Topics: MG, Nanjing Automobile Corporation
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The MG brand, known in the United States for its affordable sports cars with good handling, will be resurrected.
It all began in 2005 when the Nanjing Automobile Corporation acquired MG Rover Group, Ltd. It will result in an interesting reversal of traditional roles, as when MG is back on its feet a Chinese company will be manufacturing in the United States.
They plan to spend around $2 billion rebuilding the brand, starting with building the new TF Coupe in the former MG Rover plant near Birmingham, England. "New operations" are planned for the cars in China.
From there they plan to head to Oklahoma. They intend to build a 300,000 square foot assembly plant and distribution center at Ardmore Airpark in Oklahoma, employing an estimated 325 people. Construction is expected to begin early in 2007, and the first cars are expected to roll off the line in the third quarter of 2008.
MG's new global headquarters for sales, marketing and distribution outside of Asia will be in Oklahoma City, employing another estimated 150 people. Another estimated 35 persons will work at a research and development center will be in the University of Oklahoma in Norman (Norman is known for the headquarters of the National Weather Service). MG's total annual payroll for Oklahoma operations is expected to exceed $30,000,000.
Nanjing proceeds undaunted by the prospect of selling a Chinese car in the United States, but their ownership should be offset by the MG brand on the car. Chairman and CEO of Nanjing's MG Motors North America/Europe Corp., Duke Hale said, "Owners clubs and enthusiasts are all about the brand. They are all about driving an MG."
The TF Coupe, the new MG's planned first car, was designed by its previous owners but never built.
©2006 Bill Crittenden
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