MG to launch two new cars at Longbridge

MG is lining up two new cars at Longbridge to follow the debut of its first all-new car for 15 years in the UK.

An MG is assembled at Longbridge
An MG is assembled at Longbridge

MG is lining up two new cars at Longbridge to follow the debut of its first all-new car for 15 years in the UK.

The Chinese-owned firm will launch its long-awaited MG6 family hatchback in the spring - and has now approved the launch of a sports saloon to follow in the autumn.

Then, in early 2012, a smaller city car, the MG3, is expected to make its debut in the UK.

The arrival of the new MG6 sports saloon model could take annual production at Longbridge into the thousands rather hundreds.

Sales and marketing director Guy Jones said the development of the sports saloon had been accelerated to follow within six months of the MG6.

"The sports saloon will be a big development for us," he said. "We feel that it's a nice-looking car, with a high level of equipment. It's not a direct competitor to the likes of BMW and Audi - it's not in the same price bracket as those vehicles."

Mr Jones said the design of the sports saloon had been shown to MG dealers and potential customers and the reaction had been very positive.

Pricing is still to be confirmed but it is likely that the sports version of the MG6 will be priced from £18,000 to £22,000.

The saloon will feature the same powertrain as the hatchback but a different, more racy-looking body shell. Styling features are likely to include wider air intakes at the front, larger alloy wheels, and a bigger spoiler at the back.

MG intends to start producing the sports model from the early summer with a view to an autumn launch.

The smaller MG3 made its debut in China earlier this month (DEC) but is not expected to arrive in the UK during 2011.

Meanwhile, production of the MG6 hatchback has already started at Longbridge with first customer deliveries expected around April. Some 400 staff are currently employed at the West Midlands plant.

Production of the soft-top TF - the first car produced by MG under new Chinese ownership - will now be wound down, while the firm concentrates on the MG6.

Since unveiling the MG6 earlier this year MG has built up a database of 10,000 people interested in the rebirth of car making at Longbridge.

It has already signed up nearly 40 UK dealers and is negotiating with a further two dozen potential dealers.