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Branson Has a Better Idea for Rover: Hybrids

17 April 2005

MG Rover Group Ltd., the British manufacturer of MG and Rover cars, collapsed this week after SAIC (Shanghai Auto) backed away from a long-discussed acquisition of all or part of the company.  Rover is currently under administration by PwC prior to likely breakup. Some 5,000 of 6,100 Rover workers lost their jobs.

In an article for the Independent, Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin, proposes a solution for both Rover and the pending energy crisis in Britain: go hybrid.

My solution is a radical one, but would help with what I see as Britain’s pending energy crisis. We should steal the green mantle from the Japanese and Americans and become the first European manufacturer of hybrid cars. [...]

...no one makes them in Europe. Meanwhile oil prices are soaring, our own North Sea reserves are running out and the evidence of global warming is overwhelming.

Gordon Brown—or Oliver Letwin, if the Conservatives win—should champion a pan-European rival to the dominance of Japan and America in the hybrid car sector, based at Longbridge [Site of the Rover plant]. After all, similar intervention has already seen the European Airbus outsell its US rival Boeing—while Virgin, other airlines and our passengers all benefit from intense competition between the plane-makers.

The EU was prepared to grant billions of pounds of soft loans to Airbus to develop the A380...I want to see the Government engineer the same sort of deal for Rover as a flagship hybrid car-maker.

We can also not afford to ignore the fact that we are literally running out of gas; we need to reduce consumption. Fuel savings from the sale of hundreds of thousands of Rover hybrids would help to reduce Britain’s overseas payments for oil (effectively paying for any subsidies).

The analogy to Airbus and Boeing isn’t quite on target—there are numerous automakers scuffling globally for marketshare, not just one global giant. But the idea of basically starting over with a new, aggressively hybrid product line is very interesting.

April 17, 2005 in Hybrids | Permalink | Comments (11) | TrackBack (5)

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Branson Has a Better Idea for Rover: Hybrids:

» Branson on Rover: Say Hi to Hybrids, 'Ello to EU Loans from Jalopnik
In a column he penned for The Independent, billionaire Richard Branson advises the country's next Chancellor that MG Rover should become the first European manufacturer of hybrid cars. The company, he says, is worth saving -- its Longbridge plant is... [Read More]

» Branson on Rover: Say Hi to Hybrids, 'Ello to EU Loans from Jalopnik
In a column he penned for The Independent, billionaire Richard Branson advises the country's next Chancellor that MG Rover should become the first European manufacturer of hybrid cars. The company, he says, is worth saving -- its Longbridge plant is... [Read More]

» Green Rover, Green Rover... from WorldChanging: Another World Is Here
Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin companies (airlines, retail outlets, space tourism, etc.), clearly likes to think big. He's also starting to think green. In... [Read More]

» Branson Calls for European Hybrid Production from sustainablog
WorldChanging points us to another Green Car Congress post that I overlooked: Sir Richard Branson, of Virgin fame, has suggested publicly that the MG Rover Group (which is virtually bust) move into the hybrid vehicle market... [Read More]

» News Online from Mary's Blog
Online news, breaking news, feature stories and more... [Read More]

Comments

Branson, again, is on the money; I think he's likely to be an invitee to the GlobalTED [Technology, Entertainment, Design] Conference to be held in July at Oxford. If he is, I hope he pushes for more than Rover to be hybrid -- how about small, light, sexy nostalgia autos like the MGA [as iconically British as the Rover] and even the Fiat 124 Spider [the plans for which are likely to be cheap at present]? Both are cars with huge instant recognition and profile, both would be easy & cheap to update and re-produce, and both would rapidly appeal as hybrid neo-retro sports cars to the market of consumers who want more choices and favour nostalgia and social responsibility. It's a way to capitalize on the precidents set by Mini [BMW] in an environmentally sustainable way, while reinvigorating a respected British industry, and the local jobs that go with it.

Funny thing is that Honda invested in Rover, but was rebuffed in favor of BMW.
I guess they did not want a japanese company owning a British company.

Well, I felt that this deserved a WikiNews entry.

Link here. With credit given to GCC for telling me about it, of course!

From: DR. Mensah Koffi
AD-HOC COMMITTEE ON PRIVATIZATION
Old National Assembly Building
14 Calcutta Crescent,Ikoyi Close,
Victoria Island, Lagos - Nigeria
Mobile-phone # 234 803- 3409140
Security fax# 234 1 7594880
Email: mensahkoffi@myway.com

Attn:

Sir

We have the pleasure to make this surprising but mutually benefiting business proposal to you. I am a member of the newly Inaugurated Committee for the Privatization of the Refineries of the African largest Crude Oil Producing Firm: Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). The members of the committee has mandated me to solicit for your urgent business assistance to help us accomodate a Mega sum of money in your Bank Account presently floating in our Central Bank of Nigeria Vault Foreign Payments Dormiciliary Account belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). However,I got your address through the office of the Nigerian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

First and foremost, Please be informed that The Federal Government of Nigeria, intends to lease the 3, existing Petroleum Refineries to Private individuals and companies. This is to make the Refineries more Viable, Resourceful and to eliminate undue wastage and fraud. This privatization is in-line with the recommendations of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a pr-requisite for future financial assistance.

Our Petroleum Refineries are heavily indebted to many companies and my committee has the mandate (task) of compiling the names of these companies and debt owed to them and thereafter recommend to our Central Bank of Nigeria for immediate payment of all contracts that have been fully executed. However With our position in the committee, which comprises of: Foreign Contract Payment Commission (FCPC), Nigerian National Petroleum corporation (NNPC), the Federal Ministry of Finance (FMF). I and my collegues who has prior knowledge to this deal have successfully secured for ourselves, the sum of US $31,500,000.00 (thirty-one million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars). This sum was acquired by carefully Over-invoicing/inflating the Amount of Foriegn Debt owed to foreign contractors who executed contract with Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to excess of this amount ($31,500,000.00) as I earlier stated. Therefore We need a reliable company or individual name to be included in the list of foreign contractors to be paid before shifting the Payment Voucher list of foreign contractors to our Central Bank of Nigeria for the transfer of the payments. This company or individual will be paid in pretense as a Foreign Contractor who executed a ontract in our Kaduna Refinery in 1998.

I was therefore mandated in trust by members of the committee, to seek a foreign partner who will accomodate in his private or corporate bank account this foating sum of US $31,500 000.00. with our agreed mutual sharing ratio of this fund as stated below after the transfer. thus:

1) 70% for us (I and my colleagues)
2) 25% for you (the account owner)
3) 5% will be used in settling taxation for all the local and foreign expenses that will be incurred in the course of this transaction.

It is from our 70% that we wish to commence importation business from your country which we will solemnly confide in you for guidiance. We also need assurance from you hat you will let us have our share once this inflated amount (US$31,500,000.00) is transferred into your account.The payment will be done by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through its correspondent bank abroad. What we need from you, is that you provide a vital account into which the funds will be transferred/lodged.

Note that this transaction is 100% risk-free and guaranteed since the law under which our committee was set up, has empowered us to disburse all the funds.

We shall commence the transfer of the funds immediately we receive the following information :
1) Your full name and full address
2) Your Private Phone and Fax number
3) Your Bank's name, telephone and fax number
4) Your account number and name of beneficiary

The above information will enable us put up letters of claim and job description to the appropriate ministries concerned for the issuance of the mandatory Fund Release Approval Order. in This measure, You or Your company will be recognized and accepted as the beneficiary of the contract entitlements before the final remittance to your nominated account, by the Central Bank of Nigeria, being the paying bank.

We are looking forward to doing this business with you and solicit absolute confidentiality from you in this transaction. Please acknowledge receipt of this letter, using the undermentioned email address or call me on my mobile tel# 234 803 3409140 number for more details regarding this transaction. Also endeavor to send the requested information.

Sincerely,

DR.MENSAH KOFFI

NB: Please, as a matter of confidentiality, do send your reply via my private email address as mentioned below:
E-mail > mensahkoffi@myway.com


RE: Good Business opportunity

Sir, I am very happy to introduce our self to you on a very good
business in the Oil and Gas.

We are Govnerment agent represnting their interest.

Now we are looking for an intrested buyer for over 10 million barrels
of crude oil in our posetion at a reduced prise .

The condition of the sales is as follows:
(a) The delevery should be on transhipment and should be outside Nigerian water teritory.

(b) 6 dolars below official price, Net 3 dollars, one dollar for buyer's agent, two dollars for seller's agent.

payment should be two ways
(a) The two parties must sign bank agreement before the delivering,

More information on this transaction if we get your request.

This is not illegal please.

Regards


Alh. Chikezie David
Co-Sec.

RE: Good Business opportunity

Sir, I am very happy to introduce our self to you on a very good business in the Oil and Gas.

We are Govnerment agent represnting their interest.
Now we are looking for an intrested buyer for over 10 million barrels of crude oil in our posetion at a reduced prise .

The condition of the sales is as follows:
(a) The delevery should be on transhipment and should be outside Nigerian water teritory.

(b) 6 dolars below official price, Net 3 dollars, one dollar for buyer's agent, two dollars for seller's agent.

payment should be two ways
(a) The two parties must sign bank agreement before the delivering,

More information on this transaction if we get your request.

Our Alternative e-mail address is ehubawa_2005@yahoo.com or contact 2348037112828 for more details

Regards

Alh. Chikezie David
Co-Sec.

RE: Good Business opportunity

Sir, I am very happy to introduce our self to you on a very good business in the Oil and Gas.

We are Govnerment agent represnting their interest.
Now we are looking for an intrested buyer for over 10 million barrels of crude oil in our posetion at a reduced prise .

The condition of the sales is as follows:
(a) The delevery should be on transhipment and should be outside Nigerian water teritory.

(b) 6 dolars below official price, Net 3 dollars, one dollar for buyer's agent, two dollars for seller's agent.

payment should be two ways
(a) The two parties must sign bank agreement before the delivering,

More information on this transaction if we get your request.

Our Alternative e-mail address is ehubawa_2005@yahoo.com or contact 2348037112828 for more details

Regards

Alh. Chikezie David
Co-Sec.

Dear sir,
we have a client that is interested in buying this boat of yours as it is.
we are based in dubia ,U.A.E and the client has an arrangement for shipping the boat if the buying terms are met.please reply by mail or call ,i will like more pictures
tel; +971 -4- 224 - 4589
mob; +971- 50- 210- 5107
thanks,
PHILIP

i need bonny light crude oil,pls send FCO/POP

Please i need BLCO 2mbbls per month for 36months with rolls and extension,please please if you are a scammer[419] DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME.

Please genuine seller should contact me,so that i will give the person the procedure and paymenmt terms,if acceptable we sign an NCND.

We will communicate more if we get a genuine offer,with direct address,landline telephone,fax...etc.

Respectfully,
Mr Kenneth

I presently can get you a seller.His vessel is pregnant?loaded here in Nigeria,Apapa,Lagos.so if you are interested pls contact me on this numbers 0802218989 and 08034243713.The allocation is to end 20th of this month.

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