I don't want to depress anyone, but as someone who cares a lot about MGR I feel I need to be better prepared to accept more dissapointments, so perhaps that's why I'm writing this. Ever since Nanjing signed the 33 year lease with a 6 month escape clause I began wondering why Nanjing would put the clause in one can only specualate that they did this because they see LB as a luxury that they want but may not be able to afford.
So then I started thinking, if Nanjing pulled the plug then what would they do? Pull the plug totally and make a run for it or perhaps do a deal with David James? David James now has the Smart Roadster, he and his team are no doubt busy redesigning it. How long will that take?? 6 months? or a bit longer? Wouldn't it be convienent if after 6 months Nanjing turn around and say David James will make the TF in the UK under license at the old Powertrain plant and the a new MG Midget based on the Smart roadster? David James seemed to think he had struck a deal with Nanjing. Perhaps he has, perhaps we will find out in 6 months time that this is plan B.....am I seeing a conspiracy theory that isn't there or is this the real story???
i suspect that nanjing will only go ahead if they get backing from chinese banks.
gbsc seems to be out of the picture as the negotiations seem to have been protracted i doubt very much ithat they now want anyone else involved!
There are so many ifs and buts, but it all boils down to intentions. I'm confident Nanjing have good intentions, and I am not taking anything as certain given the fact that the lease might be curtailed in 6 months. It's also all too public IMO.
However, as well as intentions there are likely reasons for the 6 months, including all the variables we're not sure about.
So who will use the Rover name and in which countries? Who will partner Nanjing? Will NAC and SAIC cooperate (shouldn't be ruled out)? Will the Chinese government give NAC some dosh? Is there any meat in the Kimber claims?
It could be that Nanjing want a well-funded UK partner to take on the lease in 6 months, or that they are appearing to stall over apparently having no money as a kind of blackmail to get their government/region and ours to cough up?
My biggest concern is that Nanjing don't have the money and no one else comes forward, but I can't see their own government turning down the opportunity of backing them if needs be and can't see the opportunity of a global operation being passed by (UK production is a good bet here). At worst that means coming back into the UK with a new factory a few years down the line like toyota or nissan, but the Chinese want to get things moving quickly - brands and market presence - hence the interest in ready-made names and IP/facilities.
TBH I can't see the kimber connection having any great affect on Nanjing's business plans. Kimber is low on money, has not a great deal in the way of IP (which NAC might have been able to get anyway), and aren't even really to be considered volume. That leaves the possibility of LB having some sort of viability based on some niche player like James? I don't think so.
Kimber might be a part of things, but not an alternative, and if they end up at Powertrain (I too think someone will) then they will have even less baring on the 33-year lease site!
Do GBSC actually exist. I know theres a website supposedly registered to them, but as far as I can see they have never made a press release, own no assets, have no clear 'objectives' as a company..... Are they fictional? Is there any evidence that they are really 'existing' and active? Or are they from the Krish Basket school of business.
Do GBSC actually exist.
Good question. They may have existed once but maybe their original purpose has been fulfilled (LB has been 'consolidated' and NAC have the leasehold)...
In August, Nanjing said it had 'reached agreement' with a consortium of managers from Powertrain to collaborate on restarting car production and developing new MG models. The consortium, which is led by Fraser Welford-Winton, Powertrain’s former managing director, has formed GB Sports Car Co (a front?) to pursue the collaboration. Nanjing will have no equity stake in GB Sports Car Co. The collaboration will include two companies that have been advising Nanjing - Arup, the UK engineering consultancy and China Ventures, which provides commercial and technical consultancy services. The partners 'will work on the development of a range of MG automobiles to be designed and developed for manufacture at Longbridge' , a company statement said. GB Sports Car Co is also to oversee the consolidation of the Longbridge site, (Arup people?) to give it the capacity to build the 80,000 cars annually.
From the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions
I think GB was a consortia for most of it's existance, and these chop and change with different parties involved. Various GB predecessors gunning for the TF only/possibly the ZT were just two or three consortia banding together in different groups. Most parties have probably been involved in most consortia and GB came out of one the original ones last year. It got formalised as a company for a while, but that means diddly squat.
We know the real question: where's the moolah?
If/when it's there GB exists alright!