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A hillclimb for MG 

The British have been rather negative about a few things in the wake of Automobile Corp.’s announcement that will resume production. The main concern is, rightly, from the UK Transport & General Workers’ Union, since members have found it hard getting new jobs since May 2005: does an factory mean fewer potential jobs at ? The answer seems to be yes as revised its production forecast for Longbridge downward.
   In their negativity, a few other pertinent facts have been omitted. The MG TF was never sold Stateside, and I am not sure if it was just because MG lacked a dealer network there. The engines, for a start, were not Federalized. Secondly, will the TF and 75 saloon pass safety tests? Thirdly, my good mechanic friend, Stephen Hamilton, says the TF was basically a basket case in terms of , so the Nanjing, Longbridge and Oklahoma plants have their work cut out. No one will buy an MG that leaks any more.
   There remains the question of rival producer , which has rights to the 25 and 75 models in a separate deal. To be on the safe side, SAIC is developing its 75 model off a long-wheelbase platform, and last month a revised model was seen testing at the . The revised model looks newer and fresher than what NAC might build, which, to my knowledge, is a facsimile of what finished production in England last year.
   A reasonable option would be for Nanjing to produce MGs and SAIC to produce , but the two companies might not see a friendly, sensible division as a way forward. It will also depend on securing rights to the name: Rover’s brand is owned by BMW, though the Bavarians are happy to talk turkey. MG’s is probably owned, at least in some European countries, by a Dutch concern.
   The ultimate decision on how to divide production and the may be down to ’s competition agency, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), who could well see sense in the two marques battling it out to maximize profits—and, of course, the influence of the motherland. This one major consideration is consistently overlooked—China isn’t all about .
   SAIC is restructuring itself into an even bigger monster back in , on the local share market, and with new backing, it could potentially keep NAC a niche player of and warmed-over sports saloons.
   Still, support from MG-philes has been strong. After all, MG has returned because of the enthusiasm of a small Chinese company. This is not a faceless behemoth. It sounds more like a bunch of guys who could have been quite happy making Fiat Palios and Seat Ibiza Mk I knock-offs for the local market, but who loved cars enough to give this venture a go. That, in itself, should be applauded, even if I have some concerns about NAC’s and its way of leaking information to the media.
   Let’s hope NAC’s Monday announcement will bring some needed to the table, because being “one” with its is the greatest weapon a small company has against the likes of SAIC in 2006. NAC can be cleverer and outsmart its rival: the question is whether it has the will to do so and move to a orientation.

Del.icio.us tags: MG MG Rover cars NAC SAIC Red China Politburo China
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thanks for stopping by :), love the design of your blog, comments are blogger based...interesting...  
Thanks, Shane! I’m a bit of an amateur blogger, so I never made the shift into Wordpress, etc. Anyway, great to see you on 25 Peeps!  
Update: a blog commenter called Mark wrote at Autoblog that he believes the MG TF and 75 were designed to meet US standards.  
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Entries from 2006 to the end of 2009 were done on the Blogger service. As of January 1, 2010, this blog has shifted to a Wordpress installation, with the latest posts here.
   With Blogger ceasing to support FTP publishing on May 1, I have decided to turn these older pages in to an archive, so you will no longer be able to enter comments. However, you can comment on entries posted after January 1, 2010.

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