Nanjing Auto is set to recommence production of MG branded cars in the UK with the first MG TFs scheduled to roll off the line at its plant in Longbridge, near Birmingham, by late May or early June. The Chinese carmaker has already started building the roadsters at its home in the eastern city of Nanjing, and hopes to ramp up production to around 50,000 units within two years.

The Financial Times now reports that Nanjing’s top executive in the UK, Wang Hongbiao, has mentioned that a “very good sports car that would fit in with the brand” is currently under development and is due by 2009. Cars would be assembled at the Longbridge plant, but high-cost components such as engines and gearboxes would be sourced from China. Next year will see the launch of a new research and design centre in China and this latest sports car could be the first model we see fully developed in the East.

The MG range is expected to be expanded in late 2008 with the launch of two additional models that could possibly be sold under the revived Austin label. These vehicles will essentially replace the previous MG ZR and ZS line of cars and are key to Nanjing reaching its goal of producing over 100,000 MG cars per year by the end of the decade.