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Old 02-22-2006, 07:10 PM   #1
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Post MG means business at Longbridge

Reuters, The Associated Press


LONDON Nanjing Automobile of China, which trumped a bid by Shanghai Automotive last year to buy MG Rover out of bankruptcy, signed a 33- year lease Wednesday for the factory site of the former British carmaker and said it would begin producing sports cars at the plant next year.
The future of the Longbridge factory in central England had been in doubt since it was closed in April with the loss of 5,000 to 6,000 jobs when MG Rover, the last major British car manufacturer, declared bankruptcy.
Nanjing surprised the automobile industry when it paid 53 million, or $92 million, to buy MG Rover, which had debts of 1.4 billion, in July. It is one of several Chinese carmakers, including Geely Automobile Holdings and Chery Automotive, that are taking steps to follow Toyota Motor of Japan and Hyundai Motor of South Korea in becoming global brands.
Nanjing said it planned to employ up to 1,000 workers and begin production of the MGTF sports car next year.
The deal signed Wednesday was better than unions and local lawmakers had hoped for. The owner of the site, St. Modwen Properties, had suggested last week that Nanjing would only sign another six-month, short-term lease while it considered whether to restart production.
However, the lease, with rent pegged at around 1.8 million a year, does incorporate a six-month break clause in case Nanjing is unable to confirm a viable long-term future for the site.
"We move forward according to our original plan," Wang Hongbiao, the Nanjing chairman, said through an interpreter at a news conference. "Next year we will produce a sports car here. After that, we will produce a car which will make profits."
But Richard Burden, a lawmaker with the ruling Labour Party who represents the Birmingham area, sounded a note of caution.
"My welcome is tempered by realism, first of all about what is being proposed," Burden said. "This is not mass car production at Longbridge."
Dave Osborne, a spokesman for the Transport and General Workers' Union, said that union officials were told that Nanjing plans to produce 100,000 vehicles each year.
Unions had been unhappy when Nanjing won the bid for Rover because it appeared to offer worse prospects for resuming full-scale production at Longbridge than rival offers.
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Old 02-23-2006, 03:44 PM   #2
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Some pictures of the above event:
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Last edited by Admin; 02-23-2006 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 04-04-2006, 05:11 PM   #3
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Post Longbridge cars on sale in 2007

The UK chairman of the firm that bought Rover's Longbridge plant has said that Nanjing Auto is about to restart car-making in Birmingham.

The BBC has learned that cars could go on sale from July 2007 and Chinese firm Nanjing has said it is keen to re-employ ex-Longbridge workers.
Two production lines remain intact, including the MGTF sports car line.
Some Midland firms have been approached to make parts for Nanjing and more orders are expected.
Speaking through an interpreter, Nanjing's UK chairman Wang Hongbiao told the BBC: "We are going to resume production of MGTF here.
"Maybe in the near future... we will launch some new models to the market."
Nanjing announced in February that it had renewed its lease on the Longbridge plant for a further 33 years and wanted to resume car production. It also has a get-out clause allowing it to walk away.
200 initial jobs
The firm has previously said it could employ 1,000 people. It later changed that number to 600.
On Tuesday, Nanjing said there would be 200 jobs in the first year of production.
The company said the more cars it sells the more jobs it will create. A recruitment drive to find the initial workforce will take place at the end of this year.
Nanjing's acquisition of MG Rover only included the rights to use the MG brand. The Rover brand is still owned by Rover Group's former parent BMW. MG Rover went bust in 2005, at a cost of about 6,000 jobs, and was then bought by Nanjing for 50m ($86m).
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Old 04-04-2006, 06:00 PM   #4
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Default some pics of the longbridge plant, when annouced closing b4

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Old 04-05-2006, 07:03 PM   #5
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This is very exciting. I predict that if Nanjing nurture the business carefully then ultimately they will one day need to make a lot of cars in Europe (due to tarrif restrictions etc). Longbridge is one of the most famous plants in the world and can perform that function well, but only if it has the support of a strong business like the one Nanjing is trying to build in China. Everyone can be happy!
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Old 01-18-2007, 01:57 PM   #6
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Default NAC-MG mean business at Longbridge


Thanks to 28 Days Later.

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Old 01-18-2007, 05:57 PM   #7
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"What, producing old models that public never wanted in the first place?"

Thought I'd get it in before a certain other member! Hehe!

Excellent news, old chap! Good to see things moving, or ready to start at least!
Rover 214 for the Missus - 8yrs old and no HGF yet
And a CV including Minis, Austin , Rover 400s and 75
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Old 01-19-2007, 04:29 AM   #8
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Interesting to read some of the text on 28DL too. One of the guerilla-photographers noted engines on testbeds in the "Flight Shed" with notes dated that day. Evidence that that NAC-MG are using Longbridge to develop the G/N-series engines, in addition to preparing for TF and 7Z production.
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Old 02-10-2007, 03:40 PM   #9
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Thumbs up 1st Chinese MG TF made on Longbridge production line this week

08 Feb 07
The first 'Chinese' MG TF rolled off the revived Longbridge production line last week - and straight into a row
Union leaders at Amicus accused new owner Nanjing of giving the roadster a 'kit car' assembly at the revived Midlands plant.

The row came after the Chinese firm admitted that only 250 workers would be based at the factory. That's compared to the 6,000 staff once employed by MG Rover. Nanjing had also initially said the plant would be used for "final assembly" of all right-hand-drive road***sters. Pro***duc***tion, however, would largely take place at the firm's all-new plant in Pukou in China. But a spokesman for the firm has now told us: "The TF will be constructed, welded and painted at Longbridge, and even the body will be made with British steel. It's only the facia that is being built overseas, so fans shouldn't be disappointed." A network of up to 90 dealers is expected to sell the new TF in the UK. Nanjing hopes to shift 89,000 MG models across Europe by 2009, once the final line-up is in place. Meanwhile, a scan of Nanjing's online catalogue at reveals this futuristic MG design, which gives a hint of the look of the firm's new range.
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Old 03-11-2007, 12:42 PM   #10
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And when is the official introducing of this car? I haven't seen any pictures so far.

My ride: 1991 Hyundai Scoupe 1.5i GTX automatic with only 60,000 kms:
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