A Chinese automaker made it official Wednesday morning by announcing it will build an assembly plant in southern Oklahoma in a plan to revive the MG sports car. KXII first reported the story on Tuesday night at 10pm.
Nanjing Automobile Corporation will build a manufacturing and
parts distribution center in Ardmore and Oklahoma City will be the
site of its headquarters for sales, marketing and distribution
outside Asia. It also marks the Chinese first attempt to enter the US auto market.
The company will also establish a research and development
facility at the University of Oklahoma in Norman.
Nanjing expects to hire about 550 employees and have an annual
payroll of about 30 (m) million dollars in Oklahoma.
The Oklahoma operations are part of a global business strategy
by the newly formed MG Motors. The company also plans to build
cars in Nanjing, China, and at an assembly plant near Birmingham,
Labor Commissioner Brenda Reneau issued the following statement this morning in response to the announcement of a new automobile assembly and manufacturing facility in southern Oklahoma, creating a total of 500 jobs in Ardmore, Oklahoma City and Norman:
"The announcement of 500 new jobs tied to manufacturing and assembly is great news for Oklahoma, and it's validation that our state is laying the basis for continued positive growth in the modern, fiercely competitive global economy.
"Every public employee, and certainly every elected official, should make economic development a non-stop priority. Announcements like this increase Oklahoma's chances for a vibrant future and improves opportunities to keep our best and brightest young people at home after they finish their education.
"It's important to say a good word about what this means for Ardmore, south-central Oklahoma and the entire state economy. Today's announcement is a particularly notable ratification of the wisdom and patience demonstrated over the past decade by Ardmore's economic and civic leadership. During my most recent visit to Ardmore, I was impressed anew by the creativity of community leaders and activists.
"Exciting days are ahead. All of us in state government must do everything in our power to build on the momentum that comes from days such as this."
The following is the news release that accompanied the announcement:
REVIVAL OF MG BRAND ANNOUNCED
AS PART OF NANJING MOTORS GLOBAL INITIATIVE
New global business model encompasses Asia, Europe and
North America, private and public sector investors
July 12, 2006 (Oklahoma City, OK) --- Senior officials of Nanjing Automobile (Group) Corporation (NAC) today announced the revival of the historic MG brand of vehicles, as well as plans to build a new MG product in Oklahoma, with the formation of MG Motors North America, Inc., in ceremonies held today in Oklahoma City.
MG vehicles will not only be built in Nanjing, China, (NAC’s home), but also at the Longbridge assembly plant near Birmingham, England and at a new American assembly plant to be built at the Ardmore Air Park in Ardmore, Oklahoma. Headquarters for MG sales, marketing and distribution (outside of Asia) will be located in Oklahoma City. Research and development will be in Norman at the University of Oklahoma.
Following the successful efforts to sustain such historically significant English automotive brands as Aston Martin by Ford Motor Company, Bentley by the Volkswagen Group, and MINI by BMW, Nanjing Motors has recruited a seasoned American auto executive, Duke T. Hale, to be the new company’s President and Chief Executive Officer responsible for the revival of MG in the U.K. and Europe followed by the re-launch of MG in North America.
“The prospect of using 25 years of executive experience at Volvo, Mazda, Isuzu and Lotus to restore MG to the automotive landscape is an opportunity I just couldn’t turn down,” said Mr. Hale. “Now that we’ve finalized the important financial, manufacturing and product planning details of this new venture, I’m well along in recruiting a team of experienced auto industry executives to join me. A key ingredient in that effort has been to find the right home to build a completely new model for a global automotive enterprise,” said Hale. “I’m confident that Oklahoma fits that description perfectly.”
Joining Mr. Hale at the announcement ceremony were two senior executives from NAC, Mr. Yu Jianwei, President, and Mr.Wang Hong Biao, Vice President.
“Nanjing Motors is fully committed to the restoration of the MG brand to markets around the world. This will be the key component of our Nanjing’s effort to join leading automakers in the manufacture and sale of high quality, high character automobiles,” said Mr. Yu Jianwei, President, NAC. “As we finalize the installation of MG assembly lines in our new Nanjing plant, we are pleased to confirm plans to build the TF roadster once again in Longbridge, U.K. and the new TF Coupe at a completely new facility in Ardmore, Oklahoma, USA. We will have
even more to say about our plans during our press conference next Monday, July 17, at the London Motor Show.”
BREAKTHROUGH GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP BRINGS MORE THAN $2 BILLION IN FINANCIAL BACKING
The creation of the new MG Motors is the result of extensive planning and collaboration among a number of partners who share a common vision of putting modern MG sports cars and sedans back on the road, while extending availability of the historic English brand to new markets around the world.
Joining NAC in this effort are Oklahoma Sovereign Development, LLC; Davis Capital, LLC; the State of Oklahoma; the City of Oklahoma City; and the City of Ardmore. The collective capital investment pledged by these parties exceeds $2 billion, including NAC’s new MG plant in China, re-starting production of the roadster in Longbridge and building an assembly plant and parts distribution center in the southern Oklahoma city of Ardmore.
MODEL LINEUP WILL APPEAL TO CONSUMERS WORLDWIDE
While final details will be made available in the months ahead, MG Motors plans to offer a full range of sports cars and sedans to consumers. The three sedans will be built at Nanjing’s facilities in China, while the MG TF roadster will be built at the factory in Longbridge, U.K. A newly-designed TF Coupe (please see attached product sketch) will be built at the Oklahoma facility in Ardmore.
According to MG Motors officials, approximately 550 jobs will be created in Oklahoma, including headquarters operations, assembly operations, parts and distribution operations and research and development.
The company expects to start construction of the Ardmore assembly facility early in 2007 with production to start by the third quarter of 2008.
MG Motors North America, Inc. (MG Motors), is a joint venture with Nanjing Automobile (Group) Corporation (NAC) and will be solely responsible for the sales, service, parts and distribution of MG vehicles in the U.K., Europe and North America.