Full-scale car manufacturing resumed today at what is left of the historic Longbridge factory. The first car in production is the two-seater MG TF LE500 sports car - an update of the version sold from 2002 to 2005. The cars will sell for £16,400 ($32,400) and are set to be delivered to customers next month.
The factory had been closed since MG collapsed three years ago, causing the loss of 6,000 jobs. In July 2005, what is now Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) bought MG Rover’s assets for 53 million pounds. The new owners demolished over half of the Longbridge facility, but the factory was of such massive size that it still has the capacity to employ about 1,000 workers.
"We are delighted to have reached this important point and are looking forward to seeing the cars in showrooms shortly," said MG UK corporate communications manager Eleanor De La Haye. "If you look at the pre-orders that we have had through our dealers, about 70 percent are already sold and that tells its own story."