Chinese-owned MG Motor UK has benefited from £450 million worth of investment to steer Longbridge back on the road to success – and more funds are on the way.
The figure was disclosed by MG Motor UK bosses who revealed the car firm was to hit the export trail to mainland Europe within two years. Meanwhile, the company also aims to double Longbridge output in 18 months with a diesel MG and hatchback model.
The lastest phase in the growth of the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation firm was revealed by managing director William Wang ahead of major new production plans to boost sales.
Mr Wang said a new diesel version of the MG6 would be introduced by the end of 2012, a Ford Fiesta-sized MG3 in the second half of 2013, with a Ford Focus-sized MG5 also in the pipeline.
Plans are also on the drawing board for an MG SUV vehicle, similar in size to the Nissan Qashqai, following a wave of interest in the concept MG Icon SUV unveiled at the Beijing Motor Show.
The new models, allied to a series of new engines, will see output doubled by the end of 2013 to consolidate recent showroom successes. The firm sold a record 236 cars in March compared to eight a year previously. MG Motor UK has now sold more cars in the first quarter of 2012 than in any previous full year – and Mr Wang said the firm was geared for major new expansion.
“By the end of the year, we will have an MG6 diesel, by the second half of next year we will have the MG3 and my target is to be exporting to Europe within two years.
“Our philosophy is that we go step-by-step. It will be small volumes in Europe at first. We need time to test the markets. We do not have ambitious, aggressive plans to produce 10,000 cars next year.”
Meanwhile, Press and PR Manager Doug Wallace said: “£450 million has been invested so far and that is an ever-increasing figure. The investment is across the range – we are beginning to see the fruits of our labours.”
*Birmingham City Council is urging workers to ‘buy Brum’ – with its 46,000 staff offered discounts of up to £2,500 on new MGs. Council leader Sir Albert Bore has launched a special Priviliged Members Car Scheme guaranteeing around 15 per cent off the MG6.