Nanjing Automobile is to invest £10m in Longbridge, and it is teaming up with Lotus for the rebirth of MG.
A source told Autocar.co.uk that Nanjing and Lotus have settled on 'an all-encompassing agreement that will make Lotus a part of the revival of MG'. More details are likely tomorrow (Tuesday).
Lotus's involvement is unlikely, however, to alter Nanjing's basic plans, under which Longbridge will be used as an assembly centre for MGF sports cars made in China.
Up to 2000 jobs will be created at Longbridge, on which Nanjing has a 33-year lease, with up to 15,000 MGFs a year being assembled for sale across the UK and Europe. Work at the Longbridge plant will not start until 2008 at the earliest, as Nanjing's Chinese factory (which will supply the cars in kit form) has not yet been built. The cars are expected to go on sale in 2009.
Nanjing Automobile boss Yu Jianwei said: "Car enthusiasts all over the world can be reassured that MG is safe in our hands," he said.
Nanjing last week announced plans to build a new plant in Oklahoma, USA.