About 30 workers have been laid off at Longbridge - as SAIC drops its Chinese banner to be MG Motor UK Ltd.
The Chinese-owned company has laid off up to 30 temporary contract workers in the latest blow to manufacturing in the West Midlands.
The lay-offs are among staff who recently transferred from the Shanghai Motor Technical Centre in Leamington - a wholly-owned subsidiary of SAIC/Nanjing - to Longbridge.
Meanwhile, the car firm yesterday confirmed it had dropped NAC - Nanjing Automobile Corporation - from its company title to become MG Motor UK Ltd.
Corporate communications manager Eleanor de la Haye confirmed that contract worker jobs had been shed. “I can confirm that there have been temporary worker lay-offs,” she said.
A worker, who asked not to be named, said: “Engineering staff are being laid off only days after the Shanghai Motor Technical Centre moved to Longbridge. Whilst it’s not completely out of the blue, it makes you wonder if the jinx of Longbridge continues.”
But Ms de la Haye said the car firm remained on target with its plans for Longbridge despite the economic downturn hitting the global car sector.
She said: “We are still on target - we are one of the few automotive manufacturers planning to release new models.”
The firm’s Longbridge workforce now numbers about 380, with 250 transferred from Leamington to add to the 130 already on site.
The SMTC UK Ltd operation provides engineering and design skills for MG and the Shanghai-built Roewe model.
Meanwhile, a statement on the name-change said: “NAC MG UK Ltd has changed its name to MG Motor UK Ltd.
“The change was made to reinforce the presence and image of the MG brand within the parent company’s name.
“It is anticipated that the new name will help strengthen the company’s reputation and re-emergence in the market by emphasising the already well-known MG brand.
“Everything else within the business remains unchanged but communications tools, including the web address will, with immediate effect, change.”
Ms de la Haye added: “This is another opportunity to get the message out there that the MG brand is back.”