MG has announced that production of the TF LE500 sportscar will commence at their Longbridge plant in Birmingham at the beginning of August, with the first cars delivered to showrooms in September.
Chairman for NAC MG UK Ltd, Mr He, Xiao Qing, said; “I am delighted to be in a position to talk about a launch date for the TF LE500 following a process of planning, re-organisation, active quality improvements and parts optimisation that we recognise resulted in frustration for our stakeholders. We are now fully focussed on bringing our hard work to fruition.”
The new car is expected to appeal to a wide range of car buyers looking for the authentic sportscar driving experience, as well as existing small sportscar owners looking to upgrade, current owners and the large band of MG enthusiasts.
Gary Hagen, Director of Sales & Marketing continued, “The open top sportscar is an iconic image of British motoring and forms the basis of the MG marque’s long pedigree. The launch of the TF LE500 signals our determination to keep this class of car at the heart of the brand as we take it forward.”
With the launch of the new TF LE500, the company knows that it is also re-launching one of the best known and best loved brands in the world. Whilst production efforts at Longbridge are focussed on the LE500, designers at their SMTC facility in Leamington, Warwickshire are already planning exciting newMG models that will capture the essential qualities of the MG brand and extend the range into additional sectors.
The commitment planned by MG and the level of investment underwritten by SAIC will persuade doubters that the MG brand is being re-launched with the support to make it successful again. The fact is that in 2008, desirable and competitive British made sportscars will once again be rolling off a production line in Longbridge. A sight that many thought they might never see again.
For the past 2 years I have been driving my yellow 1977 MGB to a Salvation Army picnic for children in Green Bay, Wisconsin. As a clown I create 200-300 balloon animals for the children during this event and here is a picture of me with the clown suit in the B.
Another picture here is my grandson, Cameron Smits, who seemed to blend in with my 1977 yellow MGB as he was wearing his Packer sweatshirt.
Another picture is my 1977 MGB sitting in my driveway.
The story of my 1977 MGB begins in July 2006 when a friend of my wife (Bonnie) let her know she wanted to sell her MGB of 20 years. She had 55,000 original miles, new tires, new top, wire wheels, and during those 20 years of ownership this MGB had been restored, repainted, and rewired. Being in Wisconsin, she only drove it occasionally in summer. The next weekend my wife and I drove to her home (about 40 miles) for a test drive. She had informed us that while she would not be home that weekend, her home would be unlocked, the keys would be in the MGB, and if we liked the car we could just “drive it home and we’d meet next week to trade the title for a check”. So after a short test drive this 1977 MGB was on the way to my home with my wife following in our van. That was a Saturday in July 2006. The next Monday we met and exchanged my check for her title. She is glad her MGB has found a “good home” and my wife and I, along with our grandchildren, are the happy owners of this MGB. We’ve even taken our MGB camping in October in Door County – Wisconsin to visit Fall Festivals and see the Fall colors with the top down!
Note: This is an article appearing in the American MGB Association club magazine, the Octagon which is received with club membership.