Munich? - Michael
Andy, what's the mood like in Germany tonight? I see the bbc have rescheduled tonights programs to accomodate a third showing of last nights entertainment in Munich. Mercedes and vw quality problems and now the english football sales must be up to cope with the depression!
Re: Munich? - Bob Harris
Your namesake winning today may have helped.
Re: Munich? - Andy Bairsto
My voice is hoarse after cheering England my German friends are in a state
of disbelieve .Having took some small side bets I can now drink Kostenlos fur die nächste zwei wochen .Brilliant the best ever.
Re: Munich? - Andy Bairsto
Its what I have always said in the UK we have brilliant workers led by idiots .Just look at saturday night who would a havethought 20 year ago we would need a overseas FOOTBALL MANAGER :perhaps an ovrseas NHS boss or an overseas primeminister if one works why not the other
BMW vs Rover - David Lacey
I am soooooo glad we beat the Germans (for once!)
They are so used to winning every GP!

With the way in which they treated Rover and the British people - I have no empathy for them. But MG Rover is far better off without them.

But the Germans can build some pretty decent cars. Says me who has an Audi.......

And to top off the day, Somerset won the cricket!

england are becoming good at sport??? - chris watson
first winning the match of cricket, and then winning 5-1 against the germans at football, what next, getting the most medals at the olympics???
Re: england are becoming good at sport??? - Andy Bairsto
Brilliant result for england shouted my self hoarse ,The serious side is expasion plans .That will lead to disaster in the next few years .BMW is a small company but look at its product line .They may have cocked up Rover but I think there were faults on both sides .Without massive investment (and I mean billions )rover will not suvive the present model production run.Rover has made no new orders to tool manufactures to design companies or offered extended supply contracts to its component suppliers.And do not forget BMW are looking to build another new factory in germany apart from the new factory in Leipzig to build the new mini .All carproducers who sell in Europe think now only euro.Poland which has new plants for the yaris ,deawoo are euro zone areas and this will grow as the ukdithers.Good bye engineers hello supermarket shelf stockers,I paid my pension plus superannuation for 30 years
I am imformed my pension will be 32ukp per week .My wife who has only worked part time in Germany will receive 200ukpper week plus inflation benifit and 600ukp per month invalidy benefit .forget the price of petrol look how much your mortgage costs and the general cost off living.When I visit my mother in Bradford I have the best fish and chips in the world the best pork pies and brilliant supermarkets the problem is they are double the cost of what I can afford
Re: Euro-Zone - Alvin Booth
Re: unemployment in Germany being higher than the UK.
It all depends how the figures are calculated.
I have an uneasy feeling that they are manipulated on a huge scale and do not reflect reality.
Only a couple of weeks ago on the news it was stating that several thousand more University places have been created with subjects such as pop music earning a degree. Thats another group which will not appear on the dole.
Derby one of the centres for engineering in the UK. very little of it left apart from R.R aero engines. Early retirement dosn't appear on the numbers either.
I think the figures are Government spin and they are pretty good at it
Somerset! - Guy Lacey
Somerset la-la-la. Somerset la-la-la.
Re: Somerset! - Brian
Fantastic, that's the second time in 35 years that we have beaten them at footie.

Roll on 2036 ! :-)

BTW, I don't rate football. When I am Fuhrer I will ban professional football and only allow rugby to be played.
Euro-Zone - Guy Lacey
For once Mr Bairsto I think we agree!

Working in Manufacturing, as I do, I am stunned at the Government's total failure to grab the issue by the horns and act. I'm afraid the decision, if put out to a referendum, will simply be an emotional knee-jerk, somewhat xenophobic reaction to "Save the Pound" - such a decision should be taken by professionals.

We save the pound and the result? Manufacturing grinds to a halt and the UK becomes a mere service centre. Whether making cars or paper, we cannot remain in the situation where our production costs are 25% higher than the Euro-zone. Full-stop. It's possible that the situation will ease when the Euro value climbs, as predicted, next year.

I don't want to put the UK down though as our economy is stronger than most of the EU and I think Mr Bairsto will agree, that unemployment in the Euro zone, particularly Germany, is a great deal higher than in the UK. Is this a fluke or are we doing something right? Regarding supermarkets - I would rather shop in Sainsbury's anyday rather than those God-awful German Aldi/Lidl type hell-holes!!! Good food may not cost less at Sainsbury's but I'll stay loyal methinks!

MG Rover need to look to the future and stop harking back to its glorious past - that isn't going to help them I'm afraid. Their new MG-R/S/T are fantastic cars and having driven them I can say the MG-S rivals the Mondeo ST-24, for example but these cars will be redundant in 3 years time. I've lost count of the number of UK firms trading on the "....years of tradition" route and ending up losing everything. Slapping the Union Flag on the back of their motas and harking back to their heritage will not save MG-Rover.

Rant over. (Somerset la-la-la - 18 year barren patch over!!!)
Re: Euro-Zone - Jonathan

I am not sure about that. One of the main reasons we have less employment is because it is all tertiary sector, virtually no primary and we are currently killing the secondary.

I think people are both more astute and selfish. They do not care that much about a symbol of currency (it is only the rich who are vocal about it) they want to know if the Euro will be better for the country and more importantly, will it be better for them. If the answer to that is yes, then they will vote for it. The only problem is finding out how it will affect people, there are so many voices to listen to.

Re: Euro-Zone - Brian
Working in the financial field, I see no advantages in joining the eurozone. The media in the UK has constantly used the phrase "the high value of the pound". The fact is that the pound has lost value over the last couple of years against practically everything except the basket case African currencies and the euro. The problem is the weak performance of the euro, which has dropped against everything, but to a greater extent than sterling. If the euro had stayed at its launch level then the UK manufacturing sector would not be complaining.
But the launch rate was artificially high for political reasons, and was "fiddled" by such measures as the sale of France Telecom, Euro taxes and artificial constraints on budget deficits which were relaxed as soon as the rate was set.
The reason for the drop is that the European economies are becoming less competitive in world terms due to excessive taxation and regulation.
The logical way to integrate would have been for the other countries to have adopted the strongest existing currency, the German mark, but that was politically unacceptable, so a new currency had to be invented. With disastrous results.

The eurozone is becoming more inward-looking in the same way as the old Soviet Union, with the same emphasis on agriculture as an end in itself, hence the crazy Common Agricultural Policy which fixes output levels, keeps prices higher than world prices and pays farmers to leave land idle through "set-aside". If the enlargement goes ahead to take in the agricultural countries to the east then the whole system will collapse.

Unfortunately the UK is doing its best to follow them with the proportion of the GDP taken in tax rising by 2% in net terms since 1997, but the gross tax take is now over 60% before allowances and benefits.
Far more of our trade is in dollars than the rest of the EU except Germany so we have been less affected by slowdown than the continent.

Against the dollar sterling has dropped from around $1.60 to around $1.40, whereas the euro has dropped from $1.17 to around 90 cents. The initial rates at which the continental currencies went into the euro were set in political terms, not economic ones, and there are structural imbalances which need to be addressed.
Continental unemployment rates, as you point out, are double that of the UK. This is not an accident, it is because, so far, the UK economy is in better shape than Europe.
Things may change in time, but for the forseeable future I am happier outside the euro.
Re: Euro-Zone - honest john
If you remove all the training courses and to make UK unemployment figures directy comparable to those in the rest of Europe the true UK unemployment figure is about 4,000,000.

It was a great football match for us because our guys played brilliantly as a team. But it was just a football match. It wasn't a national victory.

Re: Euro-Zone - chris watson
5 - 1 against germany is brilliant, but as it was also at the munich stadium its amazing, i think this is a national victory :-)
Re: Euro-Zone - honest john
No. Having a car industry that sold six million cars worldwide would be a national victory. Winning a football match (and hats off because it was won brilliantly) is not a national victory.

Re: Euro-Zone - Michael Thomas
I have a number of friends who work for MG Rover as I'm from Rover Country (Leamington Spa). They are very upbeat about the future. Quality is up on BMW Standards. The BMW philosophy is to 'finesse' the car at the end of the production line to iron out niggles reported during manufacture. MGR have moved back to Honda manufacturing philosophy of right first time. Quality is well up as is productivity.

As for tooling, when you have over £1Bn worth of new tools paid for by BMW, why buy anymore?

Powertrain makes engines and transmissions for a number of customers including Ford, this is also a brand new plant paid for by BMW. MGR are also pursuing a big engine deal with a Far Eastern car company to supply K-series engines.

They have no debts on the balance sheet to finance and still have good cash reserves.

They have a new mid range car currently on the drawing board by downsizing the 75 like Alfa have done with the 156. Should be ready by 2003. A rear wheel drive 75 is also on the cards.

The MG X80 looks like an absolute beast and should benefit from Mr. Stevens engineering and design flair. This will also bring MG back to the US market. A new MGF is under development.

The other MG X cars are seriously good cars.

The best rumour if it is true is they have the development specs for the Spiritual, which was supposed to be the replacement Mini. This is a very spacious small car with a mid-engine config the size of an A-Class Merc with the space inside of a E-class.

Rover have a good chance to survive and I feel they'll end up as the 'quality' arm of Ford who is already a big customer of Powertrain's.
Re: Euro-Zone - Michael
Michael, does your last sentence mean that you think ford will buy mgr?
Re: Euro-Zone - Michael Thomas
It's a possibility. Ford bought Land Rover to plug a gap in it's range.
Ford has no quality brand in Europe and the MG mark has massive potential in the US. It depends on how much John Towers et al can do to restore Rover's brand image in the next few years.

The thing to look out in the next few months is the mooted Proton/Rover hookup. It sounds laughable but Proton also have a 80% stake in Lotus, a Lotus Rover or Lotus MG anyone?. Engines for platforms looks like the deal. MGR cannot afford to spent the cash to design cars from the bottom up so getting their mits on good chassis/platforms is no worse than what VW have done for Skoda etc.

John Towers has said his immediate aim is to secure the long-term viability for MGR. Long term safety lies with being one of the big boys. With GM in trouble in Europe, DaimlerChrysler are in serious trouble worldwide, then it looks like Ford.

The movement in the car industry is that the big boys want to build prestige cars at mass-produced prices to improve product differentiation. Rover sits between the two, it's not a Ford but not a MB so it seems like a good fit.

As a side note, If you know your Rover history, this kind of deal with Proton is second nature to Rover. They invented reverse engineering in the late 1940's (Willys Jeep/Land Rover), the purchase of the Buick 215 engine or the Rover V8 and later when they took apart DS's to assist with the design of the P6. If Rover hadn't handed over Whittle's designs for gas turbines to a certain RR in the early-mid 1940's, we'd all be off to Alicante on planes with Rover badges on the engines !!!!!!!
Re: Euro-Zone - Michael
I thought Ford had a quality european division in Volvo, Jaguar and Aston Martin and I'm not entirely sure what gap mgr would fill. Something that is better quality than Ford but lower quality than Mercedes? In the £20k and above price, Jaguar and Volvo are competing with BMW, Mercedes, Audi. Below that, the 75 is competing with Mondeos, etc and VW are in there somewhere. I guess I am struggling to see where mgr would fit in the Ford range in a way that compliments the range and does not compete internally. Maybe two or three decade ago, when Rover was a prestige make, junior only to Jaguar in the pecking order, I could see the fit. Not sure about now though, although I agree that things are on the up with the 75. Ford would undoubtedly provide some much needed financial muscle, but then so did BMW. The other thing, of course, is that it could further reduce competition between manufacturers, which usually is not to the benefit of customers. Time will tell.
Re: Euro-Zone - Bill Doodson
Re: Euro-Zone - Bill Doodson
Martyn back room moderator,

I replied to Brian, 21:12 post and then my post comes in down here, is this part of the problem discussed recently about flat threads etc?


Re: Euro-Zone - Brian
As explained earlier, on a flat view teh postings are chronological.
However, the threaded view indicates that you replied to Michael's original posting, so that must be where you clicked "Reply to this message"

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