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Last Updated: Saturday, 16 April, 2005, 14:49 GMT 15:49 UK
'Devastating news for all of us'
Richard Cort
Richard Cort: "I would implore people to stay loyal"
As MG Rover loses the battle to stay afloat, Richard Cort of the MG Rover Dealer's Association, who also runs and owns a dealership in Bury, explains how the collapse will affect its dealerships.

We as a company employ about 155 people, but directly employed at this dealership is about 30-32 people.

The future is obviously uncertain with the MG Rover brand, but we're fairly fortunate.

For some three or four months now we have been negotiating with another motor manufacturer to have a twin franchise here, and we are at an advanced stage at this moment in time.

We're in an industry where we have to be flexible at all times. You must also remember that we not only sell new cars, we sell previously owned used cars, so that's another quasi-franchise that we have.

'Somewhat sceptical'

To use the old phrase, there's actually never been a better time to buy an MG Rover motor car. You know firesale situations always provide massive bargains for customers.

For 12 months we've been somewhat sceptical. But we were assured for the last two or three months, that SAIC [Shanghai Automotive Industries Corporation] were coming through with the deal.

We were assured the deal had been done.

Even after the administration I was talking to Tony Woodley [general secretary of the Transport and General Workers' Union] up until Thursday night.

Obviously it was devastating news for all of us that SAIC had pulled out of talks with the administrator.

I don't necessarily say this is the end of MG Rover, because the adminstrator is still talking to people at this moment in time.

But obviously we have to be fairly deft of foot, we have expenses and we have to cover those somehow.

I think it's fair to say that most dealerships will go on, but unfortunately some dealerships who've been with the brand for as long as been the brand's been going - 100 years - may actually go to the wall.

And I would implore people to stay loyal, stay calm and support their local MG Rover dealership.


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