03/08/2005

GB Sports Car Company to develop MG range

The Chinese firm that purchased MG Rover assets has announced that work is to commence on a range of new models at Longbridge in Birmingham.

Nanjing Automobile Group and GB Sports Car Company have reached an agreement to collaborate on a range of cars that are expected to be in production by mid-2006.

It is hoped that 2,000 jobs may be created at the Longbridge site following the purchase of certain MG Rover assets for around £60 million in July.

Headed by former Powertrain, MG Rover's engine division Managing Director Fraser Welford-Winton, the GB Sports Car Company, in conjunction with Nanjing's advisers, Arup Group and China Ventures, will work on the development of a range of MG automobiles to be designed and developed for manufacture at Longbridge in Birmingham.

Other activities will include the consolidation of the Longbridge site for automobile manufacturing and related activities in conjunction with St. Modwen.

Mr Fraser Welford-Winton said: ”I am delighted I will be at the heart of the development and implementation of a business plan that will produce long term skilled jobs at Longbridge and create a centre of excellence for sports car activities for which the UK is world renowned.”

China’s oldest automotive manufacturer, Nanjing Automobile Group is one of only three companies in China who produce a full range of vehicles and engines.

Wang Hong Biao, the Vice President of Nanjing Automobile Group, said:” We are delighted to have such fine British partners to reach our goals. In particular the wide knowledge and experience of Fraser and his team will complement the skills of ARUP and Nanjing Automobiles.”

The director of automotive design and engineering company, the Arup Group, John Miles welcomed the agreement between Nanjing and the GB Sports Car Company.

He said: We look forward to deploying our engineering and design skills to help them to bring their vision of an MG car range to fruition.”

Advisor partner China Ventures, a group which focuses on developing Chinese and European business, will provide commercial and technical consultancy services to the Sino-British venture.

(SP/KMcA)

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