Longbridge MG6 production decision delayed?

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    richardk

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    Longbridge MG6 prdocution decision delayed?

    Post by richardk on Tue Aug 04, 2009 4:47 am

    Rumours on ARonline that MG have delayed a decision on whether MG6 production will happen in Longbridge

    http://www.aronline.co.uk/wordpress/2009/07/31/mg-uk-longbridge-in-limbo/

    Clive Goldthorp

    AROnline’s regular readers might recall from our MG UK: The next phase of the New Journey? story back in mid-April that production of the standard MG TF 135 was about to commence and that an informed and reliable source had told us that a decision on whether the MG 6 would be built at Longbridge was expected ‘within the next couple of months.’

    The standard TF 135s have recently reached MG Dealers and AROnline understands from several of their representatives that MG Motor UK Limited will shortly be launching a reportedly competitve and flexible PCP Scheme which will be promoted via a national marketing campaign - the spend on the latter will, though, probably reflect the TF 135’s anticipated production volumes. A number of the MG Dealers contacted by AROnline this week reckon that the TF 135 has already generated more showroom interest than the TF LE500 did initially and attribute that to the newer version’s more competive price of £13,511 otr (or £11,511 otr under HMG’s Scrappage Scheme).

    A number of the MG Dealers contacted by AROnline this week reckon that the TF 135 has already generated more showroom interest than the TF LE500 did initially and attribute that to the newer version’s more competive price of £13,511 otr (or £11,511 otr under HMG’s Scrappage Scheme).

    However, whilst some MG Dealers have greeted the arrival of the TF 135 with a degree of cautious optimism, the medium to long-term future of the Longbridge factory as a production centre must remain in doubt until SAIC Motor decides whether or not to produce the MG 6 and, presumably, other models there.

    The well-placed source contacted by AROnline back in April now tells us that the decision about MG 6 production has been delayed - the business case for that apparently depends upon the sourcing of a diesel engine which has characteristics compatible with the European market’s requirements. We had understood that diesel engines from General Motors Europe, SsangYong Motor and Volkswagen Group were all under consideration so the need for the diesel engine to be fit for purpose in Europe rather implies that SAIC Motor may now be evaluating the SsangYong Motor option more closely.

    Our contact also disclosed that SAIC Motor was giving ’serious consideration’ to adopting General Motors’ new Epsilon II platform for the MG 7/Roewe 750 replacements. The Epsilon II platform currently underpins both General Motors Europe’s D-segment Opel/Vauxhall Insignia and Shanghai General Motors’ Chinese version of the Buick Regal. However, we understand that the MG 7/Roewe 750 replacements will be slightly larger than their predecessors and so compete against E-segment contenders such as the Audi A6, BMW 5-Series, Jaguar XF and Mercedes-Benz E-Class in at least terms of size if not price. The forthcoming new E-segment MY10 Saab 9-5 uses a long wheelbase variant of Epsilon II so we guess that may be the version under consideration by SAIC Motor. A recent report on English-language Chinese Automotive Industry website Gasgoo.com suggesting that SAIC Motor was negotiating such a Platform Sharing Agreement with General Motors may, therefore, have some basis in fact… See: China Watch: SAIC may buy Opel Insignia platform to build new Roewe.

    SMTC UK, which has global responsibility for the design and styling of all future MG models, would, no doubt, take the lead in the development of any successors to the MG 7 and the MG TF. However, we understand that work on the latter Model Programme has been halted since the end of 2008 because of the continuing economic rescession affecting what would be the car’s key markets of North America and Western Europe.

    SAIC Motor clearly needs to be satisfied that any medium to long-term plans for Longbridge are supported by a robust business case and the task of validating that business case cannot have been made any easier by last year’s sudden and largely unforseen economic downturn. However, until MG 6s are rolling off the production line and work on the TF replacement has resumed, Longbridge will, in effect, be in a state of limbo.

    AROnline, though, maintains that a TF replacement would play a vital role in re-establishing the MG marque’s credibility in North America and Western Europe. Georg Kacher, CAR Magazine’s well-connected European Editor, recently reported that Volkswagen plans to launch a production version of the Concept BlueSport shown at last January’s North American International Auto Show in early 2012. Volkswagen must, therefore, reckon that there will be sufficient global demand for a fuel-efficient, mid-engined, two-seater roadster by then so the business case for, say, a £18,000 to £22,000 TF replacement should be equally convincing…

    SAIC Motor clearly needs to be satisfied that any medium to long-term plans for Longbridge are supported by a robust business case and the task of validating that business case cannot have been made any easier by last year’s sudden and largely unforseen economic downturn. However, until MG 6s are rolling off the production line and work on the TF replacement has resumed, Longbridge will, in effect, be in a state of limbo.
    Anyone else heard anyhing?
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    patpending

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    Re: Longbridge MG6 production decision delayed?

    Post by patpending on Tue Aug 04, 2009 1:50 pm

    richardk wrote:anyone else heard anything?
    well, I was discussing Ssangyong with the Korean girl who cut my hair today.

    From what she was saying, it is risky to base anything on Ssangyong production, unless you ask the Korean riot police to pick the bits up from round the factory where they have been catapulted by disgruntled ex-employees...

    ex-rover

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    Re: Longbridge MG6 production decision delayed?

    Post by ex-rover on Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:58 am

    I don't belive the delay in annoucing Longbridge will get the MG6 is anything to worry to much about at the moment. I think it has a lot to do with the way SAIC work and everything having to be approved by the chinese goverment first and this has lead to high level saic and chinese officials visiting lonbgridge over the last few months so things take time. Hopefully an annoucment will be made next month when I belive (although this could change) saics top man will be visiting the plant so everyone is hoping this will be the visit that confirms the deal.
    As i'm sure you have read a roewe 550 was run down part of system 3 to make sure it would fit and a few other things are going on the back ground that I have heard about so fingers crossed we will get some good news soon.
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    richardk

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    Re: Longbridge MG6 production decision delayed?

    Post by richardk on Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:16 am

    ex-rover wrote:I don't belive the delay in annoucing Longbridge will get the MG6 is anything to worry to much about at the moment. I think it has a lot to do with the way SAIC work and everything having to be approved by the chinese goverment first and this has lead to high level saic and chinese officials visiting lonbgridge over the last few months so things take time. Hopefully an annoucment will be made next month when I belive (although this could change) saics top man will be visiting the plant so everyone is hoping this will be the visit that confirms the deal.
    As i'm sure you have read a roewe 550 was run down part of system 3 to make sure it would fit and a few other things are going on the back ground that I have heard about so fingers crossed we will get some good news soon.

    Thanks for the info - we look forward to the announcement as I'm sure most of tthe west midlands does

    Well if I get an invite I'll come and wave an MG flag.
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    Windy
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    Re: Longbridge MG6 production decision delayed?

    Post by Windy on Wed Aug 05, 2009 3:01 pm

    The only thing I've heard from China is that it has been a question of "when" not "if", with the recession looking like it may be passing they may want to hurry things up rather than delay.

    Would be nice to see AP11 heading for longbridge, I would have thought that was a more important car for the UK, but I've not seen anything, maybe it's too early...


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