MG has ceased production of cars at its Longbridge plant, five years after the brand started producing cars there once more.
Production now takes place in China, ending MG's UK-based finishing production. The move has been under consideration for as long as two years, according to MG's head of sales and marketing, Matthew Cheyne.
Cheyne explained that there were many reasons for the relocation, but the main reason for the decision was MG looking to streamline its production process because its UK plant's production output could not compete with its larger, more modern facilities in China.
"Small volumes aren’t economically viable at a site of Longbridge's size. Elsewhere in the world we have state-of-the-art facilities, so it's more cost-effective to import and build them elsewhere. There was no efficient way to carry on doing it in the UK.," Cheyne explained.
Despite the loss of 25 jobs at the Longbridge plant, the MG facility will still continue to employ more than 300 people, with new recruits having been taken on in other areas of business. MG's development of its model range will continue to be UK-based though, as Cheyne revealed the company's investment in a new £1.2million test-bed for new models. Sales, marketing and aftersales are also here to stay.
The move away from UK production is also partially due to the UK's vote to leave the European Union, according to Cheyne. He explained that since the value of the pound dropped following the Brexit vote, the cost to MG of producing its product range rose, rendering the production operations in the UK no longer cost-effective.