Currently reading: Up to 230 jobs at risk as MG owners move to downsize UK base
Chinese firm SAIC is looking to downscale its technical centre, which does engineering work for MG, at the former Longbridge factory
Julian Rendell
News
2 mins read
10 May 2019

Up to 230 engineering and design jobs at MG Motor Ltd's parent company, SAIC, are at risk due to plans to radically downsize its technical centre in at the site of the former Longbridge factory in Birmingham.

News of the plan leaked out after a consultation with the workforce on Friday, with one source suggesting that 140 full-time jobs and 90 contractor positions are at risk out of a total workforce of around 300, whose main function is designing and engineering new models for MG.

MG Motor, which is owned by SAIC, wouldn’t comment on the numbers, instead it issued a statement confirming that talks were underway with the workforce at the SAIC Motor UK Technical Centre (SMTC). The Longbridge site is also registered with Companies House as MG's UK headquarters.

“SMTC is conducting an operational review at its Birmingham base,” it said, “and is currently consulting with its staff to find the most appropriate solution and further updates will be issued in due course.”

The news comes just 24 hours after the UK reveal of the ZS EV, which it plans to launch at the London motor show next week on May 16.

The ZS EV is a key model in MG’s plan to significantly boost UK sales by the end of 2020, making the cutbacks at its technical centre more difficult for the workforce.

UK sales have been on a steep climb and doubled last year to 9049 units compared to 4440 in 2017. While sales in China improved considerably last year as well, hitting 134k against 80k in 2017.

A fresh sales push is being built around a expanding UK dealer network that currently numbers 91 sites, but is planned to grow to 120 by the end of 2020.

MG Motor has made the UK design and engineering of its cars part of its marketing message and at motor shows in the Chinese home market has featured Union Jack graphics and branding on its stands.

When SAIC took control of the rump of the defunct Rover Group in 2007, it moved the production lines and tooling for the Rover 75 and its K-Series engine to China, where it went into production as the Roewe 75.

To keep the MG brand alive, its re-launch plan featured UK design and engineering alongside local production and it set up a new plant to assemble the MG 6 on a small portion of the former Longbridge site in 2011. However, five years later manufacturing stopped and output was shifted to China.

Since then MG has opened a new sales and marketing HQ in London’s fashionable Marylebone, sharing space with an advanced design studio. Around 50 staff are employed at Marylebone, with about a further 100 supporting the national dealer network.

Read more

MG ZS review

ZS EV revealed

 

Advertisement
Advertisement

Find an Autocar review

Read our review

Car review

MG's attempt to re-establish itself in the UK rests on the shoulders of the new ZS crossover, which aims to beat its rivals on space and price

Join the debate

Comments
19
Add a comment…
jonboy4969 12 May 2019

Such Drivel as usual from

Such Drivel as usual from Bazzer - MG are a greta company producing significant numbers of cars, Europe sales will be coming in the next 18 months, you whitter on like a spoilt child, that cant get his own way - well, tough - grow up, the motirng world has changed since 2005, and people dont buy saloons, MPV's and so on anymore, they buy SUV's and small Hatchbacks, these are teh cars that MG have launched, and very successfully too.

This year see's the launch of a sub £25k full EV SUV, that has already had significant numbers of people put down deposits, there is also a new Large SUV coming at the end of the year to replace the GS, and in 2021 a new EV Coupe is definately coming, and thats from MG themselves, stated in a interview only this week.

Longbridge is not and hadnt been a via production base for decades, it needed £100's of millions spending on it to bring it up to standard, again, a fact, BMW Screwed the company over in 2000, after lying to all the staff, Government and local councils, again, another fact, the strikes as someone put it, why were they prevelant, well, one was down to having no tea in the canteen, due to a failure to deliver by an outside company, Red Robbo, would call a stike just becasue he could, that moron single handedly destroyed BLMC, which is why they sacked him in the end, and NO ONE would employ him.

 

MG Might not be the cars in the world, but from small acorns etc, Hyundai, Kia, and so on, all started the same way, small, slowly and properly, SAIC is one of teh biggest car companies in the world, they are hugely successful, so if they cant get it running no one can, not even a little Englander that would build them in the cotswolds, LOL, which is the funniest thing i have read all day, BAZZER, is a total tool, the only difference between him and a real tool, is the real one actually has a use. 

He is nothing but a troll, plain and simple, he knows nothing about most things, and makes wild, inaccurate comments about virtually everything, he should really be banned from the computer, or at least get his mummy to put the child lock in place.

Bazzer 13 May 2019

jonboy

Oh dear!  The word 'boy' isn't in my forum name.  It's in...

john386 12 May 2019

MG downsize

I doubt SAIC had any real intention of having a UK base at all. But what the government should do is to MAKE them take a local partner, and raise import tariffs to Chinese levels. Cant be anything wrong in reciprocating tariffs and non-tariff barriers. What is good for China, should be good for the UK.

Absolutely NO preferential treatment for Chinese car makers.

jagdavey 11 May 2019

And the good news is............

It's not all bad news, maybe some of those losing their jobs at MG will get something at Polestar's new R&D centre in Coventry.

Find an Autocar car review