China's Nanjing To Build MG Cars At U.S. Plant

China's Nanjing Automobile Corporation (NAC) unveiled plans July 12 to build its first car production plant in the U.S. in Oklahoma where it will make MG-branded sports cars. NAC, which bought British brand from the bankrupt MG Rover Group last year, said it will start constructing the car plant in early 2007, and roll MG cars off its production line by May of 2008. MG Motors plans to build a newly designed TF Coupe and create 550 jobs on its assembly line, in distribution and research and development

"MG vehicles will not only be built in Nanjing, China, but also at the Longbridge assembly plant near Birmingham, England and at a new American assembly plant to be built at the Ardmore Air Park in Ardmore, Oklahoma," MG Motors North America Inc., said in a statement laying out its global ambitions.

Duke Hale, an American auto executive hired by NAC to be MG Motors North America's president and CEO, said the company was hoping to replicate the sales success of the Mini Cooper, another British nameplate that is now owned by Germany's BMW. "America does have a love ... in their hearts for MG..." he said.

"Relative to small cars. You're going to find that our engines, that are going to come out of ... China are very fuel efficient so I think they're going to be very popular with the public," Hale said, citing rocketing gasoline prices.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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