• Jul 12th 2006 at 1:31AM
  • 33
It's where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain. It's where the corn is as high as an elephant's eye. And now it's where the first Chinese owned auto factory will be opened in the United States. Ooooooklahoma!

Today Nanjing Automobile Group will announce that the company will build the MG TF Coupe at a factory in Ardmore, Oklahoma by 2008 and locate its American and European headquarters 90 miles north in Oklahoma City. The new plant will create 500 new jobs for the area. The MG TF Roadster, meanwhile, will be assembled at MG's plant in Longbridge, England.

This will make Nanjing the first Chinese automaker to truly enter the U.S. market, though the fact it will be offering a revered nameplate sets it apart from other Chinese automakers intent on arriving in the U.S., like Geely and Chery, both of which plan to offer freshmen marques.

(Thanks Speed42 and Peter for the tip!)

[Source and photo: New York Times]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      More Communist products in America. Barry Goldwater must be spinning in his grave.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Since when is MG owned by the Chinese?
      • 9 Years Ago
      I've just heard on the EuroNews Satellite network a news report confirming this. They also mention it will be a "new" version of the TF
      • 9 Years Ago
      First off, history lesson, MG as part of British Leyland left our shores in 1981. Since then, MG/Rover had alliances with Honda until BMW bought them in 1994 and then sold them in 1999. The Rover Group was bought by investors and Rovers and MGs were built until the company went into administration in April 2005. The company had sold the rights to Najing for some of their vehicles and Najing picked up the rest of the company last July.

      The MGF was updated to the MGTF, a very good platform and one that should be capbable of sports car like the mazda miata, toyota mr2. (The platform is old but it is the same age as the Lotus Elise and the rover-mg engines were used in the first Lotus Elise).

      There is still a big following in the United States for MGs and other British cars. It would make sense for Chinese manufacturer making it's first entry into the US market with a brand that was loved. BMW brought the (new) British Mini to the US Market and Proton (Malaysian Car Company) brought the Lotus Elise to the US market.

      This should be interesting how this will develop and there expectations are reasonable 25K coupes a year and 15k roadsters for the world. I think that there should be no problem selling most of them in the Unites States to MG fans.
      • 9 Years Ago
      labor and health care cost will be verrrrrry low. shoot dang, they can quit thir wal mart jobs and git themselves a 50 cent raze. don't need no dental, aint nobody got no teeth. medical might be a problem, all that inbreeding you know.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Mark, thank you for clearing that up. And Tekdemon, let’s hope so. I know the coupé was previewed in early 2005, but I didn’t know just how new it was underneath the skin.
      • 9 Years Ago
      JayP points out a major fact of Ardmore's location. However I'd disagree that Tulsa needs the jobs more. I'm originally from the Ardmore area and the cost of living is super cheap. I'm talking a 2000sq ft house on 2 acres for $100k. Plus the tire maker "Uniroyal" has a huge plant there.

      I was surprised to see that no one called us hill billies and didn't ask if we still rode horses. We don't of course...unless gas prices keep going up.
      • 9 Years Ago
      There is a port in Oklahoma. Port of Catoosa, near Tulsa. Althought I doubt that had much to do with the location of the plant.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Just a couple things I noticed that haven't been cleared up properly. Basically this is not the old TF that had been sold prior to MG shutting down. It's actually the next-generation TF that MG had already designed before basically just running out of money. Since Nanjing now owns MG, they're basically just resurrecting it-and as a nice gesture building the convertible version in England even though it's probably a horrible idea from a cost perspective (although at least with NHS healthcare they won't ever have to worry about GM levels of healthcare costs).

      Also, they basically chose the location in Olkahoma for it's closeness to the major airport hubs in Texas, along with it's good road shipping access. And I believe that the US built cars *will* be exported (hmm a Chinese owned car company with an English brand building cars in the United States to export to other countries...probably with parts from Mexico and Canada...).

      Finally, it's probably not a huge plant so even if it doesn't run huge volume it's probably not a big deal. Their volume sellers will (at least initially) be built in China. But they're also using their Oklahoma location as the storage area for all the cars coming in from China before they're shipped off to dealers. So even if they actually had a huge factory with unused space they'd just fill it with imported cars.

      I don't know if they'll succeed but so far nobody has actually mentioned how much these things will end up costing...if they're cheap enough I think people will buy them...I mean it'd be kinda interesting to own an English designed car built by Americans thanks to new Chinese ownership that resurrected the car lol. If nothing else it'd be one of the more interesting examples of globalization.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Nanjing Automobile's website www.nanqi.com.cn,a little poor stuff.i am some worry about Nanjing Automobile,althou they said they make big money on this purchase,contra i think Chery'way is more right.
      Greg A.
      • 9 Years Ago
      #4 "Bob-o, the new car will be offered in the US. Chinese automakers might not be the brightest, but they aren't that dumb."

      If they're not THAT dumb, why are they locating their European HQ in OKC?
      • 9 Years Ago
      This is probably the strangest twist of automotive news in a long long time. I won't believe it untill i see it. And the why the TF? This car will be at least 10 years old by 08.
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