NAC and SAIC merge to make China’s largest car manufacturer
28 December 2007

China’s two largest car manufacturers, Nanjing Automotive Corporation (NAC) and Shanghai Automotive (SAIC) merged at a conference held recently in Beijing.There was fierce rivalry between the two automakers, with both companies owning parts of what was the MG Rover corporation – NAC has rights to the MG TF, ZR and ZT, and SAIC owns the Rover 25, 75 and the K-series engine.It took five months to come to an agreement regarding the merger, but SAIC finally bought out NAC for £144m.The two companies have agreed to merge all their combined resources, including research and design, sales and marketing, manufacturing and supply chain management, though the company will continue to trade under both names. The aim is to make SAIC into a large global manufacturer by giving it access to the MG brand and NAC’s more modern, larger production facilities, whilst NAC leads the operation in the home market. This is essentially a complete restructuring of the Chinese automotive industry; something the Chinese authorities were keen to see happen in order to make the country’s car industry more competitive.NAC had already begun production of the MG TF at Longbridge, and since the merger SAIC has stated that the UK operation remains central to the company’s plans, with the TF roadster leading the offensive over here. The only change expected to take place at Longbridge is an injection of more resources, so expect to see more new MG products soon after the launch of the TF next year.

Our Verdict


The MG TF is undeniably flawed, but it is an appealing driver’s car nonetheless

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31 December 2007

Who cares?

No one bought them when they were 3 years closer to being contemporary.

28bhp never felt so fast


31 December 2007

With the greatest of respect Pitfield, what I think we are witnessing is the awakening of a sleeping giant in both socio-economic and automotive terms.

Nothing good will come of this for traditional motor manufacturers.

31 December 2007

Just put this on telly and see the buyers dissolve into the mist

31 December 2007

And the crash testing of a Brilliance car has what do do with MG or ROEWE products? Absolutly nothing!

31 December 2007

You're absolutely right!

Anyone who knows their onions will also know that a Rover 75/MG ZT will achieve a 4* rating in the NCAP test and 5* if the side head restraint system was fitted.

MG Rover products were as good as any others in their final years and if people had made the effort to test drive and purchase them rather than pander to the image makers we would still have a car industry!

31 December 2007

Predictably, many small minds are still finding fault with a product they know nothing about.

Rover failed for many reasons. A poorly designed and badly produced product was not one of them.

Good luck for their production in China. They care.

2 January 2008

As far as I'm concerned, I'm glad. I've had Longbridge built cars for over twenty years and I wouldn't have kept buying them if they were bad. So to all those easily led, pin-striped ponces from the South East that berate anything built in Britain in favour of some cheap continental tat with a hear today gone tomorrow fashion badge - up yours. These are the type of individuals that believe every utterarance of Rover aimed bile from the likes of Quentin Wilson and Jeremy Clarkson - the latter being the most hideous. He's the one remember, that puts down anything that is made in Longbridge without real research, admits that he doesn't like the brand and was pleased when MG Rover closed, putting over 10,000 people on the dole. And the irony is that in another ten years he'll end up on our screens telling us what wonderful auto-engineers we once had and wonder why our most historic of car plants closed in 2005 - prat.

There was nothing wrong with MG Rover - their cars or the business. Yes, the 25 and 45 (and their MG derivatives) were getting a bit long in the tooth, but there was a replacement already designed and tested remember. All that was needed was to re-tool Longbridge, a process that normally takes around 12 months or so. The business plan and strategy of the company was also spot on. right from the outset of the Phoenix consortium taking control, they busied themselves trying to find a joint venture partnership and came within a whisker of sucess. So why did MG Rover close?

One of the main considerations that has been overlooked is the running of the economy by the government - the same government that approved the Phoenix bid for MG Rover. It is generally thought that the Chancellor did a decent job. But such opinions are only held by people that work in the city. You see, this was the first time that Labour had been incharge of our affairs for over 18 years, and so politically sensetive were they that they should not appear to go back to the old socialist model of subsidies, they would do anything to court the approval of big city institutions such as banking, finance and service. they ignored traditional manufacturing industries north of the M25 belt and as overseas money poured in to London, the value of Sterling rose. It rose to such a level that manufacturers found it near impossible to compete in foreign markets. Look at one of MG Rover's biggest markets on the copntinent - Spain. Rover cars are loved there and are a big favourite with the locals, and yet even here the price of a car manufactured in Britain would cost almost a third more purely because of the value of Sterling.

Domestically, there was also the anti-Rover predominantly London based press that was out of touch with the rest of the country. In Europe, although there are laws to prevent subsidies, some of the continental governments give 'assistance' to their domestic manufacturers (something Gordon Brown spoke about in the 2005 election campaign but as usual, has done nothing about it since). There was the joint venture with SAIC of China. Everything was set up and the Chineese company waited for a response from the DTI over pension liabilities aprratantly. And it waited, and it waited. The DTI couldn't even be bothered to reply. The only time you saw a Government official talking to SAIC was in April 2005 when Gordon Brown tried desperately to stop SAIC pulling out of the deal during an election campaign.

One last word though regarding our govenment. Isn't it strange that almost three years on the enquiry into the collaps of MG Rover hasn't concluded and I wonder if they are afraid of some of the findings. I am further curious as to how it is that over £40bn can be handed out to the Northern Rock with little in the way of financial assurance to the taxpayer regarding re-payment. And yet it wouldn't underwrite the joint venture with SAIC which would have cost far less and provided annual balance of payments benefits of over £2bn.

And just for you lot of anti-Rover biggots out there who believe that the Rover marque is dead, listen out for a press announcement sometime between mid-January to the end of February. Strong rumours comming out of Longbridge points to a licensing deal between them and the new owners of Land Rover who own the Rover brand.

2 January 2008

Well said Mr Burnley Rover!

Though I thought Ford recently bought the rights to Rover?

2 January 2008

They did to protect the Land Rover marque, but it will pass over to the new owners of Land Rover (probably Tata) later this month when the sale is complete.

2 January 2008

This is the best post I've read on her ever!! Totally agree.

Now for some stirring words of national significance.....

And did those feet in ancient time

Walk upon England’s mountains green:

And was the holy Lamb of God

On England’s pleasant pastures seen!

And did the countenance divine

Shine forth upon our clouded hills?

And was Jerusalem builded here,

Among these dark satanic mills?

Bring me my Bow of burning gold:

Bring me my Arrows of desire:

Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!

Bring me my Chariot of fire!

I will not cease from Mental Fight,

Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:

Till we have built Jerusalem,

In England’s green & pleasant Land.


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