MG-Rover.org Forums banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,618 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What do you think of the P4? It would be interesting to hear the opinions of all the members on this site. My own are as follows.

The P4 were not the only people prepared to take over MGR after B*W cherry-picked and then bailed out of the company after their flawed strategy had failed. They were however the only group that felt that the company could continue pretty much as before.

They started off with a lot stacked against them and initially did pretty well.

They launched the MGZ's, initiated some innovative deals with companies like TRW, China Brilliance, Proton and Tata. They initially seemed to have some genuinely new directions and they had tremendous public support. Part of the tragedy of MGR (and the companies that preceded them) is that the cars have frequently been better than the management and this time appears to be no exception. Once their initial ideas ran into trouble they seemed to freeze like a deer in the headlights and ran out of solutions.

Specifically:
1) Their communications were a disaster. They frequently made premature announcements about big deals that were about to happen. When the deals subsequently fell apart they said nothing. This does not only refer to the `1 billion pound SAIC deal that was just about to be signed' - remember the announcement some years ago that CART were going to use MGR engines? Does anyone remember a retraction from the company?
2) Because of their approach, they lost the confidence of the media and many other influencers that they should have kept onside. When they were criticised, they were defensive and off-topic. They squandered the broad support that they had initially. Whenever there was a problem, it was always someone else's fault.
3) As the honeymoon period ended and they needed to demonstrate some solid achievements they did the worst possible thing they could have done. They awarded themselves huge compensation payments (it doesn't matter whether it was salaries, pensions or whatever - it ended up in their pockets). Coincidentally (?) MGR's sales began to slide. For the media and apparently for the buying public this became a huge issue. The resultant sales slide must have accelerated the position that the company is in today.
4) The last set of published accounts showed an almost total lack of investment in R&D. On this site we rushed to explain this away because of other factors. I am now beginning to wonder if this was not a simple reflection of reality.
5) When you are leading a turnaround of this magnitude, you always lead from the front i.e. if you are looking for people to make sacrifices from people you first make yourself. The fact that the P4 lined their pockets while things were sliding is unforgiveable and a complete dereliction of duty. It is a betrayal of the magnificent support that they received from the Longbridge workers.
6) They ran the company into the ground. They now appear to have sold assets on a regular basis just to pay for operations. Selling assets to fund growth is ok but selling them to fund the status quo is an admission that you don't know what to do with the business. This is a classic case of incompetent management. If your income is less than your costs then you can either wait for the tooth fairy to help you (which appears to have been the case here) or you do something about it. They appear to have taken the former approach.

Their incompetence makes me weep! They have taken a proud heritage that had been damaged by B*W but still had a fighting chance and through their stupidity, arrogance, greed and incompetence appear to have destroyed it. Recognizing this is not to dump on the company - it is simply to recognize that the tremendous efforts of the workforce and the great support provided by enthusiasts like the members of this site were not matched by management competence. :cus: :banghead: :cus: :banghead:

Comments?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
It's hard to comment without having any first hand experience - the media are lazy and love to run easy emotive stories about "Fat Cats" so I take most of it with a pinch of salt. Once they find an easy target they don't let go.

I just wish we lived in a world where the media had the integrity to print the truth regardless of their personal feelings / propriertors political and financial interests. Prince Charles mutters under his breath about the paparazzi - singling out the Beebs Nicolas Witchell and voila there is a picture of Chas and Cam on their website ... with Red Eye! I kid you not.

Phoenix took on a herculean task trying to turn around MG Rover, and on paper they've done a sterling job by reducing the debts to such an extent.

With this ability to improve "profitability" they could have easily got jobs elsewhere paying more than they took out of MG Rover.

If it had made the difference between them having the money to design a new car, and not, then I'd be more critical. But (according to the BBC) it costs £500 million to develop a brand new car, so even if they hadn't taken any reward for their efforts, it wouldn't have made a significant difference to the viability of the company.

The way I see it, the knew they couldn't keep the company going without external investment - and so they were treading water until they could do a deal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,896 Posts
I think Mr Towers and co had the best of intentions and genuinely had the future of the company and it's employees at heart however they have made several costly mistakes and wrong decisions over the past 5 years.

However they're only human and as such make mistakes, could anyone else have done any better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
222 Posts
Started with good intentions, but then turned into money grabbing nieve to**ers. They were taken for a complete ride by the Chinese!!
 

·
Registered
mgf
Joined
·
5,476 Posts
Personally i think the viability of the company depended on securing a partnership deal. Several attempts were made, but all came to nothing and so the pot emptied resulting in the current status quo.

I think they made some great decisions (MG Zeds, continual reduction of losses despite incredible obstacles, racing sponsorship (touring cars) raising the companies profile), and some poor decisions (management pay outs, City Rover / Tata deal, dealings with the media, LeMans), but the bottom line is that 6000 workers have been employed for the past 5 years, and we have had the opportunity to buy vehicles that we wouldn't have been able to.

It's a shame that it appears to have all fallen apart ultimately, but i for one feel they did pretty well overall. Without them i wouldn't have been able to buy the ZS 180 and my current ZT 190 - both of which are excellent motors.

If only they could have clinched the partnership deal...
 

·
Registered
other_manufacturer
Joined
·
385 Posts
I think they had the best intentions for the company, and they tried desperately hard to find a partner in against a very very difficult tied. However, you do have to rememeber they took great personal risk in taking on Rover, so you can’t argue too much about the pension fund.

One thing I think they did very badly with was their new strategy for models and their launches. The CityRover being a case in point. They had the chance there to have a great selling motor but just it way too high – they got greedy! It’s a very nice little car but the priced it far too expensive. Also, because they didn’t plan ahead, there seemed to no money to launch the thing! Jo Public knows nothing about it. And when they did pop off to the showrooms they found a car which did nothing more than Fiat could offer at a cheaper price.

Ditto the SV! I think the whole point of the project was to have a car the motor industry would awe, which would support the sales of the lower ranged MGs. So the fact that it took all the time and resources to build, only for (again) Jo Public to know bugger all about it is a terrible way to go. Don’t you think all the money and time spent on that would have been better on doing comprehensive interior face lifts for the TF and 25 (the best selling models)?

They lasted longer than most predicted but could have lasted much longer and been in better shape, IMO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
It's quite astonishing really to see that there are people still trying to blame the media for what has happened.
The UK papers rightly predicted the company, which has been losing between 20 and 25 million pounds a month, was in serious trouble. This time the fault lies squarely on the shoulders not of 'enthusiasts' -as many here have called them-but of asset-stripping crooks, or the 'Phinish 4' as they should be called from now on. People must be looking a bit silly now, to think that they were the ones who thought they knew what was going on at Longbridge and not the press. The P4 gang have been the only ones to benefit up to now. By filing for bankruptcy nobody can touch them; they have lined their pockets and secured their personal future, and in 5 years of ownership they've failed to achieve anything. Reducing losses when you have a BMW loan and have sold most of your assets aint much to shout about. NO NEW MODELS, NO PROMISED RETURN TO PROFIT IN 5 YEARS and, even more astonishingly, they were shipping off Powertrain's machinery even before a deal had been signed! How stupid can one get? But more sickening is the attitude on this forum that all this was somehow the public's fault. I bought a MINI 1 1/2 years ago because I wasn't sure the company would still be here two years on (proved right in the end) and because I was prepared to wait a bit longer for the new model to arrive (slim chance of that happening now). Patriotic yobishness is not going to solve anything. Instead of farting around with expensive sportscars like the SV which nobody wanted to buy, or churning out licence-built Indian crap they should have brought out new cars which people like me were waiting for and would have been keen to buy. It looks like ALchemy had the right idea after all...
 

·
Registered
rover_75
Joined
·
2,596 Posts
clarete said:
It's quite astonishing really to see that there are people still trying to blame the media for what has happened.
The UK papers rightly predicted the company, which has been losing between 20 and 25 million pounds a month, was in serious trouble. This time the fault lies squarely on the shoulders not of 'enthusiasts' -as many here have called them-but of asset-stripping crooks, or the 'Phinish 4' as they should be called from now on. People must be looking a bit silly now, to think that they were the ones who thought they knew what was going on at Longbridge and not the press. The P4 gang have been the only ones to benefit up to now. By filing for bankruptcy nobody can touch them; they have lined their pockets and secured their personal future, and in 5 years of ownership they've failed to achieve anything. Reducing losses when you have a BMW loan and have sold most of your assets aint much to shout about. NO NEW MODELS, NO PROMISED RETURN TO PROFIT IN 5 YEARS and, even more astonishingly, they were shipping off Powertrain's machinery even before a deal had been signed! How stupid can one get? But more sickening is the attitude on this forum that all this was somehow the public's fault. I bought a MINI 1 1/2 years ago because I wasn't sure the company would still be here two years on (proved right in the end) and because I was prepared to wait a bit longer for the new model to arrive (slim chance of that happening now). Patriotic yobishness is not going to solve anything. Instead of farting around with expensive sportscars like the SV which nobody wanted to buy, or churning out licence-built Indian crap they should have brought out new cars which people like me were waiting for and would have been keen to buy. It looks like ALchemy had the right idea after all...
Do you like repeating yourself???

Anyway glad you like your Rover engineered but BMW built MINI. Just remember that in its heart its a Rover, not a true BMW.
 

·
Registered
rover_75
Joined
·
2,596 Posts
Considering how easy it would have been for BMW to wait a couple of years more until the launch of the 75 and the MINI along with the new Range Rover had all been done, then the P4 have done an amazing job with both hands tied behind their backs.

If they'd been able to secure a Chinese deal around the time of the Brilliance discussions then it wouldn't have happened.

Sad but true.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
Anyway glad you like your Rover engineered but BMW built MINI. Just remember that in its heart its a Rover, not a true BMW.

__________________________________________________________________

I know. That was one of the reasons why I bought it...
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top