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Old 12-27-2001, 01:18   #1 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Rocklyn
Posts: 7,750
Euro News

MG Rover, making strides back to financial viability after being sold by
BMW, has announced it is working to establish a link-up with a Chinese
company, China Brilliance Holdings, aimed at giving the British company a
presence in the Chinese market. China Brilliance is China's biggest
manufacturer of minibuses and part of a group that had revenue of $2.5
billion in 2000. It will co-operate with MG Rover on the development of
new models using common engine technology and on manufacture in China and
Britain, for which the two companies aim to establish a common component
supplier base. The alliance will not involve a cross-equity stockholding
between the two parties, but it would offer MG Rover, which has been
looking for a partner to help it develop new models, an opportunity to
share development costs and expand its sales at the same time. China
Brilliance, which has plans to launch sedans and other products into the
Chinese market in 2002, will gain from the British company's technical
knowledge, established over forty-plus years of producing front-drive
cars.One of the best-known names in the luxury car business, British
leather suppliers Connolly, is rumored to be open to takeover offers.
Established for over a century, Connolly has become synonymous with
seating and trim for British brands such as Jaguar and Rolls-Royce. It has
expanded in recent years, but the growth has not shown the expected
returns. A venture into the U.S. market has met trouble, and a new factory
in Britain involved a large capital expenditure that did not pay the
expected dividends thanks to start-up problems. The business has always
been a family concern, but it's said that there are no new young family
members coming on to take over from the current generation, which is
therefore looking to get out. As well as the car business, Connolly also
sells to furniture makers and to architects - members of the British
parliament sit on Connolly-upholstered benches - but in recent year it has
used the widespread recognition of its name to enter the luxury goods
market. An upmarket boutique carrying the firm's name in London's
fashionable West End, selling car-related goodies such as a $2000 tool-kit
in a leather case, has been a great success. It's expected that possible
buyers could be as interested in the potential of the name for lifestyle
products as for the core business.
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