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Chinese To Reopen MG's Longbridge Plant

LONGBRIDGE, England — The Nanjing Automobile Corporation, the Chinese company that is the new maker of MG cars, has announced that it will reopen MG Rover's old Longbridge plant on May 29.

MG nanjingNanjing introduced the Rover 75-derived MG7, the Rover 400-derived MG5, and the MG TF roadster at Auto Shanghai in April. The automaker has long vowed to restart production at MG Rover's former British headquarters.

The first locally built TF roadsters will be introduced at a lavish ceremony on May 29 that will be attended by Liang Baohua, governor of Jiangshu Provincial Government, where Nanjing Auto resides. The plan, as reported by the U.K. publication Auto Express, is for the MG7, MG5 and MG3 — an updated version of the MG ZR — to be built at Longbridge. The TF will go on sale by fall, the MG7 after that, and the MG3 and MG5 in 2008, the publication reports.

In the meantime, the British government is going full speed ahead with its investigation into the 2005 collapse of MG Rover. Because it involved the loss of some 6,000 jobs, the search for a scapegoat has its adherents; that's easier than admitting that the company failed quite naturally once BMW decided in 2000 not to keep financing the loss-making enterprise. With the reopening, Nanjing will be increasing the current 115-member workforce, but only to 800.

© Source: insideline
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