About MG Rover, 1999 to 2005
Up to 2000 MG and Rover were marques owned by BMW and were part of the Rover Group, which also included Land Rover. BMW sold Land Rover to Ford, kept the new MINI for itself and sold the remains (MG, Rover and a few other hertiage marques) to the Phoenix Four for a token �10. Powertrain, the part of the Rover Group specialising in Engine and Gearbox production was sold to the newly formed MG Rover Group shortly after the sale of the main business.
During 1999 to 2005 MG Rover sold a wide range of cars under the MG and Rover marques, these are detailed in the MG Models 1999 - 2005 and Rover Models 1999 - 2005 section.
In April 2005, the proposed deal with SAIC (the company that now owns the MG brand) failed at the 11th hour. The reasons for this are unclear and the subject of much debate. Some feel that the UK Government were less than helpful in helping to secure bridging finance that SAIC were after - some even feel that the UK Government had a key role in the scuppering of the deal by deliberately underminding MG Rover's directors during these final stages of negoitation.
Whatever the reason (I'm sure it will come out one day), the deal collapsed and the following day MG Rover Group went into administration, ultimately with the loss of 6,500 jobs directly and many more in the fallout that occurred throughout the dealer network.
NAC then bought the MG brand, along with Longbridge and the assets of Powertrain and prompted lifted and shifted the Rover 25/45 (MG ZR/ZS) line off to China, along with equipment to produce the TF domestically as well. Currently Longbridge is home to the MG Motor UK, comprising of the sales and admin force and joining them in early 2009 was the SAIC design team which was until then based out at Leamington Spa.
Currently the only model built at Longbridge is the MG6, although the MG3 and MG5 are expected to enter assembly at Longbridge in 2013 / 2014.