• Jul 10, 2006
Say what you will about Nanjing Automobile Group's ability to revive the MG brand after picking up MG Rover's assets following the British firm's 2005 implosion, but you have to admit they have they have a firm grasp of the art of leaking information to the press. Following on the heels of last week's leak/rumor/announcement that Nanjing will resume production of MGs at the dormant Longbridge plant in the U.K. comes today's word that the company plans to sell MGs in the U.S., and may even manufacture them in North America.

The MG brand disappeared from dealerships on the left side of the pond in 1980, but you can check out the MG model range, circa 2005, at the MG Rover website. The model rumored to head up the brand's relaunch is the MG TF (above).

A formal announcement of the company's plans is slated for July 17 at the British Motor Show.

[Source: AutoWeek]


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  • 14 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ooh! Please bring over the SV!

      http://www.rovertorque.co.uk/images/sv.jpg
      • 8 Years Ago
      Well, I'll try to comment, though only about 1 out of 4 comments that I try to make actually manage to make it onto autoblog. I've just about given up on autoblog, in fact. I've found The Truth About Cars and enjoy that site quite a bit.

      There's also the Auto Channel, as well as Servihoo.com.

      Anyhow, back on topic, the MG "saloons" (sedans) and "estates" (station wagons) - about the size of the prior generation Hyundai Sonata and with a 2.5 "K series" V6 (an MG-Rover design which was in fact recently sold in the US under the hood of the smallest Range Rovers) would make a sweet addition to the US auto market, especially if pricing could be "sharp" as in 30% less than equivalent cars, as Chery are planning.

      • 8 Years Ago
      I had some Triumphs and MGs in the '60s, my last being a '67 MG Midget. Nostalgia dictates tastes I believe. There are a lot of old '60s people waiting to pounce of whatever MG comes out.

      I saw many of the TFs in Europe and stopped at a dealer in Scotland. Loved the look of the car. The picture above does not do the car justice.

      Alan
      • 8 Years Ago
      DOn't get to excited, I drove it when it was first released here in the UK and it managed the incredible feat of looking and driving like a FWD car, even though it had the potentially great feature of being mid-engined. It never really sold well here, MG should have cornered the market for small cheap roadsters especially in the UK but the competition from more acomplished rivals, especially the MX5 meant it was never a success. Its such a shame because it had great potential but it drove like it was developed by Rover (not good) and with build quality that was shoddy for Brits let alone potential US customers!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Interesting idea to think of building them in the USA - presumably using Chinese bits. Like most of your HiFi, toys and just about anything else one could mention. Do people care where their cars are built any longer? Do 98% of the public know or even care that some of their BMWs come from South Carolina, their Mercedes from Alabama, their Porsche Boxters from Finland, their Audi TT from Eastern Europe or their VW from Mexico? Abingdon - once the spirutal home of MG - is sadly long dead, so where an MG comes from may be less of an issue than it once was.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Glenn, I've found that sometimes you just need to click the link sent to your e-mail twice. It doesn't always "take" the first time (and yes, it has been unusually buggy in recent weeks).

      As for MG, I have to agree with Dinger: reviving a brand that was never known for its quality with decade-old vehicles sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.

      I have no idea how feasible this would be, but with such aged designs, maybe MGs could sell on bargain pricing. While I've never driven a TF, U.K. reviews suggest that it's at least some fun to drive, and it certainly doesn't look bad. If it was priced around $15K and featured a long warranty, I'm sure there would be lots of young, style-driven, non-enthusiast buyers who'd rather get into a roadster, *any* roadster, than a Chevy Aveo or Scion xB.

      Hire a good advertising firm and play up the British angle (a la MINI), and maybe Nanjing could pull it off. With Hyundai and Kia ignoring the affordable-sports-car niche, there's room for an outsider to sneak in with the TF, and maybe the ZR and ZT.

      Likely? Nope. But possible, I suppose.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ha! This has too be a joke. The TF has been around since 1995 and they are going to use a long in the tooth outdated car as the platform for reluanching MG in the US? That'll work.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Howie:

      I don't think I mentioned anything about it's engine placement or drivetrain. All I said is that it looks like the god-awful 90s-era Capri... and I standy by that statement. All I know is that this company is going to have to go a long way to meet the modern roadster standards set by the Miata, Z4, Boxter, S2000, et al (mid-engined or not).
      • 8 Years Ago
      A new interior had been on the cards for the TF (yes, it did badly need it). On the road, the TF is a sharp looking little car and it could sell to the legions of MG enthusiasts still lurking more in hope than anticipation. What I would like to see would be a new generation of front engine rear wheel sports car with styling as beautiful as the Aston Martin V8 Vantage but at half the cost - just like the old MGB GT was described by its patron as a 'poor man's Aston Martin'. The MG TF was never engineered for US sales because they made a conscious decision not to push that car in the USA, and so did not engineer some of the safety systems to suit US standards (things like bigger airbags to accomodate those who choose not to use seatbelts, and specific kinds of emmissions monitoring gear peculiar to the US market). To do it now will mean some re-engineering - not impossible, but up to now deemed too costly. Maybe with Chinese pricing the equation is different? If, as Autoweek suggests, they do eventually build MGs in the USA, then I doubt it would be the MG TF but rather an all-new model. And there were one or two of those in the back of the hangar.
      • 8 Years Ago
      For folks like sacamano, the TF is/was a mid-engined TWO seater, unlike the FWD 4 passenger Capri.
      I do find it odd that this car would spearhead a return of MG to the U.S. since one of the reasons it wasn't sold here previously, was that it wasn't engineered for the U.S. market. I would have to think that a lot more re-engineering would be needed at this point. But hey, MG never really sold much in the way of "cutting edge" cars in this country anyway.
      And I believe the price in the mid to late '90s was 15K pounds Sterling....not 15 Dollars as PJ implies.
      • 8 Years Ago
      How unreasonably priced can we expect these to be?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Maybe it'll be the MG XPOwer SV they'll build in the USA?
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