One of the men at the top of MG Rover insisted yesterday that securing the proposed #100 million loan from the Government would have secured another century of car making at Longbridge.

Peter Beale, vice-chairman of MG Rover's parent Phoenix Venture Holdings, said he and his fellow directors had pledged #10 million of their own money to try and secure the Government lifeline.


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Speaking before last night's announcement of the company going into administration: "We requested the bridging loan from the Government to provide the additional time needed to complete our partnership with SAIC.

"The PVH directors will provide #10 million of personal money to convince the Government of our commitment. What we need now is the Government to decide.

"The speculation has affected the confidence of our suppliers and dealers and time is clearly running out."

If MG Rover received the funding, it could have a bright future, he said.

"We were just a few weeks away from what was a really exciting deal for Longbridge."

Mr Beale said: "The deal with SAIC would have been of great benefit to Longbridge, looking forward.

"It would have provided another successful period for Longbridge after 100 years of building cars here."

The Department for Trade and Industry had insisted it could not provide a loan until the joint venture with SAIC had been agreed.

SAIC had told the DTI the bridging loan would not influence its assessment of the proposed partnership.

In a letter to the British Government earlier this week, SAIC said: "The decision whether or not to make the bridging loan to MG Rover and the responsibility for the consequences arising, are entirely ones for the UK Government.

"It is independent of and does not influence SAIC's assessment of the venture."