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D L ******
9 Ascot close
Chippenham
Wiltshire

11th April 2005


Digby Jones
Director General of the CBI
CBI Centre Point,
103 New Oxford Street
London
WC1A 1DU


Cc MG Rover group
Rt Hon Patricia Hewitt MP


Dear Sir,

I’m not sure what sort of car you drive sir but I expect its foreign even though you are head of the Confideration of British industry. Sadly the CBI is not run by Sir John Egan anymore, who knew the car business well.

I’m tired of Fiscal prudence and the market supports itself. British industry needs help. It’s up against unfair competition from abroad where labour costs are often very low.

If it was your job and family on the line and you knew no other and were of a certain age you’d be much more supportive. Strikes me both the DTI and CBI are failing this country.

MG Rover is not a lame duck or a failed business. Like many they’ve been affected by a down turn in the car market. People are understandably cautious at present. High street sales have fallen and there is concern about the housing market justifiable or otherwise.

Sales of nearly all makes have reduced markedly in recent months. The media coverage of MGR has also been totally unhelpful in further undermining the business. It seems almost like a ‘witch hunt British style’ which to be frank would not happen in patriotic proud nations like Germany or France. Churchill and Bevan would turn in their graves.

MG Rover have year on year been reducing their loss making business and this years is low in comparison to many motor industry companies. The MGR management have brought us new models in the MG Z cars, The MG ZT 260 V8 and Rover V8. Not forgetting the carbon fibre super car the MG SV.

6,000 manufacturing jobs and 50,000 in parts supply do not grow on trees.

Britain needs manufacturing, it needs the exports and this company I know will turn it around. The 45/ZS (RD60) development in conjunction with SAIC, promises to be a ‘world-beater’ of the magnitude of the BMW 1 series/VW Golf.

The engineers have done a great job, the stylists and workers.

We need to maintain our heritage, an icon and a very big and important employer. The local economy and the midlands need real jobs not benefits and not more DIY stores. It has the potential of a big export earner please do all you can do help them and I call on the government to make this injection of cash. It will be re-paid. This is not a romanticism its fact brought about by knowing the interest in the company, which still exists and the background to the RD60 project.

There is very considerable support from the various owners, owners clubs and enthusiasts for this company. To be honest I believe even without SAIC at present they could bring the RD60 5 door to
market with in reality very little money. They should be given this last chance. Since its based on the very successful 75/ZT platform it’s likely to ouse the quality evident in that car.

Last year was Rovers 100th and MG’s 80 anniversary. Radley hall and especially Silverstone were packed with visitors and fans. Many fans were there from Belgium, Holland and Germany.

I ask you to sit in the cars. The MG SV and Rover V8 in the visitor centre and examine the quality and examine the designs and developments.

I urge you all to give MGR one last chance in its present from with the Phoenix guys, who are held with some affection by real MGR fans, in charge.

Thank you

Derek Robbins
 

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Digby be diggin' at MG Rover...

Sorry, I had to put that in.

Like too many other people in influential positions, this man is spouting untruths about the company all over the press.

Yesterday, he pointed out that MG Rover was making half as many cars with twice as many people tha Nissan Sunderland.

Wrong Digby! MG Rover Longbridge is the headquarters, and everything is there: sales, personnel, design, etc. etc.

With firends like these, who needs enemies?
 
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