MG Rover's new Chinese owner has reignited fears it is plotting a 'lift and shift' operation by applying to set up an accommodation block at the Longbridge factory.
Nanjing Automobile has lodged an application with Birmingham City Council to convert an office, at the plant's South Engineering Block on Lickey Road, into temporary accommodation with four shower units.
Coun Reg Corns (Con Northfield) said: "I have been told that around 400 people could be coming here from China. You don't bring 400 people over to Longbridge just to look around.
"They will be there working night and day disassembling the production lines to take them to China. You have to assume this is going to be a lift and shift operation."
Nanjing and the GB Sports Car Company are currently working on a business plan.
But a Nanjing source last night denied the application was a prelude to transferring the entire operation.
He said: "It's simply so that the people working on which assets stay and which go to China have somewhere to live.
"It is no secret that some of the MG Rover assets will be going to China - they would have to in order to build up a low cost supply chain that would make the UK sports car business viable."
A spokesman for the council said: "We have received a planning application although no date has been set for it to go before the planning committee."