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Nanjing Automobile to build MGs at 3 sites, including Oklahoma

Greg Migliore

Nanjing Automobile Group of China is planning to revive one of Great Britain's historic brands -- MG -- and build cars at a plant in Oklahoma.

In a press release, Nanjing said the reborn version of MG Inc. will have three production sites. A plant in Ardmore, Okla., will assemble a redesigned TF coupe. MG's shuttered factory in Longbridge, England, which closed when MG Rover Group collapsed in 2005, will build the TF roadster. And a Nanjing plant in China will build three sedans.

Cars likely will go on sale in the United States in May or June of 2008, MG says.

The company said it expects to begin construction of the Oklahoma plant in early 2007 and start production by the third quarter of 2008.

MG expects the plant to produce 12,000 to 16,000 units a year. About 60 percent of the output would be for North America and 40 percent for Europe. The plant expects to use mostly manual labor, similar to how Lotuses are assembled.

Nanjing Automobile makes small commercial trucks along with cars. Its main carmaking operations is a joint venture with Fiat Auto S.p.A. in Nanjing that assembled just 35,832 cars in 2005.

Nanjing bought MG Rover in 2005 for about $97.3 million at the current exchange rate. The iconic British automaker collapsed in April of that year. MG's origins date to 1923, and it sold cars in the United States from 1947 to 1980.

Nanjing hired Duke Hale to be MG's CEO, with responsibilities for Europe and North America. He most recently was CEO of Lotus Holdings Inc. after two years in charge of the automaker's North American operations. He was also COO of American Isuzu Motors Inc. and has held positions with Volvo and Mazda during his 25-year automotive career.

MG said it hasn't signed up any dealers yet and said sales projections were premature. It is recruiting a sales team to sign up dealers in major markets.

The Nanjing local government has a majority stake in Nanjing Automobile. Nanjing Automobile joins a handful of Chinese automakers, including Chery Automobile Co. and Geely Automobile Holdings Group, that hope to crack the U.S. market.

MG says it plans to distance itself from other Chinese companies by focusing on its European heritage.

Nanjing plans an official announcement on Wednesday, July 12, in Oklahoma City, site of MG's global headquarters for sales, marketing and distribution outside Asia. Nanjing said it will create about 550 jobs in Oklahoma, which was stung by the February closure of a General Motors assembly plant.

Nanjing said the capital investment in the United States will be more than $2 billion. The money comes from state and local governments in Oklahoma, the state's development agency and private investors.
 

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Go Gators
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Correction- It is dead now that it's in Chinese hands, I have lost all respect for it, now it's just a name that used to represent everything that a fun/economical car was made of.
 

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dwagner74 said:
MG died in 1980 after a long illness.
Nope; the MGF was a fine little car.
 

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Scott ZHP said:
Nope; the MGF was a fine little car.
It wasn't built at Abbington, so...

But it is a shame that it didn't make it to the the States :(
 

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dwagner74 said:
It wasn't built at Abbington, so...

But it is a shame that it didn't make it to the the States :(
It's Abingdon :D

And mine was:
 

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BmW745On19's said:
Correction- It is dead now that it's in Chinese hands, I have lost all respect for it, now it's just a name that used to represent everything that a fun/economical car was made of.
I loved the MG's. I read also China was looking at buying Rover. I think they are looking at a bunch of car brands that could just start their automobile industry.
 

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armaq said:
IMO for MG being owned by Chinese and made in Oklahoma is worse than dead.
Would you care to elaborate on your opinion?

Lots of vehicles are manufactured under contract (the X3 is not manufactured by BMW, for example). Would you rather an MG manufactured at the outdated plant in Longbridge, or a new facility somewhere else?
 

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Scott ZHP said:
Would you care to elaborate on your opinion?

Lots of vehicles are manufactured under contract (the X3 is not manufactured by BMW, for example). Would you rather an MG manufactured at the outdated plant in Longbridge, or a new facility somewhere else?
I know X3s are made in Austria, 325s are made in SA...etc. But MG is not BMW. MG is not just any other brand, it's prestigious. Anyone who knows MG's history should know it should be distinguished from Rover. MG to Rover is like M to BMW, AMG to MB, only with lots more heritage. You haven't seen an Austrian-made M model, have you? And why are Bugattis still made in Molsheim and not Wolfsburg? Why are Rolls Royces still made in Goodwood instead of Munich? Yes these are extreme examples, but you get the idea. MG may not be as prestitious as those brands, but being a British sports car maker, British-made is the single most important identity of their brand. TVR is now Russian-owned, and their Blackpool facility is outdated. Why didn't they relocate to a "better" facility outside UK? Because if their cars are not British anymore, they are just yet another bunch of crazy cars made by some small manufacturer in some small place.

One exception is Noble. Noble cars are viewed as British cars, but their cars are assembled in SA, and they are doing fine. Why? They can do it because they are new on the block (founded in 1999). Their designs are new, their ideas are new, and most importantly, their customer base is new. Their history (or lack of) has no influence on how the cars sell. They can relocate their plant to Oklahoma and I bet it won't effect their sales. But can you say the same for Lotus?

Ask yourself, if GM went down, would you buy a 'Vette that's made in Mexico by a French-owned company? Would the millions Vette diehards?
 

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Part of his point was the X3 isn't even built by BMW its location is irrelevent to the discussion. Its build under an agreement by Styer (sp?) in Austria. That company typically builds military trucks. :)

It should be interesting to see what type of MG the Chinese end up building.
 

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320 hp V8. I'll take one of these.



 

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Desertnate said:
Part of his point was the X3 isn't even built by BMW its location is irrelevent to the discussion. Its build under an agreement by Styer (sp?) in Austria. That company typically builds military trucks. :)

It should be interesting to see what type of MG the Chinese end up building.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Steyr

Magna Steyr (properly Magna Steyr Fahrzeugtechnik AG & Co KG ) is an automobile manufacturer based in Oberwaltersdorf, Austria. It is a subsidiary of Canadian-based Magna International, and was previously part of the Steyr-Daimler-Puch conglomerate.
 
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