News : MG opens its gates for factory tours

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Come and see where the MG6 is built
Come and see where the MG6 is built

If you’ve ever fancied visiting Longbridge for a factory tour, now’s your opportunity. MG Motor UK is opening its gates for two-hour tours of the facility starting on 15 March. The tours take place every Thursday, start at 1.00pm, and last for approximately two hours.

Visitors will be able to learn more about MG, thanks to a factory presentation. And will then go on to vsitit Lord Austin’s office, which had been so effectively preserved by the Austin ex-Apprentices still working on the site during the downtime between the downfall of MG Rover and the resumption of production in 2008. There will also be a tour of the MG Museum and Technical Centre. The latter is well worth a look for anyone who remains unconvinced about the levels of UK input into current and forthcoming MGs.

Disappointingly, the tour does not include the assembly buildings. MG states, ‘we are currently undertaking facility work to to improve our capability for our exciting future models.’ Interesting.

To book, please call +44 (0)121 251 6533 or email info@mg-salescentre.co.uk.

41 Comments

  1. Nice of them to open their doors, shame we cant look at the assembly lines,I only wished I visited the site before the demise of MGR. Regards Mark.

  2. A good idea to increase and improve their profile – and make new friends? NISSAN started doing factory tours not long after they established the Sunderland Plant and it helps develop links in the local community (plus keeps people interested in manufacturing).

  3. I visited Longbridge in 1987 for a tour. Saw body assembly for Rover 214s and final assembly on Minis (remember the Studio 2) and Metros. If the latter wouldn’t start they were taken off the line by fork-lift if my memory serves me well. Bet its a tad different now…

  4. I’ll be along for this – sounds interesting. I know why they won’t be offering production line visits – the line surely can’t be moving judging by the sales figures. Why build cars that they can’t sell?

  5. Are they having a Turkish? A factory tour that doesnt include the assembly buildings. Probably because there will be bugger all to see!

  6. Remonds me of a Halewood Factory tour I did in 2003. In the antiroom before the start are hearts sank when we where told we could see the press shop only. The assembly lines where out of bounds because there was a secret new model coming down the line. As we turned a corner in the body shop, sitting there in all its glory was a pre-production X Type estate, still several months from launch. It hadnt even been scooped by the magazines. After that our guide said we might as well see the lines after all!

  7. @ Paul. “Are they having a Turkish? A factory tour that doesnt include the assembly buildings. Probably because there will be bugger all to see!”
    Took the words out of my mouth, there…I’m not knocking them mind you. And the last sentence in that report is promising.

  8. “Are they having a Turkish? A factory tour that doesnt include the assembly buildings. Probably because there will be bugger all to see!”

    Even what’s left is still a sizeable site. Wonder if it will include the war time tunnels etc.

    I’m with the others though, shame i didn’t go when they were still building minis.

  9. Considering it took us little more than 2 hours to have a full guided tour of the Press Shop, the Body in White assembly, the assembly of the drive train, the Marriage Station and the full assembly line at the Jaguar factory at Castle Bromwich, what on Earth are they going to fill 2 hours with if they won’t even show anyone the uncrating of virtually complete cars?!

  10. They do have a Museum on site, It’s been there for years but was never really publicised by MGR or Rover. Rover Group even had a 1959 Mini refurbished at great expense to put in it. It’s still there i believe.

  11. I had two tours of Lomgbridge in the late 80’s when our dealership was totaly disalusioned with it’s recently aquired Austin Rover franchise and had given notice that we were going to leave the network, they gave us a tours and hospitality to try and get us to rethink our decision on seeing the production line for the Mini/Metro and Rover 200 it convinced us that we had definately made the correct decision (how can somebdoy build a car and read the Birmingham Mail at the same time !!) witin a year we had our new feanchise on board and never looked back.

  12. Francis @ 13: I think you should.

    I’m fascinated to hear what they are going to show you on a factory tour, if it doesn’t actually involve seeing anything being built.

  13. Interesting. I`ll definitly try and go when in the area (and country). I’ve been to Longbridge three times. First in 1989 to see the Mini and Metro lines. My (very) pregnant wife was greeted with wolf calls and yelling! Then in 2001 at the MG saloon’s presentation, which was great, In 2007 I stopped at the gates to have a look. Very sad with all the demolition going on. Hopefully things are brighter now.

  14. @ TwoR8s. I’d love to add an MG6 to my collection of 1:45 models, and maybe some MG branded chop sticks would be nice as well?

  15. @ Andrew Elphick. I keep meaning to get my lazy butt down there and have a look…do they give free samples?
    But yes, fair play to MG UK, at least they’re trying.

  16. @Olof #15 I visited the powertrain dept in about 2002 and the group I was in were ‘heckled’ as we went down the line! thought it a strange way to greet visitors 🙂 Good to see MG opening it’s doors.

  17. A trip to see car actual manufacturing at Cowley is well worth doing. If you do go to Longbridge, it would we be worth booking yourself in at Cowley too and then compare and contrast what goes on at the two operations.

  18. There’s another good one to go to if you want to see cars actually being built and that’s the Freelander and Evoque at Halewood.

  19. I went as a school kid to see the then recently launched Metro and that was fun but the best factory tour I went to was Browns Lane when the X300 XJ6 was launched. It was a employees only event but Jag really pulled out the stops. The assembly track was lined with Jags/Daimler’s from the Jag owners club and we got to see the famous X120 road/rally car( the White one that’s always photographed), the XJ13, C/D/E Type etc. Brilliant day out so if you get the chance do it.

  20. I’ve done two tours of Longbridge. One in in mid to late 90s towards the end of Metro production – the line in the B.I.W. kept stopping with technical problems. R8 production was in full swing. MGFs were in production in CAB2. The 2nd tour was early 2005. Quite depressing – the R40 lines in CAB1 came to a hault – no parts; this was a common occurentce at that time apparently. There was a gloomy feeling around the place and the writing was clearly on the wall. If I go again, I’ll wait until there is something to see in the CABs and, like everyone else, have to hope that the BTTC, AVis cars, diesel 6, new (and promising) dealerships and potential impact of the 3 start to rebuild from the current very low base.

  21. Anyone going on the tour will probably be more stunned by the new Bournville College building that has gone up on the old Longbridge site. It’s an amazing building — take a look here:

  22. When I went for the first 6 off the line there wasn’tmuch to see really. Interesting but nowhere near as much going on as when I did the Ford Rouge tour in Dearborn. That was very good and would recommend that.

  23. I don’t know if this happens much at other car manufacturers in the UK, but in Germany it’s quite common to order a vehicle direct from the manufacturer and then you go and pick it up from head office (BMW in Munich, VW in Wolfsburg, MercedesBenz in Stuttgart) and get all sorts of special treatment. Maybe something for MG to think about.

  24. having the doors open is probably just a PR excercise, after all having a closed door policy is not good. Re-the factory lines there is nothing to see all they do is remove and refit subframes and wheels so that they can get a tax rebate. still they may up the prodcution line stuff as sales improve. alex

  25. @30 DoctorD, have a search on here, I collected a new Mercedes from Rastatt a few years back and scribbled the tale up.

  26. Ok, so much is happening at the Technical Centre but, I assume, virtually nothing on the assembly line. I still ain’t seen an MG6 out on the road. I remain bemused as to why more effort isn’t being made to sell the car here in the UK (and Europe). Surely by now they’ve also had time to broaden the range – diesel etc.

    How many dealers are still on board??

    I’d be very interested to look round. Shame I don’t live nearer.

  27. Comments 12 and 20. There you have it. The main reason BL, AR, MGR failed. I’d like someone to interview some of the 70s militants and any 70s moderate shop floor to hear their take on their attitudes and actions now. Could be fascinating.

  28. 9/ ‘[John – March 2, 2012

    Considering it took us little more than 2 hours to have a full guided tour of the Press Shop, the Body in White assembly, the assembly of the drive train, the Marriage Station and the full assembly line at the Jaguar factory at Castle Bromwich, what on Earth are they going to fill 2 hours with if they won’t even show anyone the uncrating of virtually complete cars?!]’

    Simple John, Re-education, Re-education, Re-education.

  29. @27 – It’s a wedge! – does Harris Mann know that his 70s creations inspired a new building?

  30. Last night I had a dream that I went on the 2-hour Longbridge tour. I paid my money, then was shown to an empty room to watch a 2-hour video of the factory in China where the cars are actually made.

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