China’s Roewe label, a division of the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp (SAIC), is reported to be launching across Europe as early as next year. The Chinese brand will be initially offering two sedan models based on licensed designs from British marque Rover, which will be sold through a newly established dealer network or possibly through SsangYong.
The new models are not identical to the original MG designs on which they are based. The cars were updated by a team of SAIC engineers as well as several former Rover staffers, but the cars still strongly resemble the original MG versions. The first model will be the Roewe 750, pictured above, which is basically a stretched version of the Rover 75 with a revamped interior and new grille. The second model will most likely be the Roewe W2 unveiled recently at the Shanghai Auto Show.
Left-hand drive versions will initially be introduced to parts of Europe early next year with right-hand versions arriving in the UK market by 2009. If successful, Roewe will launch even more models including a small hatch based on the Rover 25 as well as the mid-sized Roewe WS.