US MG boss wants "300 exclusive dealers"
14 September 2006

New US MG boss Duke Hale is clearly confident in his compatriots' love of 15-year-old old British sports cars, with an optimistic plan for the firm's relaunch in America.

"We need to be looking at a dealer body that's about 300, up to 350 dealers," said Hale, in an interview with Reuters.

MG, owned by Chinese group Nanjing Automobile, aims to start selling a revised version of the TF roadster in America from June 2008, and Hale wants to follow Mini's lead, with exclusive showrooms that will be as much about building a brand as selling a car. MG also plans to open around 90 dealers across the UK.

The first new MG TF roadsters will be assembled at the UK's Longbridge plant and shipped to the US, while new TF coupes will be assembled in Oklahoma from kits made in China. MG says that the first cars will start rolling of the line next year, but this seems optimistic – the Longbridge line is far from ready.

Hale said that he expected MG to be selling around 100,000 cars a year by 2010, when the new line-up of TFs and an as-yet-undisclosed saloon would be on stream.

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