Words: Keith Adams Photographs: Mark Gibson/Slant 4 Marketing
Production of the MG6 is now underway at MG Motor UK Limited’s Birmingham factory in Longbridge, almost six years to the day since the Administrators were called in at MG Rover Group Limited.
This represents an important new phase in MG Motor UK’s development – since SAIC Motor Corporation Limited took control of the company in 2008, a total of only 906 MG TFs have been built in a series of batches. The MG6’s final assembly process and the number of cars being produced – which, according to Sales and Marketing Director, Guy Jones, will be between 2000 and 3000 per annum for the moment – represents an exciting new start for the factory.
SAIC Motor’s decision to resume MG production in the UK has never been in doubt since 2008, although it didn’t look that way before the company’s merger with former MG owners, Nanjing Automobile (Group) Corporation (NAC). However, the good news is that this re-commencement of volume production will keep some 400 people in employment. It’s still a modest investment, though, and a demonstration of SAIC Motor’s commitment to under-promise and over-deliver – the assembly process remains very much a CKD operation with cars being built and finished here from large Chinese-built sub-assemblies.
AROnline has already covered the MG6’s UK introduction in great depth and, with a growing Dealer Network, the car should meet these modest targets -especially given the keen initial pricing of the entry-level models, excellent dynamics and overall style. Guy Jones told us at the car’s launch, ‘we’re building MG slowly, and the petrol-only line-up fits our plans. By the time we have additional capacity, the diesel will be online.’
Today marks a significant and, hopefully, historic step forward for the MG marque and MG Motor UK. However, with the cars now rolling off the line in the Longbridge facilty, the company must now press forward with its future model plans – and decide precisely what part MG Birmingham will play in those.