Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Fall of MG, or Rise of MG?

Chinese plant rolls out first MG
The first Chinese-built MG sports cars have rolled off the production line in the eastern city of Nanjing.

The manufacturer, state-owned Nanjing Automobile, bought the assets of collapsed UK car firm Rover in 2005.

It plans to produce 200,000 new cars every year and hopes to sell the vehicles around the world.

But many are likely to be sold to the booming domestic market, with demand for luxury vehicles soaring amongst the country's wealthy elite.

In six short months the Chinese have built a massive new factory and installed the robots and assembly lines they bought from the collapsed Rover, reports the BBC's Quentin Sommerville in Nanjing.

And it was with music from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and against a video wall showing shots of Tower Bridge and Buckingham Palace that Nanjing Auto launched its two new models.

These are the MG7 saloon and the MG-TF sports car which, General Manager Zhang Xin told Reuters news agency, would be priced at between 180,000 and 400,000 yuan ($23,300 - $51,700; £11,800 - £26,300).

The cars have not changed much, right down to the Union flag, which is still displayed proudly on their bodywork.

The company wants to sell the cars not just in China but around the world.

But with the Chinese car market growing by 10 million new cars every year, Nanjing Auto will likely be selling most of its MGs in showrooms closer to home, our correspondent adds.

Story from BBC NEWS:


In the era of globalization, the above story is a fitting example of the rise of the east. MG a once mighty European auto maker, took the sad path of closing down, only to be bought by Nanjing Auto. however, Nanjing auto has been very clear, it is imbibing only the technical knowhow and the IP of the company, it saves it the trouble of going through the learning curve. Craftily, it has also included all the British insignias in order to say that "look, its made in china, but its still british". A rather cruel blow. First to go was Lenovo, now another behemoth MG. so whats next?

The chinese took 6 months to set up a factory to churn out 200K cars per annum. 6Months. Now that is determination. I wonder if at any point any other country will be able to achieve such levels of productivity.

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