Motor Corp.’s acquisition of Nanjing Auto may mean MG production could be on its way back to Europe by way of the Longbridge, England plant. Nanjing showed several prototype MG TF Roadsters that had been assembled in
Longbridge, and the company has put roughly $50 million into renovating the aging plant, but full-scale production has escaped Nanjing as it works to meet high quality standards, reports Automotive News. The Longbridge plant was home to production of England’s most popular roadster until MG Rover closed its doors in 2005. But with SAIC’s purchase of Nanjing, things are starting to look up for the brand once again.
SAIC will consolidate its British R&D center with Nanjing’s Longbridge installation in an effort to coordinate R&D, production and sales operations for all of Europe. SAIC has a proven track record of bringing cars to market as GM’s production partner in China. SAIC sees the acquisition of the Longbridge plant and MG brand as a platform to launch a push into the European and other overseas markets.
SAIC hasn’t given a time-frame for when it expects to begin full-scale European production, but with the head-start provided by Nanjing’s work on the MG brand, we could be seeing British-built Chinese MG Roadsters in Europe within the next few years.