Rover administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers have been accused of wrecking any chances of a successful resurrection of the marque under its new Chinese owners.

The firm, which took over the running of the Longbridge carmaker when it collapsed last April, has been forced to sell thousands of cars to raise money for the creditors owed an estimated £1.4 billion.

But the action has been criticised by industry insiders, who said the decision to offload the remaining vehicles had destroyed the market for British-built MG Rovers.

The claim came as it emerged that Nanjing Automobile, to who PwC sold MG Rover for £53 million last July, is considering downsizing its Longbridge operation from a projected 1,200 workers to 600.

The source, who asked not to be named, criticised PwC for making Rover unviable by selling off the uncompleted stock of 75s, 25s, 45s and TFs to dealers at discounted prices.

The source said: "Thousands of cars have been sold off and that has destroyed the market for them.

"MG ZTTs for example have a list price of nearly £25,000 but are now being sold for £12,500; MG TFs used to be sold for £17,700, but are now going for £10,500.

"The margins were wafer-thin anyway, but nobody can make a profit on British-built cars at prices like this.

"Building the cars in China and exporting them to the UK to compete with Skoda, Proton and Daewoo in their price ranges is another thing."

But Rob Hunt, partner at PwC and joint administrator at MG Rover, strongly refuted the claims.

He said: "There were 35,000 cars when Rover went into administration and we have sold about 7,500 of them; the remainder have been sold through the dealers or were returned to the banks who leased them.

"I think the fall in price reflected the uncertainty following Rover's collapse.

"Plus the sale of 7,500 cars has raised around £50 million which will go into the pot for the creditors."

Meanwhile, Peter Cooke, professor of automotive industries management at Nottingham Trent University, thought ultimately there could be even less than 600 jobs created at Longbridge.

He said: "You have to ask what are they going to do with 600 jobs? It is not enough to build cars, and even if they are only assembling cars from Chinese kits, it is still only going to be very small volumes.

"Is it going to be a supply base, a place to buy materials or ideas and ship them to China?

"The final job numbers could eventually be lower than 600 or the factory could just fade away."