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Corporate Business

Land Rover Sales Up

Land Rover enjoyed a massive UK sales surge last month – with more than 3,000 vehicles sold. The Solihull-based 4×4 manufacturer sold 3,044 vehicles in October compared to 1,864 in October last year, an increase of more than 63 per cent, figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed. The sales rise followed a bumper September for Land Rover, with the company selling 6,230 vehicles compared to 5,788 in the corresponding month in 2010. October’s sales jump followed the success of the Range Rover Evoque and a general increase in the purchase of SUVs amid predictions of another harsh winter. Jaguar saw sales dip slightly last month, with the Big Cat selling 713 cars in October compared to 806 in October last year. SMMT figures also showed that Longbridge-based MG Motor UK sold 15 sports cars last […]

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Classic Cars

HRDC MGB50 Series

The much talked-about HRDC MGB50 Series got underway at Goodwood on 1 November, with an auspicious reunion between four original works MGB competition cars and some of the luminary figures who were instrumental in the success of these fabulous racers. Long-term MGB stalwart Barry Sidery-Smith and Julius Thurgood, founder and race director of the HRDC, hosted this special gathering at Goodwood, with the support of long-term HRDC sponsor CCK Historic. Guests included: works driver Alec Poole, BMC Competition Department guru Bill Price, BMC Competition Department Manager Peter Browning, BMC ‘Comps Shop’ Manager Basil Wales, BMC ‘Comps Shop’ mechanics Den Green and Brian Moylan, MG guru Malcolm Beer, veteran MGB racer Paul Campfield and MG historian John Baggott. The Works MGB cars were not just on static display, but were put through their paces on the Goodwood circuit by Barry Sidery-Smith, […]

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Classic Cars

Historic Cars To Display at Gaydon

A wealth of unseen historic British cars could soon be on display at the Heritage Motor Centre after a trust based there received a lottery cash boost. The British Motor Industry Heritage Trust has received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a £2.5 million project to create a new building to store and display the Trust’s reserve collection of historic British cars, at the Gaydon centre. Funding of £51,100 has been awarded to help the Trust progress their plans to apply for a full grant in 2012. If two more rounds are awarded building work on the new project could begin in 2013. The Trust has a collection of almost 300 cars, telling the story of the motor industry in Britain from the 1890s to the present and although more than 160 of these vehicles can be seen […]

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Corporate Business

Bentley Motors Secures Grant

Bentley has secured the second grant from the British government’s Business Regional Growth Fund (RGF) this year. Earlier the company had received £ 1.68 m to create additional manufacturing jobs and training. Luxury car maker Bentley is one of the few automotive companies in the UK who undertakes all their activities in one site. Every Bentley in UK car is designed, engineered and built in their Crewe site in Cheshire. Bentley is the third largest investor in R&D in the UK. The new grant will facilitate development of new powertrains so as to produce products to export to emerging export markets. Wolfgang Durheimer, the Chairman and Chief Executive of Bentley spoke about the grant by saying, “This is a real boost for Bentley which has one of the most highly skilled automotive workforces in the country and, uniquely, has now […]

Lotus Elise Exige Recalled Over Fire Risk
Corporate Business

Lotuses Recalled Over Fire Risk

The British automobile manufacturer Lotus is recalling its Elise and Exige models over potential fire risks or crashes, due to an oil leak issue. The models produced in 2005 and 2006 have been reportedly subjected to an immediate recall by the company. As slated, in July, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had opened a probe into these Lotus cars to investigate oil cooler leaks for the Elise and Exige models that were manufactured between June 1, 2004 and November 30, 2006. With 17 complaints from the owners of the vehicles reporting oil leaks onto the right rear tires, which resulted into handling problems and a fire incidence as well, the investigation finally triggered a recall announcement from the company. As per the NHTSA official site, the owners of the affected vehicles may contact Lotus at 1-800-245-6887 and get their […]

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Highlights

MG6 Magnette Sports Saloon Road Test

Trying to break into a new marketplace is never easy – and it’s a damn site harder when it’s the ultra-competitive car market. That, though, is effectively what MG is trying to do as the company’s Chinese owners return to the table with the first new models to wear the MG badge in 16 years. Their task is made even harder by the history involved here. The messy demise of the previous company cost the brand a lot of the goodwill and then there was the, perhaps understandable, scepticism as the Far Eastern conglomerates stepped in to pick over the wreckage. However, the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation seem to be taking the right steps to woo the army of MG followers back. They have set up their UK headquarters in what is retained of the Longbridge plant, which had become […]

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Auctions & Sales

Rare 2005 MG SV-R Up For Grabs

For the average car connoisseur, the only thing that will be familiar in this picture will be the grille design, and even that shouldn’t be familiar if you’re not at least 20, because the MG brand is…. well, let’s say a bit under-marketed. The MG SV-R was supposed to be a sort of halo car to fill the bedroom walls of kids and empty the pockets of the gentlemen wanting a bit of ‘ugly but brutish’ in their driveway. With the chassis from another car you’ve never heard of, the Qvale Mangusta, and the 4.6-liter and 5-liter V8 engines from a Ford Mustang, this cocktail of all world was good for either 320 hp or 385 hp. With strange looks and lack-luster performance figures, it’s no wonder that only 82 were ever sold, of which 42 were the SV-R version […]

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Corporate Business

MG Names Top Open-Points

MG has exclusively revealed to Car Dealer Magazine the 10 most important towns and cities it wants to find new dealers for. The UK car manufacturer, which was relaunched in 2008 with the backing of Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, wants to establish showrooms in the following eight locations in England: Birmingham, Derby, Leeds, Liverpool, Nottingham, Northampton, Swindon and South London. The firm, which has recently launched a new range of models that have been designed and engineered at its 69-acre site in Longbridge, Birmingham, also wants to establish outlets in Glasgow and Edinburgh. MG’s list of potential dealership locations also includes more than 20 medium-priority locations, including Brighton, Exeter and Guildford in the south of England, and Blackpool, Burnley and Carlisle further north. And at the bottom of the list are six low-priority spots, including in England, Barnstaple; in Wales, […]

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Corporate Business

SAIC Profits Increase

China Knowledge reported that SAIC Motor Corp Ltd, China’s number one car maker and owner of the MG Motors brand, saw its net profit for the third quarter of this year increase 27%YoY from CNY 3.71 billion to CNY 4.72 billion. In a statement, the Shanghai-listed firm said its revenue reached CNY 97.41 billion up by 19.4%YoY from CNY 81.61 billion. Earnings per share were CNY 0.51. In the first three quarters of 2011, the vehicle maker reaped CNY 13.29 billion in net profit reflecting increase of 38.69%YoY and its revenue grew 22.71%YoY to CNY 281.28 billion. Total vehicle sales for the nine-month period increased 11.77%YoY to 2.98 million units including 722,000 units sold in the third quarter of 2011 up by 6.1%QoQ. Of the total sales, 65,000 units were SAIC Motor self-branded models, which comprise the MG and the […]

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Corporate Business

MG Motor UK Appoints GMAC

MG Motor UK Ltd has selected GMAC UK plc, a subsidiary of Ally Financial Inc., to be its preferred retail financing provider in the UK for manufacturer programmes and standard rate finance. GMAC UK will provide financing to MG customers under the MG Financial Services brand. Guy Jones, sales and marketing director of MG Motor UK, said: “GMAC is a trusted financing source in the industry. As a company with extensive experience, resources and capabilities in the UK market, GMAC will support our brand and help us grow our business. This important development allows us to offer a competitive range of retail finance products for the new MG6 GT, Magnette and following models.” “We are extremely pleased to enter this new retail relationship with MG in the UK,” commented Ed Paulat, GMAC UK managing director.  “We look forward to working […]

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Aston Martin

‘The Persuaders’ TV Material Discovered

Exciting new material about the filming of ‘The Persuaders’ TV series has been uncovered in the Archives of the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust (based at the Heritage Motor Centre in Gaydon, near Warwick) during a major re-cataloguing project. ‘The Persuaders’ celebrates its 40th Anniversary having debuted on British TV in September 1971. The stars of the show were Sir Roger Moore and the late Tony Curtis, who drove an Aston Martin DBS and a Ferrari Dino 246 GT respectively. Sir Roger Moore was re-united with the actual Aston Martin DBS used at a recent event, to commemorate the anniversary and the release of the series on Blu-ray DVD. Photographs, film production records and correspondence relating to this classic Seventies TV series have come to light in the personal collection of the late Roger Stowers. Roger Stowers worked at Aston […]

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Corporate Business

MG 350 on Israel’s Roads in 2012

The first Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) MG 350 family sedans will arrive in Israel in early 2012. These cars are expected to significantly change the Israeli automotive market in terms of the unprecedented dimensions/accessories/price ratio. The new car, which is produced partly in Europe and partly in China, is 4.52 meters long, 1.79 meters wide, and has a wheelbase of 2.64 meters. The SAIC car will come equipped with a 1.5-liter, gas-powered, 110 horsepower engine, with a Japanese-made automatic gearbox. The car will have high standard accessories, including electronically controlled seats, leather upholstery, and a premium stereo system. The final price has not yet been determined, but the initial target price will be about NIS 110,000, which is the average price for the category of smaller cars, such as Mazda 2. SAIC importer, David Lubinski Ltd., estimates that the […]

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Classic Cars

Credit Cards and Bugeye Parts

Citadel EFT Inc., a fully reporting US SEC Registered Company, which offers U.S. merchants credit card terminals and online, mail order and retail credit card processing services, announces today that it has purchased a 50% stake of http://www.bugeyeparts.com for 100,000 shares of its common stock. Bugeyeparts.com is a web site developed to assist people buying or selling used Austin Healey and MG parts and cars. There are thousands of people trying to sell or buy these classic cars and parts. The methods to advertise are limited and difficult. Ebay, Craigslist and AutoTrader have been primary choices but each comes with challenges of too many fees, spams and scams that are not only annoying but can be costly. Bugeyeparts.com has become the largest trading site for these items in the world. The customer base is growing and never-ending. Those who drive […]

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Classic Cars

Heritage Motor Collections Centre Gets Funding

There’s been a great deal of excitement at the Heritage Motor Centre this week as it’s been announced that they have received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a new Museum Collections Centre project. This project will enable people to see the whole collection for the first time in a purpose-built facility that will also include a vehicle restoration and conservation workshop. The Centre has been awarded a first round pass by the HLF along with funding of £51,100 to help them develop plans to apply for a full grant in 2012. The complete project is expected to cost around £2.5 million. If second round funding is awarded and match funding is also obtained, building work on the new project could begin in 2013. Keep an eye here and on their website for future announcements.

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Classic Cars

BMH Completes 100th E-Type Bonnet

As the 50th anniversary of the incomparable Jaguar E-Type draws to a close, British Motor Heritage (BMH) has been celebrating an E-Type milestone of its own – the production of its 100th replacement bonnet. Best known for the manufacture of replacement bodyshells and individual panels for the MGB, MGR V8, MG Midget, Austin Healey Sprite, Triumph TR6 and original Minis etc, BMH these days also produces bonnets for the Series 1, 2 and 3 Jaguar E-Types. Supplied exclusively to Unipart Jaguar Classic and distributed by Jaguar Classic Parts, the bonnets are manufactured using the original Jaguar tooling and the 100th one (that for a Series 1 model) was completed on September 11 by Stephen Fry, Martin Pollard, Alan Stacey and Dave Jeffs, who between can boast over 40 years’ service to BMH. The E-Type bonnet is just one of a […]

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Classic Cars

Celebration of Morris Minor

Morris Minor enthusiasts from Ireland and the Netherlands joined British motoring fans to celebrate the history of the icon. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the one millionth Morris Minor rolling off the production line. To celebrate the million mark, 350 bright lilac models were produced and 10 of the special cars took part in Sunday’s rally. Enthusiasts travelled from far and wide to be part of the event, which took the cars from Steeple Aston to Bourton-on-the-Water in Gloucestershire. Oxfordshire was chosen for the event because the car was produced at the Cowley car plant. It was 40 years ago the last Morris Minor was built in this country. Denis Lynch, 69, owns one of the limited edition Minors and travelled from West Limerick in Ireland to be part of the event. He said, “I am a Minor […]

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Corporate Business

MG Sales Centre Opens At UK’s Birmingham Plant

A new sales centre will open at MG Motor UK’s Birmingham plant, the event will be marked with a Macmillan Coffee Morning and a weekend of celebrations. The MG Sales Centre will open on 30th September 2011, coinciding with the final stages of ‘The Great British Charity Test Drive’, which has seen fleets of the latest MG cars tour the country to raise cash and support Macmillan cancer Support and Help for Heroes. The opening of the MG Sales Centre will see one of the biggest Macmillan coffee mornings ever held, with a number of VIPs and the press invited. MG employees and their families will be taking part in an afternoon of activities such as face painting, children’s entertainment, bouncy castles and a miniature farm will be available for children to pet a number of small animals. Employees will […]

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Corporate Business

Caterham to Develop Affordable Sports Cars

Niche British vehicle manufacturer Caterham Cars has established a new standalone engineering company that plans to produce a range of affordable sports cars. Caterham Technology and Innovation (CTI) will be responsible for the development of the completely new line of accessible sports cars that will be inspired by the same lightweight and minimalist philosophies that drive the famous Caterham Seven. CTI will draw on the advanced technologies and materials developed by the group’s Team Lotus Formula One and Caterham Team AirAsia GP2 motorsport operations. CTI CEO, Mark Edwards, said the new company boasted a world-class team of vehicle engineers committed to building on the Caterham ethos. “The new shareholders are committed to investing in an exciting range of global products over the next 10 years,” Mr Edwards said. “Tony Fernandes [the owner of Caterham Cars] has been very clear from […]

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Aston Martin

Aston Martin Knocks Off Apple

Despite its unprecedented success and staggering popularity the world over, Apple’s iPhone is no longer Britain’s coolest brand, having been knocked off the top spot of the ‘Cool Brands index’ by Aston Martin. The influential survey is made up of 2,000 consumers and a panel of 35 designers, style magazine editors, and website executives, who have deemed Aston Martin vehicles as Britain’s most desirable product — pushing the iPhone into second place. The desire to own an Aston Martin vehicle is believed to have been fueled by James Bond, who can be seen driving a whole host of the company’s vehicles in the films. Despite being nearly 100 years old, the car manufacturer still maintains its appeal, according to the survey, while cutting edge technology — such as the iPhone — struggles to keep up. For the full story, read […]

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Racing and Competition

Britcar 24 Hours: Race Preview

This weekend the Saturday night around Silverstone will be filled with the varied engine noises of some 50 cars during the middle portion of the 2011 running of Britain’s most grueling race. The Britcar 24 Hours is Britain’s only true 24 hour challenge and this year is fittingly run on the Arena circuit, the latest iteration of the home of the British Grand Prix. The challenge of the 3.66 mile circuit is compounded by the endurance test of men and machine and the time of year. Just like the twice-around-the-clock event at Daytona in January, and very unlike the French midsummer benchmark for 24 Hours as much as half the race is run under the cover of darkness, with little or no artificial light around the track. Thankfully, for anyone who has braved previous editions the vagaries of the British weather appear to have […]