THERE’S now a great deal of evidence eminating from The People’s Republic of China that we’ll be seeing new MGs emerging from a car factory near the city of Nanjing by April next year. Over in Shanghai it’s going to be even sooner.
Yes, it would seem that the almost impossible is being achieved – the Chinese are managing to make a go of MG production after purchasing the dreg-ends of the Longbridge factory last summer. Although in reality there’s been little doubt among informed sources that we’d see Chinese-build MGs and Rovers sooner rather than later, but it remains difficult not to be impressed by the speed the operation appears to be taking shape over there.
If we look at SAIC and Ricardo 2010, their plans to produce an alternative version of the Rover 75 have been coming together even quicker.
A few days back I read a report in the Chinese media wondering why the British were so ‘stupid’ to allow its industry to be picked up for such a knock down price. There isn’t really an answer to that question – not one that immediately springs to mind. From the Chinese perspective, we’ve given up 100 years of automotive history and a pair of marques respected the world over.
That’s by the by – Nanjing has made repeated noises that it will resume production in the UK at Longbridge, but we’re going to have to do some soul searching as a nation, because I honestly can’t believe we could get a green-field operation off the ground with anywhere near the efficiency of the Chinese – differing policitcal situation or not…