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MG Rover's financial crisis


Yesterday (7th April '05) confusion surrounded the situation at car manufacturer MG Rover. During the evening, the UK's Department of Trade and Industry announced that MG Rover had gone into receivership, however MG Rover refuted this, saying that they had asked their accountants for advice as to their financial position. At the time of writing this fog had not lifted, but it is clear that the troubled business is in dire straits.

Phoenix rising from the ashes

The company is no stranger to crisis, and has passed from one owner to another over the years. In 2000, its German owner BMW sold it for a symbolic £10 to Phoenix Venture Holdings Ltd, returning this traditionally British business to UK ownership.

The company's plant at Longbridge, Birmingham, currently employs around 6000 staff, whose jobs are under threat if the company cannot obtain a bridging loan from the government, which itself is dependent upon securing a merger deal with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC). At the moment, it looks as if this latter deal has not been able to be realised, and so the government's loan is not forthcoming. Another 20,000 jobs in companies which supply components to MG Rover are also reported to be dependent on production at the Longbridge plant.

Can the company rise again, phoenix-like, from the dying embers of its former glory?

Identity crisis

Peter Cook, an automotive professor at Nottingham Business School has said that Rover is having an "identity crisis" and that it needs to reinvent itself as a niche car manufacturer. We can see this identity crisis astrologically, by looking at the current transits for the company. Below is the chart for MG Rover under the ownership of Phoenix Venture Holdings:


MG Rover - Business Chart

The very close conjunction of Sun, Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn between 18 and 20 degrees of Taurus is the core of this chart. The Sun represents the identity of a company, Mercury and Jupiter are the two planets of travel and mobility, and Saturn is the planet of tradition. So here we have an astrological signature of the last of the largest British car manufacturers.

At the moment, the planet Neptune is at 17 Aquarius, at a right angle to this cluster of planets. Neptune is the planet of dissolving, liquidation, coming apart at the seams. It is also the planet of confusion and fogginess, and in square to the company's Sun this is indeed an identity crisis of major proportions.

The phoenix returns

In astrology, the mythical bird called the phoenix is linked with the planet Pluto. This is because the story of the pheonix is one of 'creative destruction' - the bird throws itself into the fire in an act of suicide, and then rises out of the ashes of its own destruction renewed and regenerated. This is what Pluto transits are about. So where is Pluto now?

Throughout March and April Pluto is stationary. This means that, as viewed from the Earth, the planet appears to stand still in the sky. This corresponds to a particularly intense 'trial by fire' period that makes even more drastic the 'do or die' theme of the phoenix. The peak date for this process was 27th March, during which time the talks to set up a deal with SAIC and the government were taking place.

When we put Pluto in the chart of MG Rover, we find it on the company's Sun/Moon midpoint - the point halfway between the Sun and the Moon. For those interested in the technical details, Pluto stationed just 19 minutes of longitude from the exact Sun/Moon midpoint. Thus the company is, at its very core, facing certain destruction of its previous identity. The question is, can it rise again with renewed vigour?

Tough times, & job losses

Currently, transitting Saturn is on MG Rover's Moon/Ascendant midpoint. Like Pluto, Saturn has recently appeared to stand still in the sky, increasing the heaviness and 'reality bites' nature of this time for the company (peak date was 22nd March). Combined with the Neptune and Pluto transits, we can clearly see that radical restructuring and reorganisating is mandated if the company is to survive. A complete overhaul is needed to cope with these once-in-a-lifetime Neptune and Pluto transits. Sadly, wielding the axe appears to be inevitable at this stage.

On the day of the announcement

Looking at the transits for yesterday when the disputed announcement was made, we find this cluster of four - Sun, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn - again highlighted. The transitting Sun was on the following midpoints:
  • Sun/MC
  • Mercury/MC
  • Jupiter/MC
  • Saturn/MC
The involvement of the MC reflects the catapulting of the company into the limelight, and the affect of the announcement on the corporation's public reputation.

Just a day later, on 8th April, there was a solar eclipse at 19 degrees Aries, in square to the MG Rover Ascendant axis, sextile the company's Uranus, semi-sextile the Sun-Mercury-Jupiter-Saturn cluster, trine its Chiron, semi-square its Mars, conjunct its 11th house cusp and trine its 3rd house cusp/sextile its 9th house cusp. In other words, this eclipse connects incredibly strongly with MG Rover.

What next?

While the news headlines may change, the astrological transits remain for some time. To be sure, MG Rover is in the midst of a long-term transition, and it is not over yet, although the worst of the crisis appears to have broken now, astrologically-speaking, with what follows being the fall-out of what's being going on both astrologically and business-wise.

In 2006 Uranus will square the company's Pluto and then cross its MC. At the same time as that, Neptune will be exactly square to the business's Sun. Finally, Jupiter will be opposing all of the Taurus planets. If MG Rover survives the current crisis, it is 2006 that will offer opportunities to start all over again in a new direction, with a new lease of life, but it is from now onwards that the company will need to bite the bullet and prepare the ground to be ready in time.
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