MG Rover, the sole high-volume survivor of Britain's once-proud automobile industry, on Thursday went into receivership after rescue talks collapsed with prospective partner Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation.

Receivership, a form of bankruptcy protection similar to US Chapter 11 proceedings, places a failed business in the hands of a court-appointed third party.

The announcement was made Thursday evening by UK trade and industry secretary Patricia Hewitt: "MG Rover has announced that their board has decided to call in the receivers," she told a press conference.

Rover, sold for a nominal £10 to a consortium of four UK businessmen by former owner BMW four years ago, has been struggling ever since to break out of the red. Until last month, the prospects of rescue by China's SAIC seemed good but have since faltered, reportedly at the due diligence stage.

The board of MG Rover has called on the British government to put up its mooted £100 million ($53.22m; €68.78m) bridging loan - a request the Blair administration may find inexpedient to refuse with a general election less than three weeks away.

Data sourced from (China); additional content by WARC staff