MG Project by Nanjing Automobile
It is a significant step taken by Nanjing Automobile Corporation (NAC) in its global strategy to acquire the assets of MG Rover and Powertrain Ltd. After its successful acquisition of MG Assets, NAC is now undertaking the overall planning of MG project, of which, some part is already underway for implementation. NAC has now decided to establish production bases of MG project at Longbridge U.K., Nanjing China, and Ardmore Oklahoma USA. On one hand, the production of some products with rather high cost if produced in the U. K., such as engine, transmission and medium and low end vehicle products, will be transferred to China, where a mature supply chain with low cost will be set up step by step. On the other hand, with part of production facility retained in the UK, the original Longbridge site will be integrated to resume the production of MG TF sport car and part of high end products (including ZT and ZT-T). Meanwhile, by making full use of the prominent R & D capability and human resources in the UK as well as that of China, the Euro IV engines and a new generation of vehicles will be developed and then produced in both China and the UK in the near future.
Then, the sales network of China established by NAC and the global sales network of the former MG Rover can be used to meet the demand of various markets in China, Britain, Europe and North America.
In the current plan, the production will be resumed in the Longbridge plant in 2007, when MG TF, MG ZT and MG ZT-T will appear on the market again through sales networks in the UK and Europe. The products to be re-launched into the market will preserve the original British style, reliable and stable quality and robust power, and be sold with MG brands. Meanwhile, some other products like MG ZS and MG ZR will be produced by the company in China and then supplied to the market of China and that of the UK and Europe as well.
MG Production Plan
In 2007. Naning Automobile plans to build 13,000 cars based on the Rover 75 / MG ZT lower-premium sedan. It also plans 7,000 MG TF convertible sports cars.
Nanjing’s Rover 75-based cars will be mostly sedans that will be called the MG 7. Nanjing will also build some station wagons called the MG 7T. It intends to build the MG 7 in both China and at the former MG Rover factory in Longbridge, England. By 2011, Nanjing hopes to assemble 85,000 MG 7 a year and 25,000 MG TF. Nanjing will source as many parts as possible in China for both models to keep costs down.
The Future of the Longbridge Plant
The MG Rover plant at Longbridge was for many years one of the most important factories in Europe and was the largest British owned car manufacturing plant until the bankruptcy of the MG Rover Group. After the factory of Abingdon closed in 1980, Longbridge was also from 1982 the home of MG. Longbridge employed 16,000 ten years ago, down to 6,000 when the company collapsed into administration in April 2005.
Shortly after Nanjing Automobile bought the company it revealed plans to employ 1,200 workers and ultimately build 100,000 cars in 2006, but apparently just 600 jobs are now likely to be created and 15,000 cars assembled at the beginning, which represents a tenth part of those originally planned. The factory is now planned to reopen in 2007. There are plans for three new model range to go on sale in late 2008, with MG and possibly also Austin badges.
MG Motors North America: Ardmore Plant
MG vehicles will not only be built in Nanjing, China, but also at the Longbridge assembly plant near Birmingham, England and at a new American assembly plant to be built at the Ardmore Air Park in Ardmore, Oklahoma. Headquarters for MG sales, marketing and distribution (outside of Asia) will be located in Oklahoma City. Research and development will be in Norman at the University of Oklahoma. The company expects to start construction of the Ardmore assembly facility 2007 with production to start by the third quarter of 2008.