MG Rover is looking abroad to cut costs. It is negotiating to buy a manufacturing site in Poland, and Tata in India is making its City Rover, a replacement for the Metro. The Phoenix consortium of Midlands businessmen led by John Towers, a former Rover Group executive, bought the company from BMW for £10 in 2000. Earlier this year they strongly denied accusations that the company was diverting large sums into trust funds set up for their benefit. Results for 2002, the latest available, show that Rover’s sales were £1,741m and operating losses were reduced by £25m to £95m. Kevin Howe, chief executive, has embarked on a property sale and leaseback programme that has raised £60m, and he will be hoping the new MG XPower SV will sell well. At £65,750 it is the company’s most expensive model.
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