Manufacturing News

Nanjing Auto brings in staff from China, raising fears over Rover jobs- report

The new owners of Rover's failed Birmingham factory have flown in a large number of staff from China, including their own catering team, lighlighting fears that fewer jobs in the region may be saved, the Financial Times reported.

The newspaper said Nanjing Automobile, which has agreed to pay 53 mln stg for the Longbridge plant, last week brought in a team of cooks to reopen the canteen.

The Chinese advance team had been deeply disappointed with British food, the paper said, citing one person on the British side involved in the negotiations.?

The company has also imported engineering and manufacturing specialists from its home base in eastern China.

The paper said the company's plans to pack up most of the Rover equipment and ship it back to China have raised concerns over how large an operation will be left in the UK.

Nanjing has yet to announce plans for restarting manufacturing in Birmingham, saying only that it hopes to build MGs through a deal with GB Sports Car Co, a new venture run by former Rover executives, the paper said.

The company has told unions and local officials that it wants to restart production of MG-branded cars. However, weeks of talks with GB Sports have yet to produce a business outline, according to the paper.

The paper, citing people familiar with the discussions, said at least another two weeks were needed before even the main points would be agreed.

Details were likely to take several months, and it remains unclear whether employment will be close to the 500 GB Sports originally proposed or the 1,000-2,000 Nanjing had planned, the paper said.

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