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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

BMW Tight Lipped

LONDON -- Britain's trade secretary, criticized for failing to avert the sale of Rover cars and the likely loss of thousands of jobs, said he had no chance to act because BMW gave no warning of the sale.

The German firm played its cards "very close to its chest" in the months before deciding to sell its loss-making subsidiary, Trade and Industry Secretary Stephen Byers told a parliamentary select committee Wednesday.

BMW had given the impression that it was "business at usual" at Rover despite losses of $3.2 million a day last year and that it was continuing with investment at its Longbridge Plant in Birmingham, where 8,000 jobs are now at risk.