LONDON -- Little hope remains of MG Rover being sold as a going concern after potential bidders from Iran, China and Russia said they had no interest in the collapsed company. But MG Rover administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers say they still are receiving inquiries for various parts of the business, although PwC will not disclose details of the bidders.
"We had over 200 interested parties at the last count," said PwC spokesman Jon Bunn. "There is no deadline for applications, but we will try and expedite the sale as soon as possible."
Last week Chapman Automotive said it will bid to buy the assets of MG Rover's MG sports-car brand. Chapman wants to start building the MG TF two-seat sports car later this year with sales through a revived dealer network in the UK, continental Europe and right-hand-drive markets outside the UK. It also says it would sell the MG TF in the US.
Chapman heads a consortium of investors that includes: an automaker from outside the UK; a US-based investment fund; and a wealthy entrepreneur.
Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation denied UK press reports that it will employ 1,000 ex-Rover staff at MG Rover's Longbridge site in Birmingham, England, to work on r&d. SAIC is interested in buying some MG Rover tooling and assets, and also some assets of the engine producer Powertrain, a SAIC spokesman in London said.
SAIC says it has everything it needs to produce the Rover 25 lower-medium and Rover 75 lower-premium cars in China, but it does not have the rights to use the Rover name, which are owned by BMW, MG Rover's former owner.
"The only area we are lacking is r&d," the spokesman said. In October 2004, SAIC paid £67 million (currently E98 million) for the design rights of the Rover 25 and Rover 75, and for the four- and six-cylinder K-series gasoline engines and the L-series diesel.
Financially troubled MG Rover was forced into administration on April 8.