MG Rover's new Chinese owner has agreed to meet with unions to allay their fears about a lift and shift operation at Longbridge.
Former workers at the Birmingham factory have threatened to mount mass protests to prevent equipment being shipped to the Far East. But yesterday Nanjing Automobile, which clinched the £50 million deal to buy the assets of the carmaker on Friday, denied that it wanted to strip machinery and assets.
A spokesman for Nanjing said: "Steps are underway to find the management that can make MG into a viable UK business.
"The task is to start those discussions with everyone who is interested in making a viable and successful UK based MG brand.
"Nanjing intends to have a significant UK presence, with design, technology and engineering firmly in the West Midlands. Longbridge is being considered very seriously as a design and technical centre."
The spokesman said Nanjing intended to build 80,000 cars a year in the UK in the next five years.
Dave Osbourne, senior car industry negotiator for the Transport & General Workers' Union, said: "It appears that they are interested in developing Longbridge. We will talk to Nanjing to see what their plans are for maintaining Longbridge as a motor manufacturing unit."
Meanwhile, thousands of MG Rover workers who lost their jobs with the end of car making at Longbridge have won the right to receive more than £2,000 in compensation.
A claim launched on their behalf by the three main unions was upheld at an employment tribunal is Birmingham.
The tribunal agreed the workers deserved compensation after losing their jobs without adequate consultation.
The decision will see almost 5,000 workers receive an extra £2,200 in addition to the maximum £3,400 they got when they were made redundant in April.
The claim, for so called protective awards, was lodged by the TGWU, Amicus and the GMB to cover all of the employees made redundant by the companies, which include MG Rover itself and Powertrain.
Michael Stokes, partner at law firm Rowley Ashworth who acted for the workers, said: "We have won 90 day protective awards for the vast majority of of employees who were dismissed from the various companies at Longbridge in April this year.
"This is real money coming from the Government. The protective awards are worthwhile to union members who are in fairly dire financial straits. This is going to be hugely welcome for many of the ex-workers. The Redundancy Payments Office dealt with the original redundancy payments quicker than we imagined."
Mr Stokes said there will have to be another hearing later, at which it is hoped the remainder of the claims will be decided.
Mr Stokes said: "The claim arose because employers are obliged to consult about redundancies where they propose to dismiss 20 or more employees, and this is a requirement even when a company is insolvent."