Fleet News

MG Rover staff face loan fears

AS the final few cars were finished on MG Rover’s production lines this week, administrators were attempting to allay fears among workers that they will face huge bills for the 12,000 vehicles on the employee car scheme.

Administrators at PricewaterhouseCoopers are currently locked in discussion with funding providers who, they say, ‘presently have no intention of commencing any debt recovery action against the employees’.

Reports have suggested that employees were told they may be liable for loans taken out to buy new MG Rover cars.

It is thought that a total of 12,000 cars are on contract to staff and that management pay 1.1% of list price per month, which included insurance on nine-month, 12,000 mile contracts. The money was automatically deducted from salaries.

At the end of the term the car is normally returned to MG Rover and replaced by a new car, and a new loan, with the company settling any outstanding finance on the old car. The scheme will continue to be administered by MG Rover, but if workers sell their car, the company will not settle the outstanding loan.

Workers have been warned they may have to foot the shortfall between the sales price and the amount due.

Having to pay this loan would be another blow for the thousands of workers who are being made redundant at the collapsed manufacturer.

Steven Pearson, joint administrator and a PricewaterhouseCoopers partner, said the company had written to all employees to explain the situation regarding company vehicles.

In a statement, he said: ‘We are having discussions with the various providers of finance who have confirmed their intentions to work constructively with us and that they presently have no intention of commencing any debt recovery action.

‘Employees are also understandably concerned about the insurance position and we are exploring how fully comprehensive cover can be provided on all employee scheme cars.

‘In the interim any employee suffering loss or damage to their car should call 0845 456 9449.’

Residual value experts at CAP say fleets which operate MG Rovers should not be concerned that the crisis will lead to a collapse in used values. CAP Monitor managing editor Mark Norman said: ‘In the longer term the situation regarding residual values won’t be as bleak as some people are reporting, as these cars are still a mode of transport. Although residual values won’t recover totally, these cars won’t be worthless.’

  • Phoenix Venture Motors, which operates 11 MG Rover dealerships, had gone into administration.

  • Fleets affected by the MG Rover crisis can call a helpline on 0121 482 5254.
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