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New Cars

Prototype MG X-Power SV-S WRC

The prototype MG X-Power SV-S WRC (William Riley Convertible) you see here is the very first and only example of the supercar. The drop top is the British maker’s second new model since the marque was bought by former racing driver William Riley from the ashes of the MG Rover collapse. Hand built at MG X-Power’s production and development centre in Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire, first cars will be completed by January before production is moved to a new facility in the West Midlands early next year. Customer deliveries are expected to begin in summer 2009. The SV-S is powered by a 5.0-litre supercharged V8, while the Kevlar bodywork means the convertible gains only 12kg in weight compared to the coupé. A manual cloth hood dispenses with the need for heavy mechanical moving parts, too. Every car will also come with […]

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Corporate Business

Merger Talks

Normally I don’t cover any non-UK automotive news, but this one is such a potential game changer that I had to mention it. The New York Times is reporting that Chrysler and GM are in preliminary merger talks. As the article says, “A merger would be a historic event, with two of the most iconic names in American industry coming together to survive in an increasingly difficult environment. Both have roots dating back decades in Detroit and, with Ford, long dominated the auto industry — until Japanese and other foreign car makers began making inroads into the American market.” Amazing times we live in. Oh, and on another front, I dreamed last night that MG started producing a minivan and a Hummer-like SUV. Please, say it ain’t so. I need to stop eating spicy food before bedtime.

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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

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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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.

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Corporate Business

MG Production Has Resumed In Britain!

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. […]

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Corporate Business

Date Set For MG Production

The Midlands automotive sector has received a second major shot in the arm with the news that MG owner Shanghai Automotive has told UK dealers it expects to produce 600 of the new TF LE500 models between the start of production in August and the end of the year. That came as the new boss of Jaguar told Birmingham executives yesterday that the company is staging a fight back against its rivals. He spoke out just 24 hours after Jaguar Land Rover revealed plans to launch a recruitment drive to find up to 600 new employees, less than a month after a £1.15 billion takeover by Tata Motors of India was completed. SAIC’s UK dealers says first of the new sports cars are expected to be in UK showrooms in September and price details are expected to be released in […]

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Corporate Business

New MG Unveiled

In China the Chinese MGTF is to make its worldwide debut in just over a week – 6,000 miles away from Longbridge. Longbridge owners Nanjing today opened their doors to the British press to reveal that the two-seater MGTF would finally roll off the Nanjing production lines from May 20 onwards. The Chinese launch of the sports car paves the way for the long-delayed introduction of the two-seater in the UK in early August. Saic-Nanjing’s confirmation of the production launch came in response to the No More Chinese Whispers campaign by the Birmingham Mail, calling on the Chinese to come clean over their intentions for Longbridge.

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Corporate Business

September MG Relaunch in UK

A new car from a British motoring legend will be available to car loans customers later this year, it has been announced. According to consumer watchdog Which?, MG will relaunch itself under its new Chinese owner in September with a sporty new car that the company is calling the TF LE500. It is reported that the vehicle will be produced at the company’s Birmingham plant Longbridge and according to MG’s director of sales and marketing, Gary Hagen, will be reminiscent of the firm’s past glories. “The open top sports car is an iconic image of British motoring and forms the basis of the MG marque’s long pedigree,” he said, adding that the TF LE500 would be “at the heart of the brand as we take it forward”. Last month the Times reported that Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, the group now […]

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Corporate Business

Roewe 550 Unveiled

This is the car which will put MG back on the map – in Birmingham. It’s called the Roewe 550, but Auto Express can exclusively reveal that an MG-badged version is on its way, and is likely to be made at Longbridge. The 550 has been designed to appeal to British buyers – the lines were penned by a team of leading UK stylists working for Roewe’s owner Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC). The Chinese firm recently bought NAC MG, and is now looking to use the famous octagon logo to give it a slice of the lucrative European market, as SAIC has decided not to bring the Roewe badge here. A car based on the 550 will be the first MG to go on sale.

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Corporate Business

More Doubts Over MG At Longbridge

The last car to be manufactured at Longbridge may have already rolled off the production line, industry insiders fear. They said the decision by main supplier Stadco to stop manufacturing body-shells for the MG TF sports car, as The Birmingham Post revealed on Saturday, could effectively sound the “death knell” for the Nanjing project. One influential source said he doubted whether Nanjing parent SAIC would ever produce cars from Longbridge.

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Corporate Business

MG Is Back … Sort Of

Ever since MG Rover went bust in 2005 and was bought by Nanjing Automotive, rumors have flown about when the automaker’s Longbridge factory would resume production of its iconic roadster and other models. Well after a long wait, to the delight of enthusiasts MGs are once again available in the UK…just not ones made by the Chinese parent company. A new endeavor launched by Englishman William Riley called MG Sports and Racing Europe has begun selling a supercharged coupe called the MG X-Power WR. Based on the old company’s most expensive model, the new sports car is built in Eardiston, UK, and priced between approximately $150,000 and $175,000, with seven models sold so far and 35 additional orders in the pipeline.

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Corporate Business

MG Production at Longbridge Delayed

Concerns over the quality of the cars being built by Shanghai Automotive (SAIC) at the Birmingham-based Longbridge factory have caused further delays. The MG TF is due to be the first model launched by the Chinese firm in the UK and production began back in May 2007, but it was stopped not long after. Since then, NAC (the Chinese firm that bought the MG brand following the collapse of MG Rover) has been bought out by rival Shanghai Automotive and the delays have been further extended. NAC originally claimed that it would have the MG TF on sale in early 2007 and provide more than 1000 jobs. So far, the car’s launch is more than a year overdue and only 140 jobs have been created. President of SAIC, Chen Hong, claimed that “if we launch the product on the UK […]

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Racing and Competition

Test the New Lola MG EX265

RML AD Group’s new MG Lola EX265 completed a faultless first shakedown test at the Silverstone circuit yesterday, Friday 8th February. The morning run left Brazilian driver Thomas Erdos thrilled by the responsiveness of the new XP-21 engine, and looking forward to the prospects of defending the LMP2 title in this season’s Le Mans Series. Thomas Erdos and co-driver Mike Newton took the series title last year with RML’s MG Lola EX264, having won the LMP2 class in the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2005 and 2006. Since then the EX264, itself a derivative of the EX257 that wowed the crowds at Le Mans as an MG works entry in 2001, has undergone significant further development. Arising from fresh links with Shanghai Automotive, MG’s new owners in China, the car has been re-homologated as the MG EX265. Most significant amongst […]

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New Cars

MG Roadster Poised to Return

From today’s “Financial Times Limited” come another story about the hopeful return of MG to the market. China’s Shanghai Automotive (SAIC) hopes to begin producing the MG TF roadster in Nanjing in May and at its plant in Longbridge, UK, within three months of that date, a senior executive said yesterday. But SAIC admitted the car’s long-awaited relaunch could be delayed again as it grapples with quality issues and rebuilds tooling bought in 2005 from bankrupt MG Rover and shipped to China by Nanjing Automobile (NAC), with which SAIC merged in December. “We want to begin production of cars at Longbridge as soon as possible, but the first priority for us is the quality of the product,” Chen Hong, SAIC’s president, told the Financial Times yesterday. “If we launch the product on the UK market and don’t have sufficient quality […]

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Classic Cars

Earls Court 1962 – London Motor Show

I was searching the web tonight and ended up on YouTube. Amazingly I found footage from the Earls Court motor show in 1962. Take a look at this and you will see some really amazing vintage metal. From the MG 1100 to the Ford Zephyr. Watching this is like a time machine. If only you could go back and grab a few of these to store away. But isn’t that always the dream? So tell me, which one of these would you drive off with? And most importantly, why?

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Classic Cars

Friends come together to restore soldier’s MG

If your name is Sgt. Ted Golec and a copy of this article has made it into your hands in Iraq, please stop reading now. Golec’s friends in the Knox and Blount County area are planning something big for him when he returns from his second tour in the Middle East this spring and they would really hate to ruin the surprise. You see, Golec told his wife Emily to go ahead and sell his beloved 1964 MG Midget — a sweet little green British sports car that’s been sitting in his mother’s basement for the past 20 years — while he was serving in the Army overseas. The car hasn’t been driven in forever, and to get it back in running order would be a gargantuan task, both financially and logistically. But when his friend Elmer Grimes, a car […]

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Corporate Business

SAIC to Launch 1st MG Car after Marrying Nanjing Automobile

Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. (Group) (SAIC) is scheduled to launch SW, a model in MG 3 Series, after the Chinese Spring Festival in February. The model will be the first new product the Chinese auto giant releases after marrying Nanjing Automobile (Group) Corp. It indicates that the MG brand will grow rapidly since the marriage began. SW has been in the spotlight after it debut at the Guangzhou auto show in November 2007. “We will bring out 1.4- and 1.8-liter products shortly after this Spring Festival,” a MG executive showed great confidence. MG 3 Series, priced between CNY 80,000 and CNY 120,000, will be a major force in the MG family, related people disclosed at the show. The SW is predicted to reach the ceiling of the brand’s price range and compete head-to-head with medium- and high-grade small-sized two-compartment products […]

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People

Passed On – Brian Griffin

It is with regret we have to inform you of the sad passing of Brian Griffin. Brian passed away in Cheltenham Hospital during the early hours of Sunday 5th January after a short illness. Over the years Brian’s contribution to the British Car Industry, especially the MG marque, has been truly enormous. Starting in1960 with the British Motor Corporation where he served a five-year apprenticeship at Longbridge he remained with the company in all it’s guises until the closure of MG Rover, and MG Sport and Racing, After this Brian remained active around the MG scene and with his wife Marion, ran their own business, X Power Products. He always had a smile on his face and time to talk. So many times Brian has made the seemingly impossible happen for MG and he will be greatly missed by all […]