The strange rebirth of MG Rover MSN Cars UK

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SAIC Roewe E50 Electric Cars

The strange rebirth of MG Rover

It a real shock to silence motor industry journalists but what happened when we into the MG Design and Engineering at Longbridge in Birmingham.

And no, you are not reading an old The year is 2010 and I am not, as I in my youth, a Tardis-equipped Dr Who.

after five years of bizarre stories and rumours the collapse of the MG Rover company, it is fact that the two car brands are reincarnated Dr Who style; the same different.

Back to the future

are back on the road even the owners changed again the way. That’s worse jeopardy than you read in a when the bad guys are closing in and the is on fire.

MG design centre

The name, as some may know has into the slightly odd Roewe of ownership issues with a that looks like New Avengers meet a chequer There are no plans to sell cars in the UK or Europe.

When MG Rover collapsed in with debts said to be £1.3 billion many thought that was the last we see and hear of either marque.

But thoughts underestimated how the passion for things makes people to keep them going no the odds.

For, by the end of 2010, MG launch a brand new five-door the MG6, in the UK followed by a saloon 2011.

Plans are also in for a racy three-door number anyone?) based on the MG Zero car unveiled at the Beijing Motor followed by a new two-seater sports car to the venerable MG TF further in the future.


MG clay model department

any of these cars are coming out of Harry Potter’s book of yet even the Rover spirit on in the genes of the Roewe 550, a car from the Rover 75 and which has on to become the most successful car launched in China by a Chinese

That manufacturer is SAIC, or the Automotive Industry Corporation, which bought selected of MG Rover from Nanking, smaller, Chinese company.

Nanjing had bought the assets of MG for £53 million after the car firm bust. SAIC made million cars last of which 90,000 were MGs and The Roewe 550 accounted for 64,000

Longbridge lives

While was happening 5,700 miles at home doom and gloom and rumours said the vast factory had been flattened and into a supermarket and that the production lines had been to China.

Neither story was though some of the huge has been built on and some is for building.

Even the advanced shop has not gone. It is merely awaiting the better times MG’s owners, SAIC, are will come.

Driving the white gates familiar so many newspaper pictures and programmes was definitely eerie, the cheery Hello mate, who are you to see?

There has been so history here at the former quarters of Lord Austin, Leyland, BL, firebrand shop Red Robbo, Sir Michael Edwardes, BMW of course, John Towers and his who bought the business off BMW for £10.

But to open a door in MG Motor engineering centre and suddenly be by literally hundreds of people behind glowing computer was amazing.

You could have the proverbial pin drop as we stood open mouthed as if we had discovered the of a Bond villain hidden an innocent looking sweetshop in a town.

Designing for China

Lindley, president of UK operation

most people’s reaction, Dave Lindley, president of Motor Technical Centre UK, to it its full name, and the man largely for saving MG and its proud 85 year of making sporting cars.

The Centre, opened to the media for the time in 25 years was equally

The MG Zero concept car with its rear lights hidden a dark rear panel illuminated and neon-like exterior features, one of the stars of the Beijing Show, wasn’t designed in as commonly believed.

It was created on computer and with clay by a team led by design chief Williams-Kenny, a graduate of Coventry

The amount of spare space volumes: other new, designs had been moved the prying eyes of visitors.

conferencing takes place every morning for an hour or so Brum and the mother ship in

But while clocks on the wall the time in the two cities, the enthusiastic team is clearly the guiding in all matters MG.

From a UK perceptive we been able to influence the MG6 says Lindley. We can ensure it the characteristics we have in mind for the

SAIC Roewe E50 Electric Cars

Handling expert Andy a keen amateur racer, me the car will be agile and without a ride.

MG testing system

We bring considerable programme experience, points out Lindley, a very keen driver and who previously at Rover and Lotus and owns a Lotus Exige.

Our engineer has 20 years’ experience the teams in China are very

Ninety per cent of the content of MG6 will be Chinese sourced the cars for the UK being assembled from kits at Longbridge but is to be expected this early in the history.

If the car is as successful as we hope then we start adding other and looking at more UK sourcing, Lindley.

Guy Jones, sales and director, points out: We full car engineering facilities on site and significant manufacturing has been maintained.


MG Technical Centre

In the electrical lab a computerised map is showing in real details of an MG in Austria checking out a new navigation system.

Nothing is left to chance. I wonder they stop for their sandwiches?

Though we have precious little MG activity in the UK, from some handling and adjustments to the TF roadster, the centre has busy designing and engineering models for China.

In the style of the Brothers getting the band together, when MG Rover in 2005 Lindley kept the skilled engineering team by setting up a consultancy as part of the automatic solutions group.

Realising that a company’s important assets were its in 2007 SAIC bought the to create the SAIC technical

A year later, almost even to people living in the it relocated to Longbridge. The centre nearly 300 staff and plans to on up to 50 more. Setting up the centre has more than £3 million and a £1.7 million is being on engine test facilities year.

Some £20 million a is already being spent UK and European parts suppliers.

the design centre

MG is busy new petrol and diesel engines and is also progressing on manual and gearboxes and electric-hybrids.

SAIC Roewe E50 Electric Cars


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