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.
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 […]