In very sad news, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation confirmed it was stopping the assembly of cars at Birmingham’s famous Longbridge plant. The owner of MG cars has been slammed for moving production to China – ending nearly 100 years of history. Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, which bought crippled MG Rover in 2005, confirmed it was stopping the assembly of cars at Birmingham’s famous Longbridge plant. The company insisted it was a “necessary business decision.” Yet it came as the day MG announced a 130% surge UK sales.
Staff from MG’s Technical Centre, SMTC, which is based at the company’s Longbridge site in Birmingham, recently hosted a vehicle showcase event to profile the team’s engineering expertise and show off their ‘pet projects’, all in aid of charity and having a good time! “Their love of the job doesn’t just stop at the end of the day.” From classic cars and hot rods to a variety of motorbikes, the Vehicles of Interest Day saw a number of projects displayed – each lovingly customised and restored by staff at the SMTC in their spare time. Each owner completed an overview fact sheet to share key details about their beloved vehicle, as well as explaining engineering modifications and performance upgrades. Following the showcase, vehicles were taken to the Curborough Sprint Course in Lichfield for an ‘out-of-hours’ race club. As well as taking […]
New state-of-the-art test facilities have been installed at MG Motor UK’s Longbridge site demonstrating investment in technology, and commitment to the future and the quality of its products. £1.2 million has been invested to install a fifth engine test facility and to further enhance the vehicle rolling road on-site at MG HQ in Longbridge. The state-of-the-art engine test facility has significant improvements on the existing test resource and brings with it a major step change for MG Motor’s test and development capability.
Our video this week is from deep in the vaults for something a little more esoteric – a brief history of the Morris Oxford and Wolseley Fifteen-hundred. These fantastic old cars were two of the stalwarts of the British automotive industry in their day. The Morris Oxford is a series of car models produced by Morris Motors in many different forms. Although the name was used from the 1913 bullnose Oxford to the Farina Oxfords V and VI of the 70s, the cars being referred to in this video are the models produced from 1948 and up until 1959. Those interested in the Morris Oxford should check out the Cambridge Oxford Owners Club as well as the Morris Oxford site. The Wolseley 1500 was first introduced in 1957. The Wolseley 1500 was produced at Longbridge with a detuned version of […]
This year’s Pride of Longbridge (POL) Rally in Cofton Park, Birminham on Saturday (April 12) was the best-attended in its nine year history after 2,800 people went along to the event. The annual event, which began after the collapse of MG Rover, saw hundreds of car enthusiasts from all over the country and even as far as Belgium and Holland bring a multitude of vehicles ‘back home’ to where they were built. Among the motors on show were everything from Minis, Metros and Allegros to Autin 7s, MGs and Rovers. Dave Coulson, who used to manufacture engines at the Longbridge plant, was there in his 1968 Austin Mini Cooper Mark II. The Mercia Minis club member told The Standard: “I was there for 21 years, so it’s like coming home.” John Collins and his aptly-named son Austin from Tamworth went to […]
The MG 3 is set to cost less than £10,000 and will be offered with “hundreds” of different styling and customisation options. The MG 3, showcased in the UK for the first time at an event at MG’s Longbridge plant in Birmingham today, will go on sale in the UK this autumn. Initially, three trim levels and 10 exterior colours – with names such as ‘Hello Yellow’ – will be offered. The top two trim levels will come as standard with equipment that includes Bluetooth connectivity, air-con and DAB digital radio. Hill-start assist will be optional. MG’s new hatchback will also launch with the ‘MG 3 Collection’ offer. It allows buyers to personalise the car’s bodywork with various patterns, decals and stripes, including large RAF roundels. The European version of the MG 3 was first seen at the Shanghai motor […]
MG Motor UK at Longbridge, UK is to be opened up for guided site tours. Visitors will be given the chance to see the history of the site and all the latest technology side by side. The guided tour will take around two hours. Participants will visit Lord Austin’s office, moved many years ago but still let up as it was when he was still alive, and the MG Museum. Visitors will also be shown inside the huge state-of-the-art Technical Centre where 300 engineers work on new MG cars and components. In the Sales Centre the latest MG6 GT fastbacks and MG6 Magnette sports saloons are on view. . The tour does not include the car production area at the moment, but it is hoped to include this in the near future. B31 Voices will be going on the maiden […]
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 […]
The opportunity to shape the final design of the next MG car which could be rolling off the Longbridge production line. […]
The first all-new MG for 14 years has gone on show in China and by the end of next year the new car will be built on a production line at Longbridge, it was revealed today. Based on the Chinese-made Roewe 550 – which itself is based on a shortened version of the old Rover 75 – it will be called the MG6 when production starts in Birmingham. The new model will be produced in saloon and hatchback form and will complement the two-seater MGTF being built at Longbridge. Early production models have been revealed at the Guangzhou Auto Show which opened yesterday. The launch in China, the world’s largest automotive market, begins the international roll out of sales of the MG6 which includes the UK. Sales in China will begin in January and plans for the UK and other […]
Chinese-owned MG Motor U.K., the British sports-car marque, is to halt production of its TF sports car for six months, not resuming until March next year. Sales of the low-volume sports car, the only vehicle now built at the once-massive Longbridge factory in England, have been slow through the year. The midengine two-seat TF sports car started life as the MGF in 1995 and was Britain’s best-selling sports car for years. It’s now sold in limited numbers in the U.K. Just 265 were sold in the first nine months of this year, although September was the revived brand’s best month yet, with 65 TFs finding buyers. The company also has orders for all 50 copies of a new 85th-anniversary limited edition. According to newly appointed sales and marketing director Guy Jones, the small-sports-car market is down 30 percent this year […]
Seen from Longbridge, MG Rover’s former base, the business’s industrial legacy five years on looks decidedly threadbare. In one portion of the cavernous and almost deserted plant – once one of Europe’s largest – China’s Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, owner of the rump MG brand, began making its TF two-seater sports car last year in small numbers for the UK and Ireland, using Chinese and European parts. The company will not comment on production volumes, but acknowledges they are modest. “It’s not MG Rover numbers – it’s a single model we’re producing,” says Peter Brooking, marketing manager for MG Motor UK. Most MG cars are now made in China. In 2006, a year after buying rights to the brand from MG Rover’s liquidators, Nanjing Automobile Corporation moved an entire production line from Birmingham halfway across the world in 4,900 shipping […]
Around a fifth of the workforce at the MG plant in Birmingham could lose their jobs, the car manufacturer has said. MG Motor UK Ltd said 30 employees were at risk of redundancy following a review and restructure of business operations at the Longbridge site. The company, previously Nanjing, said it could not make assurances of long-term employment stability for staff due to the current economic climate. Production of the MGTF sports car restarted at the factory last year. A statement from MG Motor UK said: “The unique trading conditions we are currently operating in make any assurances of long-term employment stability difficult to predict. Following a review and restructure of its business operations the company has abided by the statutory consultation process and placed a number of employees ‘at risk’ of redundancy. “MG UK has always maintained that its […]
A new MG saloon has been launched, the first all-new product to wear the famous octagonal badge since MG Rover collapsed into administration in 2005. But for now, the MG 550 has only been introduced in the Chilean market. Behind the MG badge this is a Roewe 550, a car developed by Shanghai Automotive and based on a heavily modified Rover 75 platform. It has an all-new interior and is powered by an updated version of the familiar Rover K-series engine in 1.8-litre turbo form. The MG branding has come about as a result of last year’s merger between SAIC and fellow Chinese manufacturer Nanjing, which acquired rights to the MG brand. One of the reasons Chinese authorities encouraged the two car makers to join up was because SAIC lacked a globally recognised brand for exports – something confirmed by […]
Plans to create a new town with up to 2,000 homes on the former MG Rover site at Longbridge could be delayed for years because of the slump in land and property prices, a developer warned. The derelict car factory, which ground to a halt after the collapse of the famous marque in 2005, is set for a £750 million transformation which will create 10,000 jobs and mix modern houses with parkland. Initial plans projected it would take at least 15 years to complete the biggest regeneration scheme ever seen in the West Midlands, meaning it could be complete as soon as 2023. But at a public inquiry into the plans yesterday, Jason Tait of landowners St Modwen said progress could be slower. “There might be some growth in the market in the next 18 months or two years but […]
The Birmingham Mail is reporting that Longbridge is back up and running with a vengeance with plans to more than double the MG UK workforce at the car factory within 12 months. The Chinese owners of the famous Birmingham car plant aim to beat the financial downturn with proposals to hire more production, paintshop, sales and marketing staff and others during 2009. And discussions are under way over the transfer of around 250 designers and engineers currently based at the Shanghai Motor Technical Centre in Leamington – a wholly-owned subsidiary of SAIC/Nanjing – to Longbridge. The recruitment plans would more than double the current workforce of around 200 based at Longbridge, at a time when motor industry jobs are under severe threat from the worst UK sales slump for over 40 years. Meanwhile, the standard version of the two-seater MGTF […]
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 […]
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.
Full-scale car production resumed at Britain’s Longbridge auto plant under its Chinese owners on Friday, reviving the factory which was mothballed when MG Rover went bankrupt in 2005. Full-volume production of the two-seater MG TF LE500 sports car was underway at the facility in Birmingham, Britain’s second city, giving a much-needed boost to the country’s motor industry. After 100 years of vehicle production in Birmingham, the traditional heart of Britain’s motor industry, about 6,000 jobs were lost when historic car manufacturer MG Rover collapsed. Nanjing Automotive Company (NAC) bought MG Rover’s assets for 53 million pounds in July 2005. They were taken over last year by Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp (SAIC). “We have all worked extremely hard to meet our commitment to commence production of the MG TF in August,” said MG UK corporate communications manager Eleanor De La Haye. […]