Up to 140 jobs could be lost at a car design and engineering centre in Birmingham.

Chinese state-owned SAIC, which is the parent company of MG Motor UK, has started a consultation with staff at the SAIC Motor UK Technical Centre (SMTC) in Longbridge.

The company said it was conducting an operational review of its base there but did not go into any further details about its plans.

SMTC has an advanced design studio, a £4.5 million vehicle emissions testing facility and a virtual reality suite, working on new MG and Roewe products.

It neighbours the newly regenerated Longbridge town centre.

A member of staff who contacted BirminghamLive said the workforce had been told 140 jobs would be going "across the board" and this latest announcement followed a cull of contract workers in March.

The worker, who wished to remain anonymous, said that reduction had seen staff numbers fall from around 260 to 180 people.

He added: "There had been weeks of rumours. The mood is not good at all.

"We were told in December that there would be challenges ahead but we didn't foresee this."

The SMTC sits on part of the site of what was once a formidable presence for the now defunct MG Rover brand in Longbridge.

 

That company went bust in April 2005, costing around 6,000 jobs but operations were later resurrected following a buyout.

In 2016, SAIC announced it planned to stop assembling cars at its Longbridge plant and move production to China.

A statement from SAIC said: "SMTC is conducting an operational review at its Birmingham base.

"SMTC is currently consulting with its staff to find the most appropriate solution and further updates will be issued in due course."