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"Today Nanjing Automobile Group will announce that the company will build the MG TF Coupe at a factory in Ardmore, Oklahoma by 2008 and locate its American and European headquarters 90 miles north in Oklahoma City. The new plant will create 500 new jobs for the area. The MG TF Roadster, meanwhile, will be assembled at MG's plant in Longbridge, England."

http://www.autoblog.com/2006/07/12/mg-tf-coupe-will-be-built-in-ooooooklahoma/

"DETROIT, July 11 — Can the mystique of a British sports car be recreated by a Chinese company in America’s heartland?

Following in Japan's Tracks That’s the bet by Nanjing Automobile Group, which plans to resurrect the fabled MG marque in a tricontinental demonstration of how truly global the automotive industry has become.

Nanjing, which purchased the assets of the bankrupt MG Rover Group last year, aims to be the first Chinese carmaker to open a factory in the United States. The company has scheduled a news conference for Wednesday in Oklahoma to announce plans to build a newly designed MG TF Coupe there, starting in 2008. It said the coupe would compete with cars like the Mazda Miata, which sells for $20,000 to $25,000.

It also will assemble a convertible TF Roadster version at MG’s now-shuttered factory in Longbridge, England, and three sedan models in China. American and European operations for MG Motors will be based in Oklahoma City, 90 miles north of the new factory in Ardmore, Okla.

MG’s rebirth under Nanjing, which said it had $2 billion in financing for the endeavor, comes as several Chinese companies are setting their sights on the United States, the world’s largest car market.

Several Chinese carmakers have said they are two to three years away from exporting vehicles to the United States. One, Geely Automobile, displayed a $10,000 sedan at this year’s Detroit auto show, although the car fell short of American safety and emissions standards.

Geely and Chery Automobile, a state-owned company that has sparred with General Motors over the similarity of its name to the Chevy nickname for the Chevrolet brand, plan to sell cars in the United States in 2008. Only Nanjing, however, has said it intends to build vehicles outside China, where it will face higher labor costs than in its home country.

“We want to be a global company,’’ said Duke T. Hale, a former executive at Mazda, Isuzu and Lotus who will be chief executive of MG Motors. “We don’t want to be a company that simply exports out of China. We don’t want to be seen as just another Chinese car company.’’

Nanjing also is unique among the Chinese car companies in its plan to revive an established brand with a Western following. Mr. Hale called that a critical advantage the company held over its Chinese rivals. “I’ve got a brand name that still resonates,’’ he said.

The company says its lineup will be true to MG’s heritage, to the delight of enthusiasts such as Roger Parker, a technical consultant with the MG Owners’ Club.

The club, run out of a large MG parts shop near Cambridge, England, has about 40,000 members worldwide. Many live in the United States, despite the brand’s 26-year absence here.

“If they don’t get the product right, they will certainly do damage that will be difficult to recover from,” said Mr. Parker, whom Nanjing officials consulted about their plans. “It’s clear that they are very committed and very conscious of the rich history that they have bought.”

MG’s limited appeal will ensure that Nanjing remains merely a niche player here.

But construction of the first Chinese auto plant in the United States, which will create more than 500 jobs, carries a great deal of symbolism about the industry’s future.

“It wasn’t very long ago that nobody believed the Japanese would build plants in the United States,” said David E. Davis Jr., who co-founded Automobile magazine and now runs an online publication for car lovers called Winding Road. After Lee A. Iacocca, the brash chairman of Chrysler, challenged them to do so, Mr. Davis added, “they did, and they blew everyone’s pants off.”

MG, originally called Morris Garages, began selling cars in the 1920’s. Its iconic TC convertible was a big hit in the United States after servicemen grew attached to earlier MG models in Europe during World War II.

“MG was really an integral part of the foreign car revolution that started in the late 40’s and early 50’s,” Mr. Davis said. “They weren’t terribly good cars, but they were so different and they were so much fun to drive that we all forgave them for their lack of reliability and fragility.”

The brand withdrew from the American market in 1980, leaving a generation of enthusiasts longing for its return. Sales continued in other countries as ownership passed through several hands, including Honda and BMW, until production ceased in April 2005 and all 6,000 workers at the factory in England were let go.

“It’s the first sports car that I remember as a child,” said Paul Fucito, who grew up around the corner from an MG dealership in New Jersey and remembers its closing.

Mr. Fucito, 34, a spokesman for George Washington University, has never lost hope that he will one day own an MG, although the company’s bankruptcy last year raised doubts for him about the chances of that happening. He participates in several online forums devoted to the brand and fantasizes about a new MG, painted British racing green, with wire wheels and chrome accents.

“It’s been that dream car that I’ve always wanted,” he said.

Several automakers have capitalized on demand for nostalgic nameplates in recent years, including BMW with its modernized Mini Cooper. Chevrolet has been deluged with requests to bring back the Camaro after it unveiled a concept version in January.

Jeremy Anwyl, president of Edmunds.com, a Web site that gives consumers advice about buying cars, said MG had the potential to join the list of successfully resurrected marques, as long as Nanjing kept quality high and prices low. “It’s not just a question of slapping an MG brand on something and expecting it to be an automatic success,” he said.

Mr. Anwyl expects to see the new MG models sporting the brand’s distinct vertical grille and octagonal logo but without the flaws of earlier models.

“Hopefully some of the electrical problems you wouldn’t bring back,” he said. “If you really want to go for nostalgia, you put on a leaky roof.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/12/b...1152678436-YTMEE8/uIQ71hCq3RgN2tQ&oref=slogin

 

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This doesn't make any sense, but maybe I'm missing something. They're going to build and staff a brand new factory and establish headquarters in the middle of a country they've never been in before? To build a car that could easily be built at an existing factory? It doesn't seem like they're going to be building a whole lot of cars, so it hardly seems worth the investment.
 

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:lol: :D :thumb:

Forget Bricklin etc - MG is coming to the USA!!!



Another big announcement is due next Monday covering the UK operations.
 

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Why are there no steeling wheels on the cars and why are the flags flipped left to right? ;)
 

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a marque that endures

Raul said:
"Today Nanjing Automobile Group will announce that the company will build the MG TF Coupe at a factory in Ardmore.....

....Nanjing also is unique among the Chinese car companies in its plan to revive an established brand with a Western following. Mr. Hale called that a critical advantage the company held over its Chinese rivals. “I’ve got a brand name that still resonates,’’ he said........


The question of NAC keeping the MG name has been discussed a lot on this forum. I think the words of Hale show just how enduring the brand still is among folks in the U.S.. The name MG may mean nothing to the younger generation now, but when lofty words of reminiscence are uttered by the older generation, that is sure to change.
 

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dragin said:
The question of NAC keeping the MG name has been discussed a lot on this forum. I think the words of Hale show just how enduring the brand still is among folks in the U.S.. The name MG may mean nothing to the younger generation now, but when lofty words of reminiscence are uttered by the older generation, that is sure to change.

Part of the appeal of the MG brand in the USA was the heritage of British production. An MG made in America may not have the same appeal. :eek:
 

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Presumably that's why the MINI has done so well, owned by BMW, made in the UK, and selling well globally, then, Puppetland. Didn't BMW consider building MINI in China?

An MG, owned by a little known (in the Western world) Chinese company, made in Ardmore is less likely to succeed?

With the right marketing campaign playing on the fact that MG is and was intrinsically part of the US sports car scene will surely help, and with the Made in US tag it can only help.

MINI was a marketing success, the Mini had had a brief appearance in the US between it's launch and 1973, yet its return worked, probably better than the Beetle's return.

MG has an edge, 80% of production went to the US between the 40s and 1980. There are more MG enthusiasts today in the US likely to order one than ever there were Mini fans before the launch of MINI. Sure, some of the MG enthusiasts won't be keen if it is not built at Abingdon, but I would think that the right marketing would work. Even with its various recalls, MINI has succeeded.
 

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MINI is not the argument. It has succeeded where as MG is still locked in limbo and the subject of many 'letters of intent' and endless press conferences.

Even with the right marketing campaign I fear and American MG will struggle to make enough impact in the USA to make the operation profitable. I just hope they give it the best start possible; they must get the product right and not launch with a rehashed version of the mediocre MG TF.

I feel extremely under whelmed by the proposed sketches of the 'new' Modern Gentleman I have seen so far.
 

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I didn't say it was the arguement, I only use it as a precedent that shows with the right marketing, a car can succeed for an audience that has not seen the badge in over 25yrs.

At this stage it is too soon to start marketing a product that as yet does not exist, and yes, it has to be good from day one. We wait and see.
 

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MartinW said:
I didn't say it was the arguement, I only use it as a precedent that shows with the right marketing, a car can succeed for an audience that has not seen the badge in over 25yrs.

At this stage it is too soon to start marketing a product that as yet does not exist, and yes, it has to be good from day one. We wait and see.

MartinW's got a point...in the end it all comes down to marketing....
you can sell a rock if you have good marketing

but for good marketing you need good financial resources...so i hope MG/Nanjing gets a good response for funding in the US
 

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breadth of MG appeal

MartinW said:
.........There are more MG enthusiasts today in the US likely to order one than ever there were Mini fans before the launch of MINI. .......
I agree MartinW.....Mini had a much narrower following in the US before its revival.

Brand brand brand....

Now it should be interesting to watch VW try to revive the Rabbit....
 

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dragin said:
I agree MartinW.....Mini had a much narrower following in the US before its revival.

Brand brand brand....

Now it should be interesting to watch VW try to revive the Rabbit....
A lot of the marketing with the Mini was helped with the powerful engine and the image that is was sort of branded under BMW and also because of movie Italian Job gave much exposure to it
 

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I hate to disagree, but the MINI does not offer a powerful engine. It certainly offered above average handling, one of its strengths often noted, but the two engines on offer at launch were the same South American Chrysler unit either chipped to 90bhp (MINI ONE) or 115bhp (MINI Cooper). It took until the supercharged version before anything like an engine matched the chassis at 160bhp.

The car was largely designed by Rover engineers, and should have had the K series engine. Whilst the K series was noted for its ability to eat head gaskets, that problem could have been resolved easily enough as it subsequently has been with below industry average HGF noted since 2003 on the notorious MG TF models. The K series offers an engine weighing just 100kgs which even in the basic MG ZR offer 105bhp from its 16valve set-up with a better acceleration than even the Cooper, and better fuel efficiency. The more sophisticated VVC 1.8L offers 160bhp, too, as does the 1.8L turbo unit.

Therefore, I think MINI was a great marketing exercise that played heavily on the cheekiness of the original, promising its owner an adventure, and that marketing strategy kicked in before the BMW sell-off of Rover. I agree that its association with BMW has undoubtedly helped and had it been an MG Rover group product, the public would not have tolerated the various recalls as obligingly. More to the point BMW have often emphasised the fact that the MINI is a standalone brand in its own right, but I am sure the association has a big impact, despite its UK design and build. The Italian Job would also have helped push sales on but the movie was post the release of MINI, and was originally to have featured the VW Beetle.

Another advantage of the MINI is the servicing schedule, you pay £100 on purchase and get 5 years free servicing which means the initially high purchase price is somewhat more understandable, along with the promised high residuals that the trade allow for BMW/MINIs. It is however a car for single people and young at heart, it is an impractical car with limited space. However it is a car that makes a statement in a way that the all the others fail to do. And this is what sells cars, but that has to come from a good marketing campaign.

If Nanjing can produce a quality product, turn up the marketing, and price it right, then they have a winner globally for a two-seater sports car. Whether the same is possible with a saloon or hatch is debatable. But sadly, I suspect that both here and in the US, the prejudice towards Chinese products will be it's downfall, and here in the UK, the association with MG Rover products and the negative press of the last 5 yrs will not help.
 

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MartinW said:
If Nanjing can produce a quality product, turn up the marketing, and price it right, then they have a winner globally for a two-seater sports car. Whether the same is possible with a saloon or hatch is debatable. But sadly, I suspect that both here and in the US, the prejudice towards Chinese products will be it's downfall, and here in the UK, the association with MG Rover products and the negative press of the last 5 yrs will not help.
There are no definite plans that this will happen in the USA or UK for that matter. :nono:
 

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Puppetland said:
I remember reading similar stories that SAIC were going to invest millions in to MG Rover to become a true global player. :rolleyes:
Never trust SAIC!

But this is Nanjing and, excluding their potential American parteners, they seem totaly trustworthy.
 

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Puppetland said:
I remember reading similar stories that SAIC were going to invest millions in to MG Rover to become a true global player. :rolleyes:
Can you remember where you read it from? I would be glad to read those articles.
 
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