Moving on after Rover collapse
ONE YEAR ON from the collapse of MG Rover, Northfield MP Richard Burden has called for a thorough regeneration programme in Longbridge area and south Birmingham to create opportunities for local people.
Administrators were called in by MG Rover on April 8 last year which signalled the end of 99 years of car production at the Longbridge firm.
The carmakers assets were sold to Nanjing Auto in July 2006 and The Standard reported last week that production of the MG TF sports car could begin at Longbridge later this year.
Mr Burden said the end of car production felt like a bereavement and had a tremendous impact on the lives of both those who worked there, as well as those who simply lived or worked nearby.
“This was nor simply a car plant, It was part of the identity of the area - everyone knows someone or has had a relative who has worked at the Austin,” he added.
He highlighted the work of the MG Rover Task Force and other agencies which has led to more than 4,000 workers returning to work.
“But for many life remains tough as many are on dramatically lower wages and are struggling to pay mortgages taken out on the assumption that they had a well paid and secure job for the future,” Mr Burden
He hoped everyone connected with MG Rover could turn the page and move on and ensure youngsters are given the skills and ambition to take up the challenges of the future.
“Car making can be a valuable part of the area’s future but none of us should allow the future of South West Birmingham to become dependent on one industry or one company in the future,” he added. Rob Georgehttp://bromsgrove.standardtoday.co.uk
MG given 5 yrs.
Not sure that I agree with this, and the fact that the workforce were let go by the Receivers won't have helped NAC recruit many of these people by the time they actually got hold of the company.
Nanjing can't go far with aged MG
AUTOMOTIVE RESEARCH firm, Trend tracker, says Nanjing Auto should have secured MG’s expertise, not its aged roadster design.
In a new white paper, entitled NAC-MG: losing heart, Michael Wynn-Williams suggests that MG Rover’s engineering talent would have offered the only short cut to a future as an independent car maker.
But with R&D to be undertaken in China, the spirit of MG, which Nanjing Automobile hopes to revive, won’t spring forth from the physical assets lifted from Longbridge.
Anticipation ran high in the UK regarding the proposed rescue by Nanjing Automotive (NAC) of Britain’s comatose MG sports car brand, but in light of the information offered by NAC on the eve of the last month’s British International Motor Show, hope has given way to pronounced scepticism.
“While the British car industry has spent a generation in stagnation, the Chinese industry has been racing ahead at a breakneck speed,” writes Wynn-Williams.
“However, the Chinese car manufacturers are not driving this phenomenal growth, but getting sucked in behind it. Only a quarter of car sales in China originate from domestic manufacturers, which, NAC included, have only about five to ten years to become fully independent before they face tougher conditions in their home market”.
NAC, says Wynn-Williams, is at heart a truck manufacturer, and its poor record with joint ventures prompted the move on MG Rover.
NAC claim to be buying into the ‘passion’ of MG, but seems to believe that passion is embodied in the physical assets it has acquired ... a second-hand factory bought for a knock-down price from which it can start churning out vehicles of a pensionable ancestry. What NAC needs is a complete range of world-standard models to take on the same global giants that defeated MG Rover first time round, says the report.
The fact that R&D will be conducted in China indicates that NAC has not fully understood what strengths MG Rover had to offer, contends Wynn-Williams.
Second-hand designs are a distraction
NAC has wasted the chance of retaining the engineering teams at Longbridge, and by not exploiting this British human asset, shows that it does not understand that expertise comes from years of team-based experience. MG Rover’s engineering talent was NAC’s only shortcut to the future. NAC and the Chinese automotive industry need to design for the future now: second-hand car designs will prove merely a distraction.
The R&D is being done by ARUP in the UK so actually this article is flawed.
In some respects the author is right. Nanjing should have tried to secure the R&D department as it's workforce it was highly talented and was capable of doing a hell of a lot with very little money. In the UK all the car designs are dated. The ZT is sound but needs a reskin. The TF whilst is went out at the top of the sales charts for Sportscars is over 10 years old now. So Nanjing need to spend some money updating the designs.....
Nanjing launches MG Rover unit
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Nanjing Automobile Group has set up a 1.8 billion yuan (118 million pounds) unit to oversee the development of its own-brand cars based on technology bought from failed car maker MG Rover, state media said on Tuesday.
Nanjing Auto will hold 22.22 percent of the new subsidiary -- set to roll out its first self-developed car by March next year -- with six other local firms sharing the remainder, the official Shanghai Securities Journal said, citing unnamed sources.
Nanjing Auto, a obscure player based in eastern China, took over MG Rover last year, outbidding larger domestic rival SAIC Motor, the country's top car maker.
It stunned the industry again in July, by announcing plans to build China's first car plant in the United States -- a facility in Oklahoma offering a full range of MG sports cars and sedans, including the TF roadster and the new TF Coupe.
The firm will also assemble vehicles at Rover's now-closed Longbridge assembly plant near Birmingham, and at its home base in China.
SAIC, General Motors Corp.'s and Volkswagen AG's China partner, has committed 1.71 billion yuan to develop its own-brand cars based on the acquired Rover 25 and 75 platforms, with an eye on developed markets, including Europe.
But some industry executives and analysts are sceptical of their capability to revive a failed British car brand on its home turf.
Nanjing ready for own-brand cars
Nanjing ready for own-brand carsAug 30 2006
By John Revill, Manufacturing Editor
Nanjing Automobile Corporation has set up a £120 million holding company to oversee the development of its own-brand cars based on MG Rover technology.
Nanjing Auto will hold 22.22 per cent of the subsidiary - set to roll out its first self-developed car by March - with six other local firms sharing the remainder.
The companies include Jiangsu Province Government Property Management, Jiang Ing, and Nanjing New Technology and Economic Development.
But despite the apparent dilution, sources said NAC would remain in the driving seat.
A source said: "This group has been put together to ensure NAC can raise the money it needs to relaunch MG. It gives the enterprise a bigger scale. But NAC will control the board and management."
Nanjing auto to start producing Rover MG engines
Sep. 28, 2006 (China Knowledge) – Nanjing Automobile Corp. is set to revive the old English Rover marque by starting to produce MG Rover engines this month, reported Shanghai Daily. According to the report, the company plans to manufacture 1.8-liter, 1.8-liter turbo, and 2.5-liter V6 engines on MG assembly lines this month.The engines will be manufactured on assembly lines that were dismantled and.....
It's great to see the 2.5 V6 will still be made, I'm a big fan of that - having had one for 4yrs and 130k km - very reliable!
I also hear that the VVC 1.8 has been dropped in favour of the turbo. The VVC was a good engine using Rover's own technology, but it's high revving nature with the cam coming on at 4000rpm meant that it was best suited to the MG TF, whereas the turbo, although not many have been made since 2002, is ideally suited to the larger saloons with more grunt. Like many manufacturers, to meet European emission laws and taxes, MG Rover had to have a turbo 1.8 as the 2.0 and 2.5L V6s were penalised with higher taxes.
One does hope, though, that the 1.8 head gasket issues have been sorted once and for all as this will haunt the car! Unfortunately only time will tell as the improvements made in 2003 have certainly reduced the number of incidents to below average but the mud still sticks in the minds of the buyers.
It doesn't mention the smaller K-series which surprises me as the 1.4 16V is also a very good engine, and as with all the Kseries it is very light at 100kgs and ideally suited to the smaller cars. Even the 1.4 16v offers 105bhp (<80kW) and with the light weight of the ZR is actually very nippy and fast enough for most.
Some pics of the opening ceremony:
The Leader of Birmingham City Council (UK), Mike Whitby and MG Project Director Zhang Xin (Nanjing) turning the keys:
MG's new logo:
First engines down the production line:
Nice pictures, and good point, Windy. The 1.1 and 1.4 were the first to be produced in the late 80s and were very reliable - not suffering the HGF problems of the later engines when they enlarged capacity and went to a damp liner. I wonder if they will ever do a production 2.0L which has proved very reliable in the BTCC racing and was a far quicker engine than the 2.0 KV6 used in the first couple of years of BTCC participation in 2002/2003.
I think the last cars to use the 1.1 were some very low cost Rover 200s in the late 90s, but I can not remember if the 1.4 was still available as the 8V 85BHP engine. or were all the engines 16V in the last few years?
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