MG Reborn in China

The entrance to the Nanjing plant.

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.

The new MG assembly line in Nanjing.

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

The entrance to the Nanjing plant.

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.

The new MG assembly line in Nanjing.

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

Editor's Desk – March 2006 Octagon

Lyle and Claire's BWelcome to the new members that have joined since the last issue.

We would like to thank Joseph Sunde for his entertaining article, David Johnston for his car show report, Maureen Samuelson, Karl Kaminski and all of the other contributors to this issue of the Octagon. Also thanks to Art Isaacs for his continued work in answering members’ technical questions and answers.Be sure to send in photos and stories so we can include them in future issues of the Octagon.

We have a new and improved club message board. You can access through the club website at www.mgclub.org or directly at board.amgba.com. We have a members only section of the message board. You can use the user id and password on page 3 of each Octagon or you can get a personal id and password. To do so, register and then logon to the message board and send a message to us with a reply in this section or via email. This allows you to access the MEMBER ONLY QUESTION & ANSWER and UPKEEP & PERFORMANCE HINTS area.ÿ It also allows you to post items in the FOR SALE and WANTED sections as well as post photos in the MEMBER PHOTOS area.

The club also now has a blog located at blog.amgba.com. Members can publish items or comments to the Blog by logging in as a member.

We have a new American MGB Association photo gallery located at photos.amgba.com. The same login is used for the gallery as the Message Board. Members can download photos directly to this gallery.

Members now receive monthly publications. The Octagon is published in February, April, June, August, October and December and the eOctagon is published in January, March, May, July, September and November.

We now offer a 3 year membership or renewal rate which includes a free t-shirt. The rate is $95 or $125 for members outside the USA. So save some money and get a free t-shirt in the process!

Send us your email address so that we can send you the eOctagon. The eOctagon is sent via bulk email so if you are blocking this type of email you will not get it.

Remember the AMGBA “pays” for stories and info you send in the form of a credit toward regalia or renewal. We appreciate the increased number of color photographs that have been sent in recently for the color pages of the OCTAGON!

Send in your list of spare parts that you have for sale as we send out all lists we have received during the year to members that request lists of spare parts available. These lists are also now appear on our web page in the “members only” section!

We have improved our web site and it now includes on-line ordering of club regalia. You can also print out renewal forms. Our web site is simply www.mgclub.org or www.amgbal.com .

You need an ID and password to access the “members only” section of our web site at www.mgclub.org. You will find the ID and password on page 3 of the OCTAGON. These change with each issue so be sure to use only the ones listed in the latest issue.

Think spring!
Frank Ochal

Chinese start MG's relaunch

The former MG Rover Longbridge plant built these two MG TFs recently.

Nanjing’s Automobile Group Co.’s plans to relaunch the MG brand gained speed this week when the first two preproduction MG TF roadsters were built at the former MG Rover Longbridge plant in Birmingham, England.

MG plans to build about 80 preproduction TFs to validate manufacturing and assembly operations and to ensure that the cars meet safety and emissions standards.

The TF’s 1.8-liter, 135-hp engine and five-speed transmission are manufactured in China and shipped to England. The body is made at the Longbridge plant, where painting and final assembly takes place.

MG spokesman Kim Custer says plans to launch the TF roadster and hardtop in the United States are on track for next year. Some assembly will be done in England, but final assembly will be in a small plant in Ardmore, Okla.

by Richard Truett, Automotive News

The Nanjing MG!

MG Project by Nanjing Automobile

Nanjing MG LogoIt is a significant step taken by Nanjing Automobile Corporation (NAC) in its global strategy to acquire the assets of MG Rover and Powertrain Ltd. After its successful acquisition of MG Assets, NAC is now undertaking the overall planning of MG project, of which, some part is already underwayNanjing MGs for implementation. NAC has now decided to establish production bases of MG project at Longbridge U.K., Nanjing China, and Ardmore Oklahoma USA. On one hand, the production of some products with rather high cost if produced in the U. K., such as engine, transmission and medium and low end vehicle products, will be transferred to China, where a mature supply chain with low cost will be set up step by step. On the other hand, with part of production facility retained in the UK, the original Longbridge site will be integrated to resume the production of MG TF sport car and part of high end products (including ZT and ZT-T). Meanwhile, by making full use of the prominent R & D capability and human resources in the UK as well as that MG Nanjing China Factory Groundbreakingof China, the Euro IV engines and a new generation of vehicles will be developed and then produced in both China and the UK in the near future.

Then, the sales network of China established by NAC and the global sales network of the former MG Rover can be used to meet the demand of various markets in China, Britain, Europe and North America.

In the current plan, the production will be resumed in the Longbridge plant in 2007, when MG TF, MG ZT and MG ZT-T will appear on the market again through sales networks in the UK and Europe. The products to be re-launched into the market will preserve the original British style, reliable and stable quality and robust power, and be sold with MG brands. Meanwhile, some other products like MG ZS and MG ZR will be produced by the company in China and then supplied to the market of China and that of the UK and Europe as well.

MG Production Plan

In 2007. Naning Automobile plans to build 13,000 cars based on the Rover 75 / MG ZT lower-premium sedan. It also plans 7,000 MG TF convertible sports cars.

Nanjing’s Rover 75-based cars will be mostly sedans that will be called the MG 7. Nanjing will also build some station wagons called the MG 7T. It intends to build the MG 7 in both China and at the former MG Rover factory in Longbridge, England. By 2011, Nanjing hopes to assemble 85,000 MG 7 a year and 25,000 MG TF. Nanjing will source as many parts as possible in China for both models to keep costs down.

The Future of the Longbridge Plant

The Longbridge CenterThe MG Rover plant at Longbridge was for many years one of the most important factories in Europe and was the largest British owned car manufacturing plant until the bankruptcy of the MG Rover Group. After the factory of Abingdon closed in 1980, Longbridge was also from 1982 the home of MG. Longbridge employed 16,000 ten years ago, down to 6,000 when the company collapsed into administration in April 2005.

Shortly after Nanjing Automobile bought the company it revealed plans to employ 1,200 workers and ultimately build 100,000 cars in 2006, but apparently just 600 jobs are now likely to be created and 15,000 cars assembled at the beginning, which represents a tenth part of those originally planned. The factory is now planned to reopen in 2007. There are plans for three new model range to go on sale in late 2008, with MG and possibly also Austin badges.

MG Motors North America: Ardmore Plant

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. Headquarters for MG sales, marketing and distribution (outside of Asia) will be located in Oklahoma City. Research and development will be in Norman at the University of Oklahoma. The company expects to start construction of the Ardmore assembly facility 2007 with production to start by the third quarter of 2008.

27th Annual San Diego British Car Day

The 27th Annual San Diego British Car Day took place at the Bonsall Farms on October 1, 2006. The featured marque was the DeLorean which had 16 cars at the show. There were, of course, hundreds of MGs of all types. The best of show was a Rolls Royce Phantom IV limo that had beautiful picnic side boards attached to the front wings.Lyle & Clair Abel's Award Winner
Lyle and Claire Abel took 1st place in the rubber bumper MGB roadster category again this year. The picnics were all enjoyed, the food and souvenir vendors did a great business.

David Johnston

Editor's Desk – December 2006 Octagon

Welcome to the new members that have joined since the last issue. We would like to thank all the contributors to this issue of the Octagon. Be sure to send in photos and stories so we can include them in future issues of the Octagon.The 29th Annual AMGBA Meet for 2006 was held in conjunction with the 27th Annual MGs on the Rocks in Rocks State Park in Maryland on September 30, 2006. The report appears in this issue of the Octagon (and on this Blog).

The club has a new and much improved message board. This is something that many of our members have wanted for a long time. Be sure to check it out. You can access it through the club website at http://www.mgclub.org/ or directly at board.amgba.com. We have a members only section of the message board. Members can request club membership to the Message Board by making the request in the form of a reply on the message board or by email to us.ÿ This allows you to access the MEMBER ONLY QUESTION & ANSWER and UPKEEP & PERFORMANCE HINTS area.ÿ It also allows you to post items in the FOR SALE and WANTED sections as well as post photos in the MEMBER PHOTOS area. You must first register for this Message Board site.ÿ Be sure to include your membership name along with your membership number if known.

The club also now has a Blog located at blog.amgba.com. Members can publish items to the Blog by making the request in the form of a comment on the Blog or by email.
The new American MGB Association photo gallery is located at photos.amgba.com. The same login is used for the gallery as the Message Board.

Members now receive monthly publications. The Octagon is published in February, April, June, August, October and December and the eOctagon is published in January, March, May, July, September and November.

We now offer a 3 year membership or renewal rate which includes a free t-shirt. The rate is $95 or $125 for members outside the USA. So save some money and get a free t-shirt in the process!

Send us your email address so that we can send you the eOctagon. The eOctagon is sent via bulk email so if you are blocking this type of email you will not get it.

Remember the AMGBA “pays” for stories and info you send in the form of a credit toward regalia or renewal. We appreciate the increased number of color photographs that have been sent in since we changed to color printing of the OCTAGON!

Send in your list of spare parts that you have for sale as we send out all lists we have received during the year to members that request lists of spare parts available. These lists are also now appear on our web page in the “members only” section!

We have improved our web site and it now includes on-line ordering of club regalia. You can also print out renewal forms. You need an ID and password to access the “members only” section of our web site at http://www.mgclub.org/. You will find the ID and password on page 3 of the OCTAGON. These change with each issue so be sure to use only the ones listed in the latest issue.

Have a great holiday season!
Frank 🙂

AMGBA Meet 2006 Report & Photos

American MGB Association officers: Margie Springer, Bruce Magers and Frank Ochal The American MGB Association held its 28th annual Meet on September 30, 2006 at Rocks State Park just north of Baltimore, Maryland.

The event was held in conjunction with the 27th annual MGs on the Rocks. Cars started arriving very early despite threatening skies and a light drizzle. By later that morning the entire park area was filled. MGs represented the majority of the show cars but other marques such as Triumph, Jaguar and Riley also were in appearance.

The site of the event was scenic in a hilly, wooded area. Despite the continuous rain, participants enjoyed the food and the numerous vendors that were present The show included a special area for cars that had won in previous shows and cars the were for sale. A deejay provided lively music which added to the festivities.

There were rows and rows of MGs from early Bs through Limited Editions including Midgets. President Frank Ochal, Secretary Margie Springer and myself handled the AMGBA awards presentation.

It was great to meet many of our long time members in the mid-Atlantic area. I also had a chance to talk with Tom Bridges whom I first met in 1979 at the Ithaca AMGBA Meet.
Frank Ochal, Margie Springer and myself were kept busy all day signing up new members and providing other member services at the AMGBA table.

The AMGBA wishes to thank Richard Liddick and the MGs of Baltimore for hosting the event. Winners of the American MGB Association popular vote were as follows:

RUBBER BUMPER MGBs
1. ’75, red – Harry & Fay Walmer
2. ’79, black – Fritz & Adele Warner
3. ’77, yellow – K. Speakman

CHROME BUMPER MGBs
1. ’72, red – Jeff & Bert Shank
2. ’62, red – Brooks Amiot
3. ’72, dark blue – Dale Giatfelter

MGB – GTs
1. ’71, green – Lem Burnett
2. ’71, yellow – Bob Courtot
3. ’67, yellow – Elizabeth Edelen

MG MIDGET
1. ’79, red – Karl Kaminski
2. ’72, green – Lisa Aleen
3. ’74, orange – Krist Liebel

For information on next year’s event or on the American MGB Association, please contact the AMGBA , P. O. Box 11401, Chicago, IL 60611; phone: (773) 878-5055; email: meet@mgclub.org; web site: www.mgclub.org.

Bruce Magers

1st place rubber-bumpered B at AMGBA Meet 2006 1st place Midget at AMGBA Meet 2006 1st place B-GT of Lem Burnett at AMGBA Meet 2006 1st place chrome-bumpered B roadster of Jeff & Bert Shank

American MGB Association Meet 2006

29th Annual AMGBA MEET 2006 at Rocks State Park, Maryland for all MGs on September 30, 2006, in conjunction with the 27th Annual MGs on the Rocks sponsored by the MGs of Baltimore Contact: the American MGB Association at 773-878-5055 or AMGBA, P. O. Box 11401, Chicago, IL 60611; FAX: (773) 769-3240, email: meet@mgclub.org , www.mgclub.org or in Maryland, Mike Lutz at 410-592-8610, www.mgsofbaltimore.com, mgtlutz@verizon.net. If you are planning to attend contact the above to be placed on a mailing list for any last minute details. The American MGB Association (AMGBA) was established in 1975 and has provided continuous services to owners of MGBs, MGB-GTs and Midgets throughout North America since then. National conventions have been held annually since 1978 from New York to California and Texas to Canada. Membership in the AMGBA is not required to attend the convention but it is encouraged.

AMGBA is the best MGB club!

The American MGB Association is North America’s oldest, largest and best club for all MGBs, MGB-GTs and Midgets. A nonprofit organization which was founded in 1975 and offers color magazines, emagazines, technical advice, member recommendations on service, body and parts sources, registration of your MG, a tradition of service and FREE member classified ads that appear in the Octagon magazine AND on the AMGBA web site on the Internet. The website is http://www.mgclub.org

for MGB, MGB-GT and MG Midget owners