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MG Rover was the last domestically owned mass-production car manufacturer in the British motor industry. The company was formed when BMW sold the car-making and engine manufacturing assets of the original Rover Group to the Phoenix Consortium in 2000.
MG Rover went into administration in 2005 and its key assets were purchased by Nanjing Automobile Group, with Nanjing restarting MG sports car and sports saloon production in 2007. The Rover marque, the ownership of which had been retained by BMW, was sold to Ford, who had bought the Land Rover company from BMW in 2000. The rights to the dormant Rover brand were sold by Ford, along with Jaguar Land Rover, to Tata Motors in 2008.
MG Rover was formed from the parts of the former Rover Group volume car production business which BMW sold off in 2000 due to constant losses and a declining market share. BMW had acquired the Rover Group from British Aerospace in 1994 and had since sold the Land Rover business to Ford, and split-off the MINI business as a new BMW subsidiary based in Cowley. MG Rover took control of the remainder of the former Rover Group volume car business, which was consolidated at the Longbridge plant.
Phoenix Consortium ownership
When BMW sold off its interests, MG Rover was bought for a nominal £10 in May 2000 by a specially-assembled group of businessmen known as the Phoenix Consortium. The consortium was headed by ex-Rover Chief Executive John Towers.
When Phoenix Consortium took over, their first loss for the last eight months of 2000 were reported to be around £400M. By 2004, the company had stemmed the losses to around £80M but never got to the chance to achieve a profit.
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