LONDON (Reuters) - Chinese carmaker Nanjing Automobile is in advanced talks with British businessman David James over the sale of its MG Rover brand, the Times newspaper reported on Friday.
James wants to use the name for a two-seater car based on DaimlerChrysler's discontinued Smart Roadster, according to the unsourced report. A deal could be announced as early as Friday. James could not be reached for comment.
Nanjing bought the British manufacturing icon out of bankruptcy last year. It had said it aimed to make up to 80,000 cars with the MG Rover badge each year in Britain.
A separate report in Friday's Financial Times said Nanjing and James were in talks over a joint venture that could lead to the end of production of MG Rover cars at its main plant in central England.
According to the newspaper, the venture proposes the closure of MG Rover's former hub at Longbridge and a move to a smaller site in nearby Coventry.
MG Rover collapsed under debts of 1.4 billion pounds ($2.43 billion) in April 2005, leading to 5,000 job losses at its main plant.