The race by China's automakers to become the first to sell cars in North America is continuing, now with Nanjing Automobile (Group) Corp. announcing plans to relaunch the MG car brand with new production in China, England and the U.S.
NAC purchased the assets of the now-shuttered MG Rover Group Ltd. in 2005, including the name.
The new MG cars will be made at a new plant being built in Nanjing, at MG's historic production base of Longbridge, England, and at a new facility in the southern Oklahoma city of Ardmore.
``We are working with the European and North American markets as we move forward in reigniting the brand in 2007 in the [United Kingdom] and Europe, to be followed by a new launch in the U.S. in May or June of 2008,'' said Duke Hale, president and chief executive officer of the new MG Motors North America Inc., during a July 12 news conference outlining the company's plans.
It is too early to discuss the company's plans for developing a supplier base near the plants in England and the U.S., he said.
Two other Chinese automakers plan to sell cars in North America. Geely Holding Group and Chery Automobile are working to bring their products up to U.S. safety and environmental standards.
The MG name and global manufacturing base will give NAC a competitive edge, Hale said.
``We're viewing ourselves as a global company, not a Chinese company,'' he said. ``At this point, none of the other Chinese companies are looking at building locally. We're coming in with cars that are European styled, European designed and have the European flair.''