By on October 16, 2009

Hooked another one: Qu Li. Picture courtesy dailymail.co.uk

After MG, Rover, and the iconic London taxi maker Mangenese Bronze, one of the last remnants of the British auto industry was bought by a Chinese. By a Chinese woman, to be exact. Dr. Qu Li, owner of Eco Concept Ltd., agreed Thursday to buy for an undisclosed amount LDV, a Birmingham-based van-manufacturing company that went “into administration” in June. The lady has a history.

Li was a consultant for a group of businessmen, called “The Phoenix Four,” who bought auto maker MG Rover from BMW in 2000 for the symbolic price of £10. According to London’s Telegraph, Ms. Li was also the lover of one of them, Nick Stephenson. Over 15 months, MG Rover paid Dr. Li £1.7m, not a bad rate for consulting and consorting. Ms. Li secured investment from SAIC Motor Corp., which bought technology from MG Rover in 2005. Then, the company collapsed.

Van maker LDV was backed by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska until it likewise collapsed when the bottom fell out of the commercial vehicles market. Production at the LDV plant stopped 10 months ago. Eco Concept says LDV will still concentrate on light commercial vehicles but on a smaller scale. Eco Concept “has support from a number of international automotive manufacturers and distributors,” Dr. Li said. Gasgoo thinks that the number is one, and the company is none other than Li’s old pals in Shanghai, SAIC. According to Gasgoo, LDV “is likely to be relocated to Longbridge, currently home of SAIC-owned MG UK.” Gasgoo’s sources suggest that “main assembly will take place in China and only a limited presence will be kept in the West Midlands of UK.

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12 Comments on “Another UK Auto Maker Shipped Off To China...”


  • avatar

    Is this a way UK tries to sink China (and India) economically? Keeping on sending failing industries to them? Well, I think that as long as the people involved have positive intentions, it makes no difference what country they are from.
    BTW, a question for the B&B: European cars have good handling, American cars have good cup holders, … do Chinese cars have some nifty chop stick dispensers?

  • avatar

    There is no way anyone can compete with a country of 1.5 billion willing to work for slave wages, sitting under a government that controls everything from the media to the food imports.

    China is going to be the richest economic superpower in 10 years if it isn’t already.

    Thank God I speak Mandarin and I still own an apartment in Pu Xi, Shanghai cause I may end up moving back.

  • avatar
    PeteMoran

    Ms. Li was also the lover of one of them, Nick Stephenson. Over 15 months, MG Rover paid Dr. Li £1.7m, not a bad rate for consulting and consorting.

    Hmmmm. Sorry to be the wet blanket, but I would have thought there’s no need to say that, and that it might very well be pushing the limits legally.

    IMHO, that is.

  • avatar
    Stingray

    And after UK’s industry… it will be the ‘Merican…

    To which I must say…

    PWNED, bitches.

    I’m on a not very nice mood today.

  • avatar
    TonUpBoi

    And thus endeth the long slide down of Manganese Bronze Holdings, formerly best known as Norton Villiers Triumph (back in the early 70′s).

    I’m amazed it took them this long.

  • avatar

    Manganese Bronze is not owned by the Chinese (yet), but have a joint venture with Geely to build taxi’s there. (see this for details )

  • avatar
    threeer

    Just more evidence that the West is close to being owned by China. I’d love to see the day where our Administration pulls the plug on Iraq and Afghanistan (and full disclosure, I work for the US Army) and spend that money paying the Chinese debt off. Heck, for that reason alone, I’d love to see GM and Ford succeed without Chinese intervention. Can there be a day of news that doesn’t involve the Chinese buying something??

  • avatar
    mpresley

    Flashpoint : There is no way anyone can compete with a country of 1.5 billion willing to work for slave wages, sitting under a government that controls everything from the media to the food imports.

    First, slaves do not earn wages. Understand what the word means. Second, as the standard of and cost of living is lower in China, wages are necessarily low inasmuch as the cost of most goods are commensurately low. Wages appear artificially low in comparison to the US, but we are speaking of China. Too, consumerism in China is not like the US. Savings rates are higher, and attitudes about debt are different. Thus in relative terms, a Chinese making much less in salary may be actually better off (richer) than a typical American in debt.

    Finally, if you don’t think the US government does not control a lot, and is grabbing more each day, then be worried. It’s not China yet, but things always change.

  • avatar
    bigbadbill

    mpresley:
    Just curious…
    Is there a rule or a law that slaves cannot earn wages? Is this a historical fact?

  • avatar

    Folks, this may not fit into the preconceived notions some have about China, however, those are the facts:

    - There are minimum wage laws in China
    - Following a new labor law enacted in 2008, Chinese jobs are safer, and many benefits are higher than in the US (I now have to calculate approx 30% “social cost” on top of the salaries of an employee.)
    - People are lining up in front of the factories that pay the alleged slave wages

    Ignore facts, and forever live in ignorance.

  • avatar
    mpresley

    bigbadbill :Just curious…Is there a rule or a law that slaves cannot earn wages? Is this a historical fact?

    A slave is a slave. If you pay your slave, then what’s the point, and are they, then, really slaves? This, of course, does not pertain to wage slaves, a different concept altogether (ask me about that one!), nor to indentured servitude (I’ve been there, too).

    The good news coming from China is that when they take us over, we can all work at the Shenzhen iPhone factory (or is it Gaungzhou?) as wage slaves, maybe drive a Buick if we’re lucky, but fall for a noodle-girl at the local diner, since the Chinese women mostly like us. And there’s nothing like being a slave for your Chinese wife.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    If China builds a domestic car industry, good for them. I’d rather have 1.5 billion people employed doing something than pissed off with time on their hands.

    Have a little more faith in America. Despite the efforts of the media, Hollywood, governments, and lazy people we still manage to come out on top eventually.


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