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China's MG



10th April, 2007

www.nextcar.com.au (copyright image)

On 27th March, 2007, Nanjing revealed its new MG models to the Chinese public.

The day symbolised a milestone in Chinese automobile manufacturing. NAC MG inaugurated its production line whilst it celebrated the launch of China’s first international car brand.

The celebrations to mark the first car off the line attracted leaders from the JiangSu provincial government, NanJing CCP committee and the NanJing municipal government, whilst British VIPs including a Member of Parliament also attended the celebrations. Nearly 1,000 visitors attended, including MG’s global suppliers, distributors, partners, Chinese and non-Chinese consultants and some members of the media. All had gathered to enjoy the moment which witnessed the first Chinese built MG roll off the production line.

The MG plant is the world’s largest single power assembly line making the world’s widest range of associated products. The Chinese built, fully automated welding and assembly line guarantees the simultaneous production of multiple models and also incorporates modern production equipment brought over from the UK. Three new Chinese built MG models were seen for the first time at the event.

The new MG models include the MG7 series and the MG TF sports car. The luxurious and elegant MG7 series will appeal to China’s middle and high-end car market sectors, while the first Chinese made sports car - the MG TF - incorporates many high technology features. A true sports car, the TF is a high performance model with outstanding handling characteristics and dynamic good looks, very much in keeping with its British sports car heritage. The new MG cars demonstrate world class levels of construction, quality and technology.

The official ‘off the line’ celebration of NAC MG car production not only symbolised the full launch of this new international Chinese brand but also marks a new age of development for the Chinese automobile industry. Chairman HaoLiang Wang said of the event: “The purpose of the MG project is to create a brand-new self-dependent Chinese brand which has the advantage of already being recognised as an internationally well respected brand. From the outset, this was an advanced project that has delivered competitive and technologically advanced products. The project is hugely different from the traditional joint ventures and the purely domestic products of the Chinese automobile industry. NAC has adopted the third development model which in essence brings a truly international brand to the market led by a Chinese enterprise. This is a true innovation. The brand’s core competence is to incorporate international standards of development, production and quality control with world class marketing and know-how.”

In recent years, the Chinese automobile industry has become the third largest car manufacturing and consumer market in the world. However, compared with world’s top level car manufacturers, the Chinese car industry lacks competitive advantages. The car industry has become the fifth largest industry in China and an emphasis is now being focused on how the country can further improve its competitiveness and become a major power in the world’s automotive industry. An example of Chinese aggression is the plan of DaimlerChrysler, through its Chrysler Group, to 'flood' the world car market with cheap Chinese cars (subject to people willing buying cheap Chinese cars, of course).

According to NAC-MG Chairman, Mr Jian Wei Yu, MG will develop two bases; one in Nanjing, China, and the other in Longbridge, Birmingham, UK. The UK will be the centre for R&D and also the base for production of high-end value-adding products, while China will be the production centre and responsible for developing the domestic and overseas markets. In China, NAC MG will focus on achieving cost control and developing core competences for sustainable growth.

Since NAC’s successful acquisition of the assets of MG Rover and Powertrain in July 2005, NAC-MG has mastered MG’s core technologies and has made a range of accomplishments including the export of the first batch of parts to Europe, production of the first N4 engine as well as the first MG7 and MG TF cars. Following the beginning of the project, NAC MG took an unprecedented and innovative route, implementing twelve “firsts” in China: from owning the first ‘world renowned’ car brand to being the first Chinese car company recognised by the international automotive industry. NAC MG is also the first Chinese car manufacturer to introduce European environmental standards, the first enterprise to simultaneously establish production bases domestically and overseas and the first Chinese enterprise to get world class core technologies.

The first MG model ‘off the line’ not only demonstrates the successful implementation of the MG project - renowned as the number one industrial project for NanJing city, but also symbolises a key transformation point for the Chinese car manufacturer. Through the brand strength, the assurance of quality and the use of technology and world class manufacturing techniques, MG is endeavouring to re-enter the international top league.

About Nanjing Automobile (Group) Corporation (NAC not NAG)
In July 2005, NAC purchased parts of MG as part of an international strategy and also established two companies in the UK, Nanjing Automobile Corporation (UK) Limited and NAC MG Limited.

NAC’s mission is to “revive, maintain and develop MG” for the benefit of both Chinese and global consumers, and plans to produce and sell MG cars in the UK as well as in China. NAC has undertaken to “carve out, innovate, strive to be the best and create an iconic brand” with MG.

MG Timeline of Events

  • 22nd July, 2005: NAC acquired the assets of the MG Rover Group and Powertrain Ltd.
  • 10th March, 2006: NAC-MG project was approved by China’s National Development and Reform Commission.
  • 27th March, 2006: NAC-MG Project’s grand foundation stone was laid in Nanjing Pukou New & High Technology Industry Development Zone.
  • 6th June, 2006: NAC-MG Project’s first batch of car parts was exported to Europe.
  • 22nd June, 2006: The NAC Institute of Automobile Engineering was established.
  • 23rd July, 2006: NAC MG UK joined the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Ltd (SMMT), and became the first Chinese member in their one hundred year history.
  • 17th July, 2006: NAC held a media event in London UK to announce MG cars’ global strategy.
  • 15th August, 2006: MG’s first dealer recruitment event was launched in China.
  • In August 2006, MG’s second batch of parts was exported to Europe.
  • 22nd August, 2006: NAC was recognised as one of China’s first car exportation bases (but not the first) by Ministry of Commerce of People’s Republic of China and National Development and Reform Commission.
  • 13th September, 2006: NAC and the Export-Import Bank of China signed the framework in London for the loan agreement for the NAC MG UK Project, so as to support the growth of MG’s UK business and the implementation of its global strategy.
  • 26th September, 2006: MG Powertrain was established, using the same name of the internationally recognised brand established by MG Rover.
  • 13th October, 2006: NAC-MG project signed a supply agreement with British car parts supplier Stadco. The implementation of a global sourcing plan for MG’s overseas projects and the optimised resource portfolio strategy began to accelerate.
  • 8th December, 2006: The Export-Import Bank of China endorsed a 500 million RMB loan to support the MG project. The MG project gained significant support from Chinese government.
  • 28th December, 2006: The first MG K V6 2.5L aluminium engines came off the production line at the production facilities in Pukou, Nanjing.
  • 8th January, 2007: In a meeting of MG’s suppliers, MG declared that it would produce MG cars to the highest international standards.
  • 26th January, 2007: MG Rover signed a contract with NEC, one of the world’s top 500 companies. They will collaborate in building BCS production information control systems, thereby introducing the concepts of production facilitation and cost control.
  • 30th January, 2007: MG held a brand event named “Heartbeat from England” to disclose the new MG brand proposition and the brand new slogan “raise your heartbeat”.
  • 12th Febuary, 2007: The British Ambassador to the People's Republic of China (Sir William Ehrman, and British Consul General Shanghai, Carma Elliot OBE, visited NAC-MG’s production base located in the Nanjing New & High Technology Industry Development Zone.
  • 27th March, 2007: First MG cars to roll off the production line at the Nanjing Pukou production facility. This signals the important development of the first international car brand in China.

MG Brand Introduction

With an 83 year history, the MG octagon logo is synonymous with tradition, culture and heritage.

This historic British brand was sold worldwide in over 80 countries and earned praise such as the “best-selling sports car in the world”, “manufacturer of the best quality sports car” and became well known for its speed record achievements. During its history, the brand became one of the best respected institutions within the British automobile industry.

MG has produced numerous classic models and boasts the world’s largest fan club. Many loyal fans regard it as a “drivable treasure”. Of all the British car brands, MG enjoys one of the longest and most illustrious histories with an influence that has reached out around the world. Having made a significant contribution to the world’s sports car market, MG not only established the reputation for British cars but also changed the face of the sports car scene in the United States.

In 2005, MG was introduced in China. Its Chinese name “Min Jue” communicates deeper connotations. MG now becomes a brand for the new Chinese elite who enjoy great career achievement and cultural accomplishment and who combine sophistication with passion. The brand signifies their personality and taste and also represents their values and spirit.

The slogan, “Raise Your Heartbeat” originates from MG’s brand proposition: get in and raise your heartbeat. This phrase perfectly encapsulates the impression that MGs have always made on consumers while also conveying the characteristics and ultimate goal of the products. Meanwhile, MG conveys the common spiritual link between the brand and its consumers.

MG is not only the best ambassador for British cars in the Chinese market, but will also inherit and carry forward the authentic British car culture in China.

The Nanjing MG Automobile Co., Ltd

Nanjing MG Automobile Co., Ltd (NAC MG) was founded in the Pukou High-Tech Development Zone on 27th March, 2006. It was established by the Nanjing Automotive Group Corporation (Nanjing Automobile) following the acquisition of the assets of the 100-year old MG Rover company and Powertrain Limited of the UK in order to enhance their capacity and development and restructure their product offering.

With a total investment of RMB 3.5 billion, NAC MG covers a total area of 1,200 mu and has a total floor area of 300,000 m2. It owns the world’s largest powertrain factory also boasting one of the largest product ranges. It is China's sole automated welding plant and houses a production line developed in the UK. Future annual production capacity is estimated at 200,000 whole vehicles, 250,000 engines and 100,000 gearboxes.

The development of new models has been undertaken by NAC MG.. Using the advanced foreign R & D and production equipment, MG Automobile plans to achieve advances in development, enhance R&D capability and establish itself as a brand with products using the latest technology. The NAC MG has integrated British culture and heritage into its products. It endeavours to “accelerate people’s heart beats”, and aims to manufacture a brand for the Chinese upper class with products which will demonstrate their success, passion and personality.

NAC MG is initially focusing on the production of the MG7 and MG3 saloons and the MG TF sports car. Using its extensive R & D and innovation capabilities, MG Automobile will launch one or two new vehicles every year. In addition, its entire range of engine products will also enhance its competitiveness in the powertrain domain and provide strong support for the development of new products and its drive for higher levels of efficiency and greater economies of scale.

NAC MG has set its international objectives. It plans to exploit the domestic and international markets using the two manufacturing bases in Nanjing and the UK. Therefore, it is estimated that production will reach 200,000 vehicles within five years. In addition, NAC MG will take full advantage of the strength of the former MG brand and former international sales network to promote the first international brand produced in China, allowing rapid entry into the international market. It aims to provide a strong Chinese-owned automobile brand and become a global player.

Other MG content: here.

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