How about this for a world upside down: Instead of producing foreign cars in China, the Chinese will produce a foreign car, developed in China, in a foreign country. Such will be the case for the MG6. In a way.
China’s SAIC will manufacture its self-developed MG6-series sedan at its U.K. plant and sell the sedans across the European Union by the end of the year, SAIC’s chairman said to Reuters.
“The idea is to take advantage of the existing MG sales network in the European Union as well as the cost advantage in China,” Hu Maoyuan told Reuters on the sidelines of Shanghai’s annual People’s Political Consultative Conference.
SAIC ended up owning MG Rover’s 10,000-unit Longbridge plant in Birmingham, after SAIC bought Nanjing Automobile Group in late 2007. They did not get the Rover brand, BMW had sold that brand to Ford, which in turn sold it to Tata, along with Jaguar and Land Rover.
Slighted SAIC then launched their Roewe brand, which hasn’t made a big splash in China. Supposedly, “Roewe” sounds like “Rover” in China, but nobody in the West will get the pun.
And to be true, “self developed” is a bit of a stretch. The MG6 is based on the Roewe 550, which is based on the platform of the Rover 75. So by being produced in Birmingham, a bit of merry old England is returning to the Old Blighty.