SAIC to produce self-developed MG 6 sedan in UK image

SAIC Motor Corp plans to start making its self-developed MG 6 sedan, based on acquired technology, in its UK plant at the end of next year, company president Chen Hong said earlier this week at the Guangzhou auto show, where the MG 6 is displayed, Reuters reported.

SAIC Motor Corp, China’s largest automaker which operates joint ventures with General Motors and Volkswagen AG, launched its first self-developed car, the Roewe 750, in March 2007, followed by the Roewe 550. The own-brand Roewe and MG cars were based on technologies acquired from defunct British carmaker MG Rover.

In addition to production of GM and VW cars, SAIC will roll out more own-brand models, including the MG 6, which was unveiled to the press on Sunday at the Guangzhou show. Sales may rise to 500,000 units in the foreseeable future despite the challenge of locally made foreign brands.

SAIC became the owner of MG Rover’s 10,000-unit Longbridge plant in Birmingham, central England after a merger in late 2007 with Nanjing Auto that acquired the UK brand four years ago. The UK facility will serve as a platform for SAIC to tap the European market.

“We want to make the MG 6 in the UK plant at the end of next year”, Chen said without providing a sales target. He also confirmed media reports about SAIC’s interest in taking over British light commercial vehicle maker LDV, Reuters said.

As a major beneficiary of the government incentives for the auto market, SAIC expects to sell over 2.65 million vehicles this year, up sharply from 1.83 million in 2008, Chen said.