Global auto firms eye up Rover

Two global motor manufacturers are considering buying Rover, unions said this week.

The news came as production was reduced by 50% at the Cowley plant near Oxford, which makes the Rover 75, and by 20% at the threatened Longbridge factory.

Unions are keen to see Rover taken over by a rival motor manufacturer rather than prospective buyer Alchemy Partners because they believe fewer jobs would be lost as a result.

Tony Woodley, the Transport and General Workers Union negotiator, said: `We are in contact with two of the major global manufacturers, people with the finance, the experience and the ability to keep a real car company together.’

Meanwhile, West Midlands-based computing millionaire John Hemming said he was also interested in bidding for the stricken car manufacturer.

As well as cutting back production at the Cowley and Longbridge sites, Rover is believed to have slowed down construction work at the Hams Hall engine plant in Birmingham.

Rover in crisis, p8-10