Original: Despite the harried road to production of the MG TF roadster, which has suffered from a number of false starts and several niggling quality issues, new owners of the MG label, China’s Nanjing Auto, are confident the car will recommence production in August before hitting showrooms in September. The new car will be called the TF LE500 and will be built both at Longbridge, UK, and Nanjing, China.
Nanjing, together with its parent company Shanghai Auto, has already selected 50 dealers to sell the car in the UK and officials are planning to follow with a U.S. launch within the next one to two years. Though the new cars will be assembled at the Longbridge plant, high-cost components such as engines and gearboxes will still be sourced from China.
The TF won’t be the only car built at Longbridge for long, however, as engineers at Nanjing’s SMTC design facility in Leamington, Warwickshire, are developing three new MG models including the next-generation TF due in 2010. The new TF will be available in both coupe and convertible bodystyles and will be based on the same platform as that used by the Chinese-market Roewe 550 hatch.