Fleet News

Longbridge plant 'still at risk' despite latest rescue package

THE deal put together by executives from both Rover and parent company BMW and trade union bosses may not be enough to save the troubled Longbridge plant, according to an industry expert. A new report from Salomon Smith Barney described the rescue package as 'risky' and says the £150 million planned savings 'help but do not yet secure the company's future'.

The report warns that the Sterling exchange rate will make a huge difference to the return on the plans for the company and it adds: 'At current exchange rates we see Rover in loss through 2000.'

Salomon Smith Barney said while the Mini looked set to go ahead at Longbridge so long as workers voted in favour of the deal, the 'real future' of Longbridge would only be secured when subsequent investment was signed off the the R30 - which will replace the 200 and 400 - and is due in 2002/3.

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