxpayers' money Rover would have gone out of existence in the 70s when they were British Leyland. How much more money do they want to give this company and its workers? What about the other thousands of workers who lose their jobs every year due to insolvencies? What help do they get?
Dave P, Basildon

Hundreds of uncompetitive companies close every month in this country. I myself have been made redundant twice. Why does everyone expect the government to intervene simply because this company makes cars?
Chris J, London, England

My dad has worked at Longbridge now for 31 years, and the disgraceful redundancy money of 280 for every year they've been employed by the company is sickening. Ford Dagenham plant workers were offered a much better redundancy package when they were laid off. The government needs to intervene and safeguard the livelihoods of Rover employees' families and their mortgages.
Chris Round, Kings Norton, Birmingham

How sad for Rover. However this has happened on the day Royal Doulton closed its gates for the last time
Linda, Stoke-on-Trent
How sad for Rover. However this has happened on the day Royal Doulton closed its gates for the last time. In its day it employed far more than 6,000 and nobody has batted an eyelid. My husband was made redundant after 41 years service when his company went into administration. He got just legal amount of redundancy which was 270 for only 20 weeks which is half of what Rover employees are getting. This country is one of the richest in the world but we are treated appallingly.
Linda, Stoke-on-Trent

12,000 manufacturing jobs lost a month since 1997. What makes Rovers 5,000 employees so special?
Doug Hall, Bury St Edmunds, United Kingdom

Rover never had any hope of making a success of itself. BMW not only stripped Rover of Mini and Land Rover, but then ruthlessly ensured that Rover were not allowed to build cars in a similar vein, or sell in historically strong markets, such as Japan and Australasia. The government claims to have seen a credible business plan when the Phoenix Four came to the rescue. Is this true, or did they just hope Rover wouldn't run out of cash? Yet again questions should be asked about the integrity of Messrs Blair and Byers!
David, Weston Super Mare, Somerset

So sad to see MG Rover going down the drain and with it all their nice and beautiful cars. I guess the market for old timers is simply too small?
Hans, Germany, Berlin

There seem to be a lot of comments on here suggesting that it is the general public's fault because we did not buy British. My response is this - if a foreign company offers a better car at a cheaper price, then why should I buy the inferior product? Yes it is sad that many have lost their jobs, but Rover simply were not competitive in a cut-throat market.
Chris Hodgson, Birkenhead

It is the fault of the management. If the cars were not selling they should have changed the strategy. There should be a public inquiry, not to blame and punish but to learn from the lesson. Key: invest in research and development.
Tharma, Surrey

The Rover workers have at least one consolation - there is a Labour Government in power. Under the Tories, Rover would have got no government help now and would probably have disappeared years ago.
Ken, Hockley Essex

Michael Howard and the Tories are against "the nanny state". But, when the Phoenix fell to earth, Howard said the government should have prevented the collapse of MG Rover. Whatever happened to smaller government? Whatever happened to anything but soundbites?
Peter Holmes, London

Britain has the fourth largest economy in the world and we still can't support a British car manufacturer
Phil, Burton on Trent
Britain has supposedly the fourth largest economy in the world and we still can't support a British owned volume car manufacturer without begging for foreign investment. It speaks volumes for British financiers and their short-term profits-now mentality.
Phil, Burton on Trent

None of this should have anything to do with overpaid pontificating government ego trippers. They should mind their own business and concentrate on delivering public services at reasonable cost. Administrative overheads of 23% of tax receipts are not acceptable. Scrap the DTI. Clearly, from this episode, it is a complete and utter waste of money.
Anonymous, UK

Very sad indeed. I think the British government could have done more to help Rover. I know that British government policy is very market orientated when it concerns private companies, but this shouldn't have happened. Look at France and Renault. What sort of European Union is this?
Jeroen Kormelink, Zoetermeer, Netherlands

I regret the downfall of what was a great company
Nick Laffan, Blandford St Mary, UK
As a new MG 75 owner, I regret the downfall of what was a great company and I blame greedy management and incompetent politicians who rule us despite very little, if any, business experience. How can lawyer Blair and Nanny Hewitt consider that they have the experience to lead great national business'?
Nick Laffan, Blandford St Mary, UK

What can we do now? We always previously supported local interests, by buying Rover. The whole tragic situation is yet another poor reflection of our attitude to manufacturing and support for national interests.
David Treadwell, Birmingham

Er, why is the government involved anyway? Isn't Rover a private company? So why is it a political issue? You know the answer!
Nick Grant, Horsham, UK

Like many British companies, and judging by some of the replies here, there is a notion of brand loyalty by country of origin. This isn't something that has happened in Britain for a long time now since many have accept that we want quality over loyalty.
Darren Burnham, UK

I'd loved to have had a few thousand of help when my employer made me redundant. I imagine that the people working at Dyson would have liked a similar retraining deal when their jobs were taken abroad. Quite a lot of companies collapse and are unable to pay the people's wages. Why Rover? Why do they deserve special treatment that no-one else gets?
Tim Almond, Swindon, Wilts

I suspect the damage will extend far beyond Rover's management, employees, dealers, suppliers, and other stakeholders. Surely, the company's auditors stand accountable to explain why the company continued to trade when its finances were so unstable; maybe this is also a question for the insolvency specialists at PricewaterhouseCoopers who now control the company?
William Bemister, Oxford

Such special cases deserve special treatment
David Ostojitsch, Rowley Regis
I agree with the comments that a large support package shouldn't be given to Rover, as other companies in the UK which close may receive nothing at all. However; 5,000 workers losing their jobs at once, suppliers and dealerships all around the UK and worldwide hit, the implications of the closing of Rover at a regional level. Such special cases deserve special treatment.
David Ostojitsch, Rowley Regis

Surely greed, the curse of the modern western world, is the ultimate reason why Rover collapsed? With less greed, perhaps the Phoenix Venture group would have aspired to build up a company, which made quality cars this country could be proud of, rather than simply running the company they acquired into the ground. Why can't this once great company be re-nationalised? Why can't top jobs be offered to highly qualified businessmen, who are charged with turning a profit, while receiving real performance based bonuses which are purely down to numbers of cars sold? It seems so simple. Why can our government spend hundreds of millions on overseas aid and pay for wars nobody wants, but is unable to re-nationalise a company? Britain would be proud to have a modern and competitive national car industry. If the cars were actually developed to meet modern standards I'd certainly buy one.
Neil Duffield, Gloucester, UK

I used to work for a Rover dealership. What the Directors have done to the finances of the company is criminal. They have sucked the firm dry of capital and assets and now expect the British taxpayer to pick up the pieces. I work for a small company of 14 employees - would the government bail us out if my directors did the same? No. Enough is enough - the people at the top must be held responsible for their actions.
Ritchie Hicks, Colchester

Rover has been in decline for many years. It is a private company which has failed. To use tax payers money to help prop it up or investigate its demise to the tune of many hundreds of millions of pounds is scandalous. It should be treated in the same way as any other private business in administration. There are rules and checks already in place which will bring to the fore any wrong doings by the board of directors and punish them accordingly.
Hilary Tucker, Sutton Coldfield

Nobody else gets any government handouts when they lose their jobs
Patricia, Henley, UK
The Rover workers simply have no idea how they have alienated themselves over this. Nobody else gets any government handouts when they lose their jobs; why on earth should they? Why am I going out to work, taking risks, moving house, changing jobs, watching my employer's performance, making sacrifices, to pay for these? Everyone I know feels disgusted about this.
Patricia, Henley, UK

Another fine mess. Labour has done it again, too little too late, saying what it will improve if we vote them back in. They have had over 8 years to show us what they can do.
Alan Flitcroft, UK

No, I don't think it should be politically damaging as Rover is a private company. Rover cars are good, there is nothing wrong with them at all, but people like Jeremy Clarkson and the rest of the media helped sell that company down the river by their "smart" remarks. Ian Hislop hit the nail on the head when he intimated that it was people like Clarkson who had helped put the boot in. I think the government should certainly set up an enquiry into the accounting. Phoenix Consortium have a lot to answer for, but much as I dislike this current government I can't blame them for this - the blame lies squarely with Phoenix and the media in this country who are always quick to put the knife in.
Vicky George, Redditch, UK

When people look back to today, the Rover calamity will be seen as the first sign of the wheels coming off the British economy. The buoyant economy of late has been fuelled by low international interest rates, and cheap consumer goods from the Far East, not from any fundamental strength of the UK economy. We are living beyond our means, with a 40 billion trade deficit annually. Whoever wins the election is going to have to make some unwelcome decisions to bring what we produce in line with what we consume. Rover will then look like the tip of the iceberg.
Dudley Holley, UK

The collapse of the rescue attempt is the symptom not the problem. The problems are: the fatcats who milked the company knowing full well it wouldn't last; and the political climate which allowed this to happen.
Phil, UK

My thoughts go out to all those who have lost their jobs, but there are some very serious questions to be asked and quickly. Where has all the money gone? How much have the directors awarded themselves and why have they been rewarded when the company has failed?
Julian Hale, Stockton on Tees

The government could have helped, but they were more interested in sticking to the EU rules. When will our people come first Mr Blair?
Alfie Noakes, UK

For too long they have been making too few, poor quality cars, inefficiently. It's not rocket science. My girlfriend was made redundant 2 years ago and we have suffered a reduction in income of 4k pa. Did the government help us? Of course not, we have simply had to get on with it. Everyone bleating about government help should consider that they are only receiving this help due to cynical vote generation by Blair and Brown.
Dave Smith, Shropshire

Regardless of size, a company manufacturing a product that doesn't sell should not be supported
HF, UK
Would a private company have allowed the government to step in earlier? Would the government not then be accused of being a nanny state? Private companies are just that. Regardless of size, a company manufacturing a product that doesn't sell should not be supported. Rover has been in trouble for years and surely the workers knew that.
HF, UK

Tory cries for an independent enquiry are a joke! They want to spend more public money doing a post mortem on a private corpse. They'll have plenty of time on their hands to do it themselves.
Ian, London, UK

All this talk of the government getting involved sooner and being able to save Rover is very wrong. The Chinese were denied access to the books just like the Government and the directors of Rover painted a much better deal to the Chinese then what is known now. I believe the government did all it could. Rover failed because the British people did not buy enough Rover cars. It's that simple. Trying to score political points is sickening to watch. People should focus on the workers who are being made redundant and the efforts to save what works and concentrating on creating new jobs. The Lib Dems are a disgrace: in 2000 they backed the deal that supported the Phoenix team, how petty is it now for them to pretend otherwise and as for the Tories, they're being opportunistic yet again.
Gary Hills, Willenhall

I think what has happened is disgusting. The decline in Birmingham's once powerful industry sector is totally down to the Labour government who refuse to invest in technology. How are Rover and Jaguar meant to compete when we are producing horse carts for twice the price of automobiles you can buy abroad? We need to invest in the future.
Ad, London





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