MG has formally opened its new design centre at Longbridge, Birmingham.
The centre, which will house up to 25 staff, will contribute to styling for future MG and Roewe models, and is based within in the SAIC Motor European Engineering Technical Centre, which employs around 280 people.
Many of the employees are long-time Longbridge workers; the average automotive experience of the current workers at the centre is more than 20 years.
SAIC's total investment in the technical centre is now close to £5 million, with £3m having been spent on the technical and design centre, and a further £1.7m being spent on an engine test facility that will open later this year.
Current projects in the powertrain department include work on the existing 1.8-litre petrol engine, a new, sub 1.9 litre diesel, a new large petrol engine over 2.0-litres, new manual and automatic gearboxes and R&D into a new electric hybrid powertrain.
The technical department also has responsibility for all platform development, which currently includes spin-offs from the Rover 75 and the LE 500 sportscar platforms, plus large, medium and small car platforms. The latter is the newest, with the MG Zero concept being based on it.