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Old 06-03-2007, 11:10 PM   #31
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Well written on Paul Stowe's part

To be frank though the MG7 is the only model that will date easily in the Western Markets not so much China.

As mgrovernut mentions Lotus' Elise is old platform so the sporty MGs won't a replacement say another 3-5yrs.

NAC definitely deserve praise for keeping the Longbridge factory open
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Old 06-05-2007, 07:45 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Spasticland
But NAC called a press conference on that day - for what exactly? Not a lot it would seem, except to show off three MG TFs in new colours - and, ,er, that's it.
I think reanimating the corpse whose grave you so joyfully danced on WAS worthy of note.

Longbridge. Open. Cars coming out of Q Gate again. Smiles on faces all round. Two years ago, even those of us with the most rose-tinted of spectacles doubted that ever happening.

Good luck to them.

PS: Keith Adams has written a pretty fair report of the day.

Last edited by Seamaster; 06-05-2007 at 07:49 AM.
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Old 06-05-2007, 05:38 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Seamaster
I think reanimating the corpse whose grave you so joyfully danced on WAS worthy of note.
Well, I always predicted that MG Rovers ending would resemble a giant airliner doing a spectacular crash landing - while others were adamant that all cars coming out of Longbridge were made to order.

Originally Posted by Seamaster
Longbridge. Open.
Only to receive crates with components labeled MADE IN CHINA.

Originally Posted by Seamaster
Cars coming out of Q Gate again.
You're dreaming. Nothing has happened yet.

Last edited by Puppetland; 06-05-2007 at 06:00 PM.
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Old 01-08-2008, 04:13 PM   #34
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China's SAIC to revive historic Longbridge UK plant - from Auto News:

MG's former Longbridge, UK headquarters has been pretty quiet since production ceased in 2005. Newly-merged owners SAIC and Nanjing want the clatter of carbuilding to once again echo through the plant and plan to base their European and overseas operations there. The plant itself has the capability to build up to three different models; the challenge is deciding which of the former rival's products to build there. MG TF roadsters will likely lead the charge, with cars due at retail locations by March 1st. MG Rover holdovers could return to their roots if SAIC/Nanjing decide to build the MG 3 and MG 7, while the newly deisgned Roewe W2, pictured above, looks like a solid possibility, as well. In addition to manufacturing, R&D and sales efforts will also be strengthened. From the sound of things, it won't be long before Longbridge is once again turning out cars (some of the same cars, even) at a healthy clip.
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Old 01-22-2008, 09:45 PM   #35
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well thats cool
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Old 04-22-2008, 11:37 AM   #36
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Default Good news for MG-Rover fans in the United Kingdom

SAIC: Lonbridge, UK factory to be online in Q2 2008.

China’s biggest automaker, plans to re-open a Longbridge, U.K. car plant in the second half of the year, resuming production at a factory that closed three years ago when MG Rover Group Ltd. collapsed.

The factory will initially make MG-TF roadsters. It may add other models later, Vice Chairman said today in an interview at an event to mark the opening of a Beijing research center. He didn’t say how many cars the plant would make a year.

SAIC Motor, Great Wall Motor Co. and other Chinese carmakers plan to open factories overseas as rising domestic competition crimps profit margins. The Longbridge plant, in central England, employed 6,000 workers when production was halted in April 2005.

MG’s customer loyalty will continue to support sales in Europe,” said a Shanghai-based director at CSM Asia, which advises automakers.

Europe is SAIC Motor’s most important overseas market, although China is the company’s first priority because of the strong demand here.”

The MG Owners’ Club is the largest in the world serving a single marque, according to its Web site. Trial production at the Longbridge plant began in May.

Nanjing Automobile Group Corp., which bought the MG brand for $97 million in 2005, also planned to open a plant in Oklahoma. This project is now being reviewed after SAIC Motor agreed to buy Nanjing Auto’s auto-making assets last year.

It’s hard to say if we’ll continue that plan before the assessment is completed,” said Chen.

source: China car Times
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Old 05-13-2008, 11:50 AM   #37
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MG plant in UK to start operation.
13.05.2008, Beijing. SAIC Motor Corp will begin production of the MG TF LE500 roadster at MG Rover's old Longbridge plant in the UK in the beginning of August, the China Business News reported today.

The MG TF LE500 roadster will be first sold in UK, according to the report.

MG will focus on product research and development and production after planning, integration, quality improvement and auto parts optimization, said He Xiaoqing, general manager of the UK firm.

Current plans indicate that the Longbridge plant will produce four models, including the MG TF sporty car, a large-size sedan and other two models that share a platform with the Roewe 550.

The four models will be produced locally at the Longbridge plant, not assembled simply by importing spare parts from China.

Currently, MG brand vehicles that have entered or will go on sale in the market include the MG TF, MG3, MG7 1.8T. SAIC Motor will also start selling the Roewe 550.

In 2009, SAIC Motor will launch its self-developed mid-sized sedans under the name MG6 to complete the MG portfolio.

Currently, SAIC Motor has three independent auto brands: Roewe, MG and SsangYong. The automaker has plans to launche small-displacement Roewe and MG vehicles, according to Huang Keji, general manager of Nanjing MG Automotive Co Ltd.

In the future, all of SAIC Motor's engines below 1.8 liters will be produced by MG PowerTrain, Huang said.
Source: China Daily

Nanjing UK gets new head for production start.
May 13, 2008 - He Xiao Qing is the new chairman of Nanjing Automobile Corp.’s UK business.

He, who replaces Wang Hong Biao, will oversee the restart of MG production in England as head of NAC MG UK, which is based at the former MG Rover factory in Birmingham.

He will oversee the launch of the TF LE500 roadster, which begins production in August. Three other models are set to follow.

"I am delighted to have been appointed at such an exciting and busy time in this young company’s history," He said.

The 44-year-old executive already has experience in legal affairs, international trade and management and in international finance with NAC.

NAC bought the assets of MG Rover in 2005 after the British automaker collapsed into administration.

The Chinese firm was bought by its larger domestic rival SAIC for 2.1 billion yuan (about 196 million euros) in December.
From:Auto News
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Old 06-19-2008, 05:02 AM   #38
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Second boost for car industry as Nanjing sets a start date for UK production.
June 19, 2008 - The Midlands automotive sector has received a second major shot in the arm with the news that MG owner Shanghai Automotive has told UK dealers it expects to produce 600 of the new TF LE500 models between the start of production in August and the end of the year.

That came as the new boss of Jaguar told Birmingham executives yesterday that the company is staging a fight back against its rivals .

He spoke out just 24 hours after Jaguar Land Rover revealed plans to launch a recruitment drive to find up to 600 new employees, less than a month after a £1.15 billion takeover by Tata Motors of India was completed.

SAIC’s UK dealers says first of the new sports cars are expected to be in UK showrooms in September and price details are expected to be released in the next few weeks.

Nanjing Automotive, which had previously owned the Longbridge brand, appointed 50 UK dealers last summer ready for the scheduled launch of the model in September last year.

Following its merger with SAIC at the start of this year there had been concerns that the dealership arrangements could change. However, one dealer has now confirmed that the original supply agreement is being upheld and the first cars will be rolling off the production lines at Longbridge very shortly.

Luffield Cars in Loughborough was the first UK dealer appointed to sell the TF.

Managing director David Woods said: “We had struggled for a long time to get information from China about what might be happening.

“However, following the completion of the merger things have become a lot clearer and SAIC seems to have got its act together.” Mr Woods said the company appeared to have resolved problems caused by the withdrawal of Stadco from its agreement to supply body panels for the new cars.

“Production has started in China of the steel panels, which are now being produced on new presses. The word is that the quality is much better, which is very encouraging.”

“We have been told that production at Longbridge will be ramped up in July and the cars will be produced from August ready for delivery in September. They are expecting to make around 600 units between now and the end of the year.

“There is no word on costs yet but I have taken part in a cost clinic recently and prices should be released soon,” he added. Mr Woods said he was also optimistic about the future of the brand with new models said to be in the pipeline.

It has previously been announed that there are plans to produce new models at Longbridge, which will include a replacement for the ageing TF, which first hit UK roads in 1995.

An updated replacement is expected in 2010.

Of the other new models there is speculation they will include a new luxury saloon, possibly an updated Rover 75, plus a new mid-range model, possibly a European version of the Roewe 550 which was one of the stars of the recent Beijing Motor Show. Meanwhile, Geoff Cousins, managing director of Jaguar UK, said he was confident Indian owner Tata had bought the company “for the right reasons”.

Speaking at the Breakfast Connections event run by Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Birmingham Forward, and held at the Botanical Gardens, he admitted Jaguar faced big challenges and was still behind some of its premier competitors.

Mr Cousins admitted: “We have been on the back foot for a long time. We have been beaten up.” But he said the new Jaguar XF had given confidence to everyone at the company.
SAIC confirms to start British MG TF production in August.
June 19, 2008 - Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp (SAIC), now the Chinese owners of the marque MG, has reaffirmed plans to start production of the MG TF sports car at the former MG Rover factory in Longbridge, in the West Midlands region of England this August.

Speaking at a shareholders’ meeting, SAIC President Chen Hong said that the car will go on sale at more than 40 dealers in the United Kingdom by the end of August or in early September.

"We will do it step by step," he said. "We will start with Britain and will consider selling to other markets eventually."

Nanjing Automobile Corp purchased the assets of the collapsed MG Rover in 2005 for about $100 million. The automaker originally announced plans to start production of the cars in 2007, but since then, it has been acquired by SAIC.
Sources: Birmingham Post and Gasgoo
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Old 08-01-2008, 07:10 PM   #39
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Default Re: NAC-MG mean business at Longbridge

Longbridge car plant back in action to make MG TF

August 01, 2008

Full-scale car production is due to restart today at one of the UK's most famous plants after a three-year closure.

Chinese company Shanghai Automotive (SAIC) will begin manufacturing two-seater MG TF sports cars at the former Rover plant at Longbridge in Birmingham.

A number of pre-production MGs have already been made at the West Midlands plant whose assembly lines were halted in April 2005 when MG Rover went into administration.

SAIC said in July that nearly half of the 700 MG TFs it hopes to produce by the end of the year had already been sold.

The company has 55 dealers across the UK and the first cars, which will cost about £16,400, should be with customers by next month.

There are about 165 workers in place at Longbridge and numbers are likely to be increased following a recruitment drive.

MG Rover was bought by Chinese company Nanjing Automobile Corporation, which has since been taken over by SAIC and is already planning other "exciting" new models.

About 6,000 jobs were lost in the closure of Longbridge which had opened in 1905 having been started by one of the great names of British motoring - Herbert Austin.

As well as making cars, Longbridge turned out munitions in the First World War and planes in the Second World War.

In 1959, production of the iconic Mini began at Longbridge by which time Austin had been amalgamated with Morris and become the British Motor Corporation. The company names then changed thick and fast, and included British Leyland, BL, Austin Rover, Rover and MG Rover.
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Old 08-28-2008, 01:51 AM   #40
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Default Re: NAC-MG mean business at Longbridge

Longbridge announces new range of cars to be built in Birmingham.

MG, fresh from the successful relaunch of its TF roadster, has revealed details of a whole series of new models to be produced at Longbridge.

Safe in the knowledge of secure investment from its Chinese parent, Shanghai Automotive (SAIC), the company is planning a new large-size family car, a mid-range/small family car, a supermini and a replacement for the TF. There is even speculation that it could produce an MG-badged SUV, which would be a first in the company’s long history.

The first of the new models will be a variant of the Roewe 550, the large car which is was launched to acclaim at the Beijing Motor Show earlier this year.

The 550 already has a strong British pedigree having been designed and engineered at the Shanghai Mechanical Technical Centre in Leamington Spa.

It is likely to go on sale in 2010 and will be pitched against rivals such as the Ford Mondeo and the Vauxhall Vectra replacement, the Insignia.
The car will look different to its Chinese counterpart but will share the same platform. This will mean it can be quickly introduced to the production line at Longbridge.

The company will also have a more established dealer network by the time the car goes on sale and there are high hopes it will be able to compete with its more established rivals.

The lessons learned from the sale of the TF roadster are likely to be invaluable as it looks to secure a foothold in what are very different markets to those sought by the sports car.

The next model is said to be a Ford Focus size vehicle, which will pitch the company into the most competitive section of the car market.
However, it is relishing the challenge.

Spokeswoman Eleanor de la Haye said: “MG’s future is secure and there is a commitment to expanding the automotive business both in China and in Europe.

“We have been on site here for three years and have been through some difficult times but that is behind us and we are looking forward to the future.”

“Although the TF is a relaunch, all the other vehicles will be brand new,” she added.

In addition to the enhanced dealer network – which is likely to comprise around 55 outlets in the UK, the company has improved its production model, set up a new logistics chain, an after-sales service and has the UK-based design centre.

The TF will initially be launched in the UK and Ireland but by next spring this will have been expanded to include Italy, Spain, France and Germany and beyond that to other English speaking markets such as South Africa.

There is no word yet on whether the sports car will be sold in the United States but it is not ruling this out.

It believes there is vast potential for the sports car and it will act as a flagship for the MG brand throughout the world, while there are hopes that the new models could also find a market outside the UK.

The 550 is already proving popular in China, where more than 8,000 have already been sold, despite it only being on sale since April.

The TF is also proving a hit with the Chinese, with more than 2,500 models already sold.

In the UK, advance orders for the special edition LE500 have been strong, with 80 per cent of the 500 limited run already being snapped up despite the car not going into showrooms until next month.

However, British buyers will not have long to get acquainted with the roadster as a replacement is already being planned and the model could be available in around three years time.

MG production at Longbridge good for the Midlands.

The news that MG is to invest in new models for assembly at Longbridge is welcome news not just for the company but for the Midlands economy as a whole.

New jobs, secure investment and the continuation of a motoring heritage stretching back more than 80 years is an enticing proposition. But sentiment alone will not be enough to guarantee the future success of the company.

When it does come to launch its new products on the market the rejoicing at the brand’s rejuvenation could be short lived because the company is likely to face some stiff competition in the various sectors it has chosen to compete in.

The first model will be a European variant of the Roewe 550, which will be equivalent in size to a Vauxhall Vectra.

The 550, which has been designed and engineered by MG parent Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation at its Leamington Spa-based technical centre, was unveiled to the public at the Beijing Motor Show earlier this year and has been well received.

China’s emerging middle classes are increasingly becoming more affluent and desire a status symbol to go with it. The initial success of the Roewe 750, based on the old Rover 75, suggests that the car will find a ready market in China.

However, even upgraded for the European market will that success be repeated here - in what is one of the most competitive and overcrowded motoring sectors.

MG has not said where the vehicle’s market placing is likely to be but it is thought that it will pitched against the likes of the class-leading Ford Mondeo and the Vectra replacement, the Insignia, together with others including the Mazda 6, Toyota Avensis, Renault Laguna and Peugeot 407.

The MG will have to offer a lot more than the strength of its badge if it is to make inroads against these heavyweights.

However, the company is not deterred by the challenge and the lessons it will learn from the TF LE500 will be invaluable. If it can produce high specification cars very cheaply – something which MG Rover never could – then it may have it unique selling point and hence create a niche in the market.

Spokeswoman Eleanor de la Haye said: “The success of the Olympics has shown that when China puts its mind to something then it will see it through and make it work.”

Do not under-estimate this. The Chinese are in this for the long-term.

There may have been teething problems with the beginning of the project but the acquisition of Nanjing by SAIC has been the making of MG.
Behind it now is a company with 33,000 employees and one which sold 1.3 million vehicles in 2006, generating a profit of around £667 million.

Predictions are that the company could be worth around $22 billion – something which would make most motor manufacturers drool with envy.
The Roewe 550 variant will be brought on-stream very quickly, largely due to the shared platform it will be based on.

The tools can be adapted quickly and such is the spare capacity at Longbridge that accommodating production will not be a problem.

It is likely to be a more luxurious offering than the Chinese version, reflecting the more sophisticated European buyer. It will also be badged as an MG, underlining its desirability.

The car’s current styling betrays its Asian origins and the European model is likely to be facelifted to reflect different tastes, however, what is underneath the skin is likely to be little altered.

The car could be showrooms by 2010 and the company will be able to take advantage of a more mature dealer network by then.

Following the 550 variant will be a new Ford Focus rival – probably the most competitive of all car markets – and then a new supermini, which will have a ready market provided it fulfils the basic requirements of this sector, which is primarily economy – both in terms of price and running costs.

In three years’ time there will be a replacement for the TF, which by then will be a 20 year old design. No details on the costings of these models has been proposed but all will have to be carefully marketed if they are to achieve buyers, however, if the Chinese have their way then there will only be one victor.
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