China Watch : SAIC Motor to build more 1.5 and 1.5T engines

George Gao,, 18th May, 2009

SAIC Motor announced last week that the company has adjusted its low-emission NSE engine strategy based on the MG model and will mainly use the 1.5 and 1.5T series of engines in its future models, said today.

Since acquiring Nanjing Auto at the beginning of 2008, SAIC Motor has restructured the MG powertrain strategy and the 2.566 billion yuan ($375.7 mln) new project in Nanjing will start production at the end of this year. This new facility will become China’s largest production platform of A-class cars, including an engine production line with an annual capacity of 250,000 units.

The new engine production line was previously intended to make mainly 1.4, 1.5 and 1.6 engines, with the sophisticated 1.4 engine to be used in the MG6 and other follow-up models.

A top executive of SAIC Motor recently said that the engine strategy adjustment may render the 1.4 unnecessary. In the future, the 1.4 and 1.6 engines will be phased out and will be replaced by the 1.5 and 1.5T engines for SAIC’s future A-class range of sedans as well as the MG6.

The MG5-based R&D continued at the Nanjing base after the merger and SAIC will use the basic platform of the MG5 for its Roewe 350 hatchback and sedan models. At present the production lines for these cars are being set up in the Nanjing Pukou Phase II base.

The new MG6 will have a selection of three engines – a 1.5, 1.5T and a 1.5CVT – and the transmissions will include a six speed manual and a continuously variable automatic box. The MG6 may also share the 1.8 and 1.8T powertrain with the Roewe 550.


[Editor’s Note: AROnline reckons that any British and European market versions of the MG6 are likely to be equipped with the 1.8 and 1.8T engines from the Roewe 550.]

Clive Goldthorp

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