MG Motor is now building the first batches of pre-production MG6s at Longbridge as it ramps up for series production early next year when the hatchback goes on sale.
Originally MG had planned to launch it late this year, but has decided that a 2011 debut will have more impact.
Insiders say that the company may also continue to batch build the TF roadster into 2011, too. Build for this year has now stopped, sales dropping off post-summer and dealers having sufficient stocks to meet demand over autumn and winter.
But it’s thought that the full relaunch of the MG brand and MG6 in tandem could generate enough showroom traffic to justify producing another batch.
That will probably be the last production run of the mid-engined sports car, which will then be 16 years old.
MG Motor plans a replacement for the TF, but that is several years away, the company keen to gradually rebuild a presence in the UK and Europe with more mainstream sporting hatchbacks.
The MG6 is expected to be joined by an MG version of the smaller Roewe 350, prototype versions of which are testing in the UK, and a production version of the MG Zero supermini unveiled at the Beijing show earlier this year.