Currently reading: Roewe 550 revealed
Official pictures of Chinese-made saloon based on the Rover 75
Autocar
News
1 min read
18 April 2008

This is the new Roewe 550, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation’s successor to the Rover 45. Designed and engineered in Britain, the 550 is due to be unveiled on Sunday at the Beijing motor show.Based on a cut-down but updated Rover 75 platform, the car that has become the Roewe 550 was in development before MG Rover collapsed in 2005.UK consultancy Ricardo has been closely involved with finishing the car, and has been helping SAIC to tune it to European tastes. SAIC is looking at bringing the car to Europe, but has yet to confirm such a move.The 550 is certainly one of the more appealing Chinese exports, with a crisp, contemporary exterior design and a clean, neat interior. The all-digital dash looks a little fussy and some of the trim, especially the wood, seems to be made of shiny plastics, but the 550 looks set to prove that the Chinese can produce more modern, less derivative cars.The engines aren’t too modern, though; they’re updated versions of the 1.8 and 1.6-litre Rover K-Series four-cylinder units. There will be a 2.0-litre diesel as well. The car’s crash-worthiness should not in question: the 75 chassis was impressively strong.There is a chance that this car could also be sold as an MG, because SAIC now owns Nanjing Automotive, the Chinese company that bought the MG name. SAIC could easily badge the Roewe 550 as an MG for European sales, which would get round the fact that the Roewe name has totally unknown outside of China.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Find an Autocar review

Join the debate

Comments
11
Add a comment…
230SL 21 April 2008

Re: Roewe 550 revealed

As a poor european I am greatful for the cheap imports from this communist country which have increased my standard of living.

Corrupt communist country, no freedom of speech, no competition, poor quality, whose to say they weld them properly for euroncap and after a year half the welds?

What have they got to lose? Reputation? It ain't exactly great to start with, man with shopping bag Tianamen Square anyone? How quick we forget, so we can have our cheap Ipods, oh your Ipod was n't cheap? No, but it made Steve Jobs a whole lot richer, it being made in China.

Labour rates are not that important in manufacture if you invest in productivity, a whole lot more is spent on advertising, PR and marketing.

What has this got to do with cars? What use are cars if you are in a workhouse because you said you wanted to vote?

JJBoxster 19 April 2008

Re: Roewe 550 revealed

Very good job inside and out. Looks both modern and a good quality product, I don't know what some posters are whinging about! Is it the old 'self-harming' attitude for anything remotely British?

If this is going to be as cheap to buy as I think, it should mop up quite a lot of sales below the established volume manufacturers. Which puts the boys stuck in the middle below the luxury brands in a crushing vice I can't see them getting out of.

VW, Ford, Vauxhall, Mazda, Honda, Peugeot et al are faced with a scizo market where the only things that sell are highest quality (Versace, Gucci etc) or the lowest price (fake Versace or Gucci). Anyone in the middle market (M&S, Next, Burtons etc) gets left high and dry.

I fear for their futures when the flood of ultra cheap Chinese and Indian automobiles come into Europe over the next 5 to 10 years and hoover up much of the volume in the market. Ford getting rid of Jag & LR looks even more stupid by the minute!

superstevie 19 April 2008

Re: Roewe 550 revealed

Anyone else think the front has a hint of the passat at the front?

Find an Autocar car review