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Corporate Business

MG Sales Hurt by SAIC Personal Changes

The sales of MG-branded cars has been badly hurt by the personnel changes at Nanjing Automobile (Group) Corp. Statistics show that MG’s monthly sales volume during the first five months of this year was not more than 400, compared with a monthly sales of about 800 units from September to December 2007. It is the frequent personnel changes Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. (Group) (SAIC) launched in senior management of Nanjing Automobile that leads to the poor sales of MG, pointed out industry experts. SAIC, parent of Shanghai-traded SAIC Motor Corp. Ltd. (SHSE: 600104), inked a contract to acquire Nanjing Automobile from Yuejin Motor (Group) Corp. at the end of December 2007. After the deal, SAIC launched a series of personnel changes on the senior management team of Nanjing Automobile. It appointed Huang Keji, a top executive with Shanghai GM Dong […]

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Corporate Business

Marangoni Extends Its British Profile

Italian manufacturer Marangoni has ramped up its efforts in increasing its profile in recent weeks. After the highly successful Summer show and event programme – which endeavoured to bring the brand to the forefront of the performance and tuning market – the British International Motorshow provided an opportunity to take the firm’s self-styled ‘Marangoni Brand Experience’ to the record crowds that gathered at Excel in London. The company believes that its name carries the promise of European heritage, all-round performance and value, hoping that this triumvirate of riches resonates strongly with drivers of both performance and everyday cars. Headlining the Marangoni presence at the British International Motorshow, and very much the draw on the Santa Pod Raceway stand, was the mighty Progetto Marangoni Toyota Yaris; an attraction that has been popular with British crowds all year. With the car on […]

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Caterham

Avon to be official Morgan Aeromax supplier

The stunning new Morgan Aeromax has been unveiled as the latest in a long line of British sports cars to use Avon tyres as official tyre supplier. The Avon Tyres brand offers a complete range of high performance tyres that are manufactured and marketed by Cooper Tire & Rubber Company Europe. Classic British manufacturer, Morgan, chose Avon’s trusted ZZ3 as the perfect choice for their brand new 362bhp, 170mph machine, which has a 0-62mph speed of just 4.5 seconds. The Aeromax will be Morgan’s flagship model as the marque heads into its 100th anniversary year in 2009. The Avon ZZ3 was selected because of its excellent road holding in both wet and dry conditions and its predictable high-performance handling characteristics suit the powerful car perfectly. The Aeromax will use Avon’s 225/35 R19 XL 88Y XL ZZ3 at the front and […]

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Corporate Business

Fans Flock To Dealer For First MG

Fans of the MG were flocking to a Black Country Rover dealer this past weekend as it became the first garage in the western world to take delivery of the new model. Summit Garage has the car for sale following the return of its production to the Longbridge plant in Birmingham. A total of 75 cars have rolled off the production line destined for a number of garages around the UK and further afield. Enthusiasts can choose from bright orange, red and black models today, priced at £16,399. Boss of Summit Garage in Himley Road, Lower Gornal, has been inundated with calls from drivers keen to take a test drive in one of three MGs which left the factory. John Newey was hopeful of clinching a sale on the first day. “We have got a lot of people coming out […]

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Classic Cars

The Triumph Spitfire

The Chicago Sun-Times Auto section recently published an interesting article on the beloved Triumph Spitfire. The Spitfire is a great care that seems to be fading farther and farther from view. The Sun-Times article begins, “The plucky Triumph Spitfire sports car was cheap, fun and wore a body from Italian master stylist Giovanni Michelotti. It met growing demand for smaller, lower-priced sports cars from those who couldn’t afford larger, costlier ones, such as the Austin-Healey or even the Triumph TR4. It arrived in 1962 and lasted with updates through 1980 — an especially long run.” “The Spitfire got its name from a famous World War II British fighter plane. It initially cost less than $2,200 mostly because it was derived from the small Triumph Herald family car. It was developed shortly before England’s financially troubled Standard-Triumph was bought by England’s […]

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Corporate Business

Credit Crunch Hits Jaguar Hard

Jaguar has joined a growing list of car makers to cut production as the credit squeeze and economic downturn continue to hit sales. The now Indian-owned company said it was responding to market conditions by “taking a little bit of volume” out of production of the flagship XJ sports saloon – the current model of which is likely to be replaced next year – and the XK sports car. Jaguar would not spell out the extent of the cuts at its Castle Bromwich factory in Birmingham, but The Birmingham Post understands that between 200 and 300 fewer cars will be built between now and the end of the year. That would equate to about a week’s worth of production for both the XJ and XK. Production of the XF saloon car, which has been a huge success since it was […]

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New Cars

Beautiful Lotus Evora

According to the Economic Times, the new Lotus Evora is the best car to ever roll out of a Lotus factory. After thirteen years Lotus has finally added a new model to its existing line-up of exotic machinery like the Elise roadster which came in 1995 and the Exige, which was a coupe version of the Elise. The new model is called the Lotus Evora and the British car-maker has been working on this project for past five years. It is the only mid-engined 2+2 sportscar currently in production and it is the first model out of the three that the company plans to launch under its five year strategic plan. The bosses at Lotus have been extremely excited about this new car and some of them also commented that this is the best car ever to roll out of […]

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Racing and Competition

Will Jaguar Return To LeMans?

Might the mighty Jaguar, once a consistent winner on the LeMans circuit be considering a return to the competition? According to Autoweek, Jaguar is doing just that – considering a return to LeMans. Supposedly the new Indian parent company, Tata Motors, is evaluating a high-profile motorsports comeback. “We want to hit the Le Mans race [because] we are examining how to bring the Jaguar brand back to its earlier position,” Tata chairman Ratan Tata told Indian media.

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Racing and Competition

MG Lola Coupe Finishes Fourth

Just a few days after its first roll-out, the fully upgraded RML MG Lola EX265C completed a faultless run to fourth place in the final race of the 2008 Le Mans Series. In a six-hour endurance that was punctuated by dramatic incidents and thrilling nose-to-tail racing, the much-admired new coupé performed without a hitch, rewarding the team’s hard work and meticulous preparation with a reliable and extremely competitive performance. “I’m delighted – chuffed to bits!” said a smiling Mike Newton, co-driver of the EX265C and CEO of AD Group, principal sponsors to RML’s sportscar programme. “The guys have done an amazing job to put this car together so quickly, and to achieve a trouble-free run is an exceptional achievement.” The team had always approached the Silverstone 1000 Kilometres as an extended, if very public, test session, but poor weather on […]

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Corporate Business

New MGs Roll Out of Longbridge!

The first run of MG cars have left Birmingham’s Longbridge factory for the first time in more than three years. The cars, which departed the plant shortly after 11am on Thursday, will go on sale from September 20. Chinese owner SAIC/Nanjing began producing the sports car model, the TF LE500, at the factory last month. The Nanjing Automobile Corporation (NAC) bought the assets of the collapsed MG Rover organisation in 2005. Approximately 6,000 workers lost their jobs at Longbridge when the huge car plant closed in April that year. The return of car production to the plant has been heralded as a boost to business in the region.