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Dealers 'heartened' by Towers

Despite the persistent speculation surrounding MG Rover and the actions of its four directors – John Towers, John Edwards, Nick Stephenson and Peter Beale – the retail network remains very supportive, according to MGR dealer council chairman Richard Cort, chairman and group managing director at Richard Cort Group.

“The media coverage has been tedious and we are disappointed MG Rover was called to answer questions because it's a private limited company – they've done nothing illegal; in fact they've done what any sensible businesses would've done,” he says.

Cort says he was “heartened” to hear John Towers commit Rover 75 production to Longbridge, but adds: “If there is a deal to make cars in Poland, and that's what's needed to keep the company viable, then obviously I would support it.” MG Rover is launching a number of new or revised models this year, including the 2004 Rover 75, described by Cort as a “great improvement” over the previous model. “The ZT looks a dream,” he adds.

New styling for a revised 45, which resembles the touring car, will also be unveiled shortly, while the 25 will also receive a revamp. Meanwhile, the CityRover continues to perform well as MGR registrations surge ahead of 2003 for the first three months of the year. “It might not be the best franchise, but there are half a dozen or so others I'd rather not have,” says Cort. “We are moving nearer to the breakeven point, and hopefully when that happens it will mean we can operate without being in a goldfish bowl.”

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