During the course of this past week the administrator, PWC, the Trades Unions, the DTI and members of the management team have explored every avenue aimed at avoiding today’s redundancy announcements.
Clearly, not enough progress has been made on this to provide comfort for the administrators, and for the DTI, to continue the payment process that began last week.
In May 2000, when Rover was saved from BMW’s liquidation process, a lot of people said that the business could not last for more than 14 months. The management and employees of MG Rover have defied those conventional predictions and worked tirelessly to create a positive result. Almost five years later, and within weeks of what we believe to be its natural long-term outcome, it is devastating to be stopped at the final hurdle.
In a meeting with the administrators this afternoon, the directors of PVH discussed whether any other possibilities, including use of PVH and personal assets, could provide a further mechanism to allow employees to continue to be paid. The conclusion of this discussion was that the best use of those assets would be to quickly realise their value for the benefit of the Trust established to benefit the families and dependants of the Longbridge workforce.
This will enable the initial Trustees, Carl Chinn and Nigel Petrie, to start providing financial assistance to the employees of Longbridge, and their families. We can also announce that the Bishop for Birmingham, has approached us, and has agreed to become a Trustee of that fund.
In addition to the many millions of pounds being made available for the Employee Trust, we are also committed to provide any other support that the administrators request in creating the best possible employment outcome for this business emerging from insolvency. Despite a concerted view to the contrary, we remain hopeful that car making at Longbridge is not at an end.
For all of us this is a desperately sad day. Our hearts go out to all of our employees, their families, and the local community, at this terrible time.
John Towers, Peter Beale, John Edwards, Nick Stephenson