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China approves MG Rover deal

2006-03-21 09:03

The MG ZT 190

Nanjing chairman Wang Haoliang was cited by Xinhua as saying the Chinese car maker planned to roll out its first locally made MG ZT sedan in the first half of 2007 based on the acquired technology.

Nanjing surprised the motoring world when the company paid £53-million to buy MG-Rover out of bankruptcy last July, outbidding top Chinese carmaker Shanghai Automotive Corp. (SAIC).

The British car maker collapsed under debts of £1.4-billion last April, leading to 5 000 job losses at its main plant.

Last month Nanjing took a 33-year lease on the former MG-Rover plant at Longbridge in central England and reiterated it still hoped to revive production at the site.

Nanjing is one of several Chinese car makers, including Geely Automobile Holdings and Chery Automotive, hoping to follow Japan's Toyota and South Korea's Hyundai in becoming truly global brands.

A slowdown in growth in the domestic car market, coupled with intense competition, is pushing more Chinese motor manufacturers towards overseas markets.

But analysts say Chinese car makers face problems ranging from quality issues to a lack of design expertise and capital.

Inside Wheels24

Opel Astra 1.4T Enjoy auto – understated and smart new hatch

When it comes to the mid-size hatchback choice, there are a few default choices, a few bland ones… and some often overlooked cars. The Opel Astra hatch is an example of the latter, writes David Swanepoel. - Sponsored

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