Jon Moulton - the investment banker who will buy Rover Cars from BMW and rename it 'MG Car Company,' - thinks the auto business is easy.
Not easy, exactly, but in Moulton's words 'less difficult than others.'
Moulton's Alchemy Partners buys distressed companies, fixes them and sells them for a profit. His firm is best known for reviving Parker Pens and a British restaurant chain called Fatty Arbuckles. Now it expects to put Rover right.
But compared with renovating Rover, Moulton has been buying run-down single-family houses and turning them into bright little starter homes.
Moulton will find he is in the hardest business in the world. He can't simply apply lessons from other industries.
How did Moulton get into this situation? BMW got lucky. It found a risk-averse entrepreneur who believes he can 'restore confidence in the Rover products' after Honda and BMW failed.
Alchemy can't fix Rover. It doesn't have the resources. It also doesn't have the time and it doesn't have the talent. Alchemy can't hire the talent because no executive able and experienced enough would even try.
And there is no one able and experienced enough to fix Rover with the means that Alchemy can provide.
For Rover to survive, Alchemy needs to get the remains into the hands of a real car manufacturer as soon as possible. Otherwise, Rover and MG will slip down the food chain until they are just two more forgotten British car names.