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MG vehicles


MG 14/28   (1924)

Cecil Kimber (1888 to 1945) of Morris Garages built his first cars based on the Morris Cowley "Bullnose" in 1923 and later in 1928 built the M-Type Midget.

By 1929 the Oxford factory was too small and a move was made to Abingdon.


MG F-Type   (1932)

In the 1930's MG had many sporting successes in races such as the Brooklands 500, Tourist Trophy and Grand Prix.

The Midget series was developed and by 1936 had a 1.3 litre engine. The 1250cc engine was introduced in the TB just prior to the Second World War and after the war was used in the TC, the first of many very successful models in the immediate post war period.


MG Magnette ZA  (1953)

The MG TC was the first British car to be announced in 1945 and was followed by the TD in 1950. The series finished with the TF (1953 to 1955).

MG was absorbed into the British Motor Corporation, created in 1952 as a merger of the Nuffield Organisation and the Austin Motor Company. Long-time service manager John Thornley took over as General Manager, guiding the company through its best years until his retirement in 1969. Under BMC, several MG models were no more than badge-engineered versions of other marques, with the main exception being the small MG sports cars. BMC merged with Jaguar Cars in 1966 to form British Motor Holdings, which in turn merged with the Leyland Motor Corporation in 1968 to form the British Leyland Motor Corporation (BLMC).

The Magnette name, first used in 1932, was used for the saloons of 1953. The MG ZA Magnette became the ZB in 1956 with some improvements.

MG TF  concept (1954)

The Austin B-Series engine was used in an experimental Le Mans car in 1955 and formed the basis of the MGA in September of that year.


MG MGB  concept (1972)

Following partial nationalisation in 1975 BLMC became British Leyland (later just BL). Amidst a mix of economic, internal and external politics, the Abingdon factory was shut down as part of the ruthless programme of cutbacks necessary to turn BL around after the turbulent times of the 1970s. Though many plants were closed, none created such an uproar among workers, dealers, clubs and customers as this closing did. Years later, Sir Michael Edwardes expressed regret about his decision. Later forms of MGs built by BL's Austin Rover Group were often badge-engineered Austins, and were made at the Longbridge plant. As of 2003, the site of the former Abingdon factory was host to McDonald's and the Thames Valley Police with only the former office block still standing. The headquarters of the MG Car Club (established 1930) is situated next door.


MG EX-E  concept (1985)

The marque lived on after 1980 under BL, being used on a number of Austin saloons including the Metro, Maestro, and Montego. In New Zealand, the MG badge even appeared on the late 1980s Montego estate, called the MG 2.0 Si Wagon. There was a brief competitive history with a mid-engined, six-cylinder version of the Metro. The MG Metro finished production in 1990 on the launch of a Rover-only model. The MG Maestro and MG Montego remained on sale until 1991, when production of these models was pruned back in order for Rover to concentrate on the more viable 200 Series and 400 Series.

After BL became the Rover Group in 1986, ownership of the MG marque passed to British Aerospace in 1988 and then in 1994 to BMW.


MG MG RV 8  concept (1992)

The Rover Group revived the two-seater with the MG RV8 in 1992. The all-new MGF went on sale in 1995, becoming the first mass-produced "real" MG sports car since the MGB ceased production in 1980.


MG ZT  concept (2001)

BMW sold the business in 2000 and the MG marque passed to the MG Rover Group based in Longbridge, Birmingham. The practice of selling unique MG sports cars alongside badge-engineered models (by now Rovers) continued. The Group went into receivership in 2005 and car production was suspended on 7 April 2005.

Following the May 2000 purchase of the MG and Rover brands by the Phoenix Consortium and the forming of the new MG Rover Group, the MG range was expanded in the summer of 2001 with the introduction of three Rover-based sports models. The MG ZR was based on the Rover 25, the MG ZS on the Rover 45, and the MG ZT/ZT-T on the Rover 75.

The MG Rover Group purchased Qvale, which had taken over development of the De Tomaso Bigua. This car, renamed the Qvale Mangusta and already approved for sale in the United States, formed the basis of the MG XPower SV, an "extreme" V8-engined sports car. It was revealed in 2002 and went on sale in 2004.

MG EX 257  concept (2001)

In 2006, it was reported that an initiative called Project Kimber, led by David James, had entered talks with Nanjing to buy the MG brand in order to produce a range of sports cars based on the discontinued Smart Roadster design by DaimlerChrysler. No agreement was reached, which resulted in the AC Cars marque being adopted for the new model instead. As of 2009, the project appears to be dormant.

On 22 July 2005, the Nanjing Automobile Group purchased the rights to the MG brand and the assets of the MG Rover Group for £53 million creating a new company NAC MG UK Limited. Its new Chinese owners, stated that the brand would stand for something new in China, as MG general manager Zhang Xin said: "We want Chinese consumers to know this brand as 'Modern Gentleman'. To see that this brand represents grace and style." In Europe it still stands for "Morris Garages".

Nanjing restarted production of the MG TF and ZT ranges in early 2007. The TF and the ZT (renamed the MG 7) are assembled in Pukou, Jiangsu Province in China. The MG 3, a rebadged Rover Streetwise, also entered production at Pukou.

MG F XPower 500 concept (2001)

On 11 July 2006 Nanjing announced the development of a TF sports coupé. A new plant was to be built in Ardmore, Oklahoma to build the car, accounting for roughly 60% of TF output worldwide. A new development centre would also be opened in the United States, located at the University of Oklahoma. According to Nanjing, MGs were to go on sale in the United States in the early summer of 2008. However, in an interview in August, 2008, NAC MG UK's Sales and Marketing Director, Gary Hagen stated that the Oklahoma deal had fallen through. He also said that there would be no immediate return to the US market as they would first be concentrating on the UK and Ireland followed by the rest of Europe.

In 2007, NAC entered talks about a merger with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, supported by the Chinese government. The takeover was completed on 26 December 2007. SAIC manufactures the Roewe 750, which, like the MG 7, is derived from the Rover 75/MG ZT.

The MG range was relaunched in the United Kingdom during 2008, with an updated limited edition of the TF built at Longbridge by NAC MG UK, called the TF LE500. Production of the TF at Longbridge was suspended again in October 2009.

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