Press Report : Wen Jiabao hails MG as symbol of China’s friendship with UK

Christina Savvas, Birmingham Post, 27 June 2011

Birmingham’s car manufacturing industry received a huge boost when China’s Premier Wen Jiabao visited the MG plant in Longbridge on Sunday.

Mr. Wen launched the new MG6 Magnette model at the factory owned by the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation – one of his country’s most high-profile British investments.

Business leaders said the decision to begin the historic UK trip at the Birmingham plant – the only business he will visit during the stay – was symbolic of the interest in the region’s economy.

Diplomats say China and Britain are expected to announce over one billion pounds’ worth of deals during his three-day visit in a range of industries.

Mr. Wen, who will meet Prime Minister David Cameron for talks today, said: ‘The successful co-operation of the production of the MG6 and other MG vehicles is a symbol of the friendship between China and the UK.

‘The co-operation model can be summed up as designed in the UK, manufactured in China and assembled in the UK. Through this process we have been able to make the most of China’s capital and markets, as well as the UK’s technology and managerial expertise.’

The successful co-operation of the production of the MG6 and other MG vehicles is a symbol of the friendship between China and the UK.  The co-operation model can be summed up as designed in the UK, manufactured in China and assembled in the UK. Through this process we have been able to make the most of China’s capital and markets, as well as the UK’s technology and managerial expertise.” Wen Jiabao, Chinese Premier speaking at MG Birmingham

The Chinese Premier said businesses would make more use of the corporation model – using British design, Chinese manufacturing and assembly by UK workers. He also gave assurances to British business that there would be greater opportunities to sell more into China, adding there would be conditions to help.

‘I believe the corporation model will not only help to generate local opportunities for jobs, but also help us address the trade imbalance. What I hope to see is that the two countries will open each others market to prospective countries.

‘I think in future more Chinese investment should fit the local needs of the British side to be more specific. You may know China has strengths in manufacturing and infrastructure development. When we enjoy each other’s strengths, we will enjoy brighter prospects in our co-operation.’

* About ten human rights protesters gathered outside the Longbridge factory gates as Wen Jiabao arrived. They included yellow-shirted supporters of the Falungong spiritual movement, which is banned in China.

The demonstrators waved placards and denounced China’s human rights record throughout the visit. Protestor Tilly Nesbitt said: ‘The last Chinese leader banned Falungong in 1999. We want this leader to make the decision to stop persecution.’ Banners read: ‘Cameron and Wen. Human rights before trade.’

[Source: Birmingham Post]

Clive Goldthorp

About the Author:

Clive claims that his interest in the BMC>MG story dates back to his childhood in the 1960s when the family’s garage premises were leased to a tenant with an Austin agency. However, back in the 1920s and 1930s, his grandmother was one of the country’s first female Garage Proprietors so cars probably run in his genes! Admits to affairs with Alfa Romeos, but has more recently owned an 06/06 MG TF 135 and then a 15/64 MG3 Style… Clive, who was AROnline’s News Editor for nearly four years, stood down from that role in order to devote more time to various Motor Racing projects but still contributes articles on as regular basis as his other commitments permit.

6 Comments on "Press Report : Wen Jiabao hails MG as symbol of China’s friendship with UK"

Trackback | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Rob C Rob C says:

    I wonder if he heard Jelemy Crackson’s comments on Sunday? 😛

  2. Neil Farmer says:

    Well, having seen the MG6 at MGLive! at Silverstone last weekend – both my son (a Mini fanatic) and I (an MG ZS owner) weren’t very impressed. The 6 looked more like a Toyota than a thoroughbred MG – perhaps the next MG3 might be better.

  3. Alex Scott says:

    @Rob C
    I am in New Zealand and so didn’t see J C on Sunday – I’m curious as to what he said… Ta.

    Alex.

  4. Alex Scott says:

    @Neil Farmer
    An interesting assessment… and, from what I’ve seen, I’m ALSO not over the line on the MG6 but I do like the look of the MG3. 🙂

    Alex.

  5. Richard says:

    Ford, Mazda, Toyota, VW et al are where the market is, so surely it’s a good thing that the MG6 is not that dissimilar to some of their offerings. MG has to attract buyers from the mainstream marques to be successful.

    Anyway, what do we mean when we talk about a thoroughbred MG? Given that MG has always used the parts bins of various owners, has there ever been such a thing?

  6. Richard says:

    @Alex Scott
    Clarkson didn’t say much of any real interest – he and his sidekicks just made a few disparaging and totally predictable remarks about the 6.

    They picked up on a few typos in MG Motor UK’s Press Release and got a couple of cheap laughs. They then compared the blurb to the looks of the 6 and were dismissive of the car. Not very informative really…

    Oh, and I should point out that they didn’t have the car with them – they simply had its picture up on a monitor.

Have your say...