A new £5 million design studio has been officially opened at Longbridge as MG Motors plans to produce its MG6 five-seat fastback at the historic car plant by the end of the year.
Dr Richard Hutchins, deputy chief executive of Advantage West Midlands (AWM), officially opened the new SAIC design studio yesterday.
China’s biggest automotive business, SAIC, owner of MG Motor UK, now plans to kick on from the development by making more cars at the plant, where the MG TF sports car is currently produced.
AWM has offered nearly £2 million financial support as well as strategic business advice to encourage SAIC’s continued presence at the historic Longbridge site.
Dave Lindley, general manager of SAIC Motor UK Technical Centre, said: “This is an important landmark not only for the West Midlands, but the worldwide automotive industry.
“This £5 million investment by SAIC is a clear commitment to retaining and developing our UK workforce. Not only have we created some 300 hi-tech, high-value jobs, but invested £20 million in R&D companies throughout the supply chain in the UK and Europe.”
Dr Richard Hutchins said: “It is great to be at the historic Longbridge car manufacturing site on such a positive occasion. Everyone is eager to see the first MG6s rolling off the production line here at the end of the year. And who knows what other design and technical wizardry will be revealed in subsequent models, thanks to the cutting edge work that will be going on here?
“It may surprise some to learn that a third of the UK’s automotives are produced in the Midlands. Also, two thirds of the spend on automotive research and development in this country is invested in Midlands-based companies. AWM is proud of the part it has played in stimulating and revitalising the region’s manufacturing base in this way.”