Booming MG Motor UK aims to take on the might of Land Rover in its own Midlands backyard – with a Longbridge-built SUV.
The Chinese-owned firm is drawing up research and development designs which would see a Freelander-style vehicle roll off the Birmingham factory’s assembly lines as part of a wide range of new products.
Design work is still at an early stage. But the car maker has confirmed that an MG SUV (sports utility vehicle) is under consideration for the next generation of vehicles at Longbridge.
MG Motor UK PR and events manager Doug Wallace said: “An SUV is one of the things that is in our plans for the future. We are not yet in a position to give any technical details or about when a vehicle may appear.
“We have to be tight-lipped – this is commercially-sensitive, but, like all companies, we need to plan ahead for the future. The development period for a car is over a number of years.
“It’s fair to say that there are many different manufacturers who produce SUVs – they cover a multitude of sins.”
The SUV plans emerged as MG Motor UK cranks up production levels following the launch last spring of the MG6, the first all-new MG for 16 years.
The launch has seen the Chinese-owned car maker clock up around £6 million worth of sales over three months from December to February, with 321 cars sold in the UK.
The Birmingham firm is now gearing up for production of a diesel version of the MG6 and the launch of the MG3, a new hatchback model.
“The diesel car will be launched towards the end of this year and that will be followed by the MG3, which is already on sale in China,” said Mr Wallace.
The firm also announced in January that it was returning to the racing circuit, with a brace of Longbridge-built MG6 GT cars entering this year’s British Touring Car Championship, driven by double BTCC champion Jason Plato and rising star Andy Neate.
A series of new engines is also in the pipeline as part of a vast research and development programme.