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  Chicagoland MG Club:Driveline
Austin Name Could Return

MG Streetwise The iconic Austin name could be resurrected by Nanjing Automobile Corporation, the Chinese company set to start building MG sports cars at Longbridge later this year. Paul Stowe, Nanjing quality director, said Austin was a fantastic brand with enormous worldwide appeal, adding: “Austin has a very different heritage to MG, and this allows us to develop and market a very different range of vehicles. “For this reason I can definitely see the re-emergence of Austin in less than five years.”
Nanjing, which bought MG Rover for £53 million in the summer of 2005 after the British car giant collapsed throwing 6,000 people out of work, is set to start making MG TF roadsters on part of the massive Longbridge site this year. Mr Stowe hinted at the re-emergence of Austin and said there was great enthusiasm in the MG project.
He said: “We are very much concentrating on MG, and are in the middle of a very intensive quality review process for the TF and are very pleased with the results so far, but have a couple of more months to pursue that before we are given the final OK for production to commence later in the year. It will probably be late spring or early summer this year. “Because the TF is a convertible sports car and seasonally sensitive, we expect maximum production of as many as 3,000, but maybe a little bit less. We need the demand to be sales driven, and we are starting with a conservative footprint.”
Mr Stowe also revealed the level of enthusiasm and commitment at the MG headquarters in Nanjing, China - not only to the project but also to the brand. “If I told you that off every wall hangs pictures of new and old MGs, the entire workforce wears MG shirts, and suits; MG merchandise purchased off ebay clutters almost everyone’s desks - from old model cars and pin badges through to classic car magazines and brochures; Engineers talk about MG DNA, the sales and marketing staff talk about British heritage and British icons, and that the Cecil Kimber picture is as well known as The Queen’s - then it may just give you some idea of how the Chinese have taken MG to their hearts,” he said.

By Business Editor Jim Walsh,
Express and Star Newspaper, Feb 22, 07

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