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Chinese-Made MG on British Roads Again

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

There is good news for MG fans. It is going to be back on the road again, thanks to its being revived by Chinese automotive giant Shanghai Auto- motive Industry Corporation, the present owner of the brand. About 87 years ago, Morris Garage was the first wave of automobile sports fashion to happen to Britain. It is synonymous with everything a sports car needs to be. MG Rover Group, as it was known then, eventually went into the red and was acquired by NAC, one of China’s oldest carmakers. With NAC merging with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corpo- ration, it was time for the MG Marquee to make a comeback. Shanghai Automotive Industry Corpora- tion is owned by the state and has built up a formi- dable reputation in the automotive industry despite the highly competitive environment.

The MG Birmingham, located at Longbridge site, is to roll out the new MG form here. MG6 Fastback will see the MG insignia in factory manufactured condition for the first time since 16 years ago. The new MG will be a British engineered and designed fastback car built largely in China.

The 1956 MG coupe will see its new avatar as the MG Fastback, with sporty snout, trunked boot, pro- nounced grille, and steel alloy with five-door hard- top. This will essentially replace the open-topped and carefree sports cars that Britons loved to let their hair nip around while they zoomed down the highways or across the countryside.

The revival of the MG Birmingham plant with close to 40 workers may not measure up to the 20,000 plus workforce that worked here earlier, but there is at least hopeful benefit as localities keep their fingers crossed for a possible future for more MG work.

The MG6 is to be assembled at Longbridge with the body parts – body shells, engines and gearboxes – manufactured in China and shipped over to the Birmingham plant.

The MG6 is essentially a Roewe 550 that was showcased at the 2008 Beijing Motor Show and has been styled by Britisher Tony Williams-Kenny and an ex-employee at the Japanese carmaker Mitsubishi. Therefore, the car has a distinct Sino-British flavour but also a strong overdose of other features similar to the new German Audi and the Octavia Skoda. There are design comparisons to the Ford Focus and the Vauxhall Astra as well.

Perhaps the MG-6 will revive the West Midlands and will give an opportunity for the old MG badge to kiss the air as a new generation of car drivers are introduced to the core of driving a MG Rover around town.

The Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation needs to be commended for keeping faith in this good old British car and reviving it, given the levels of competition and saturation that presently exist in the local as well as global markets. It is an exciting step forward for the MG6, as its survival would see the lease of a new life for the MG insignia to run on British roads again.

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