|by Gray Marks of the Birmingham, U.K. Mail|
THIS is the stunning new frontage of the Chinese factory which will soon be making MG cars once produced in Longbridge.
The giant MG logo is being built outside Nanjing Automobile’s new factory in the Pukou area of Nanjing.
But while the factory is new, a lot of its equipment is from Birmingham.
Like a modern-day version of the reconstruction of London Bridge in America, thousands of containers of equipment were brought from the silent plant at Longbridge to Nanjing.
Machinery bearing the names of Midland companies like Alfred Herbert from Coventry and Henry Filters from Wolverhampton, were brought over during the last two years as 5,000 containers were delivered to the factory, which will open shortly and recommence production of MG cars.
Almost two years on from the collapse of MG Rover, Longbridge’s machines will soon be active again – on the other side of the world.
Paul Stowe, Quality Director of Nanjing Automobile Corporation, said: “There’s a great story that even the toilets were taken from Longbridge and set up here, but I haven’t seen any here yet.”
Paul, who once worked at the former MG Rover plant in Birmingham, admitted to often feeling emotional.
“I would be lying if I said I never shed a tear when I walked around here. It was quite strange to find it was a Chinese company that was prepared to make the investment in MG, which is the most British of companies.
“But I am extremely happy someone has rescued the brand and its name. Without the Chinese it would probably have disappeared forever.
“They could have been accused of stealing the brand, but they have invested in its heritage and understanding it.”
The whole construction has been an impressive feat. The first foundation stones were laid in March 2006, and from a greenfield site an 800,000 sq mtr factory has been established.
The plant will eventually employ 4,500 people and produce up to 200,000 cars per year. Throughout the factory, posters and banners abound, proclaiming the company’s objectives.
One simply says: “MG: iconic British car worth waiting. (excerpt from the club magazine, the Octagon)
by Gray Marks of the Birmingham, U.K. Mail