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New MG sports cars to be built in Oklahoma
July 12, 2006 7:25 AM   Subscribe

Is this the best way to revive the legendary British marque?
posted by punkfloyd (39 comments total)

 
Yes. Yes it is.
posted by daveleck at 7:33 AM on July 12, 2006


Two words: BOO-YA!
posted by indiebass at 7:35 AM on July 12, 2006


This isn't exactly a new concept. Norton, another legendary British marque, is now an American owned and built motorcycle.
posted by NoMich at 7:37 AM on July 12, 2006


Well, sure. You build your plants and construct your goods in countries with weak economies where you can get cheap labor. That's globalization.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:39 AM on July 12, 2006 [1 favorite]


Since the recent closing of the GM Tahoe plant in OKC cost us about 3000 jobs this is bloody_good_news!

Cheers!
posted by HyperBlue at 7:39 AM on July 12, 2006


Also Jaguar is owned by Ford and Bentley by BMW... say what you want about non-British workmanship, but they tend to get the electrics right when they build cars :-)
posted by clevershark at 7:41 AM on July 12, 2006


And thus does the People's Republic of China make the running dog capitalists chase their own tails to see who can offer the biggest tax cuts, incentives, and exemptions. The US government sells out its workers at a lower price than the UK? How is this news?
posted by three blind mice at 7:41 AM on July 12, 2006


British! There are no British car manufacturers any more. Aside from a few very tiny manufacturers they are all owned by foreign corporations.
posted by bap98189 at 7:46 AM on July 12, 2006


MG Rover's new owner, Nanjing Automobile

Does it matter where this Chinese company builds its "British" cars?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:52 AM on July 12, 2006


They should be fine, as long as they stay way from Lucas electrics.
posted by SteveInMaine at 7:59 AM on July 12, 2006


Sounds like an OK plan to me, just as long as they screw them together right.

I've always been a big proponent of more sportscars.

Like my dad said, "The real problem is garage space."

(OH, and it's VW that owns Bentley, BMW owns Rolls Royce)
posted by Relay at 8:15 AM on July 12, 2006


"Lucas electrics"

*shudder*
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:20 AM on July 12, 2006


Does it matter where this Chinese company builds its "British" cars?

Well, once upon a time, China was British. Parts of it even remained that way until recently.

I'm still not sure what to think, but after looking at the mg-rover site, I got all excited when I saw that octagonal logo.
posted by Gamblor at 8:21 AM on July 12, 2006


I cannot believe this! I am so going to buy an MG ZR now if they're made in the states. Too bad I didn't have a driving license in England, as I really badly wanted to get a Rover 75. Too bad for Longbridge though, despite there still being many small auto makers in Solihull.
posted by parmanparman at 8:23 AM on July 12, 2006


Why are they moving to the US? Don't manufacturers usually move their factories to third world countries....Oh, Oklahoma. Ok, that makes sense.
posted by Gamblor at 8:27 AM on July 12, 2006


Why are they moving to the US?

Well...

I am so going to buy an MG ZR now if they're made in the states.
posted by scheptech at 8:41 AM on July 12, 2006


The WaPo indicates that the Nanjing group plans three production sites -- Nanjing, Oklahoma, and reopening the UK Longbridge site. So it isn't moving away so much as expanding.

It also makes clear that Nanjing probably sees the MG as just a foot in the door of the US market, so they want to qualify as a US manufacturer for tax and tariff purposes.
posted by dhartung at 8:47 AM on July 12, 2006


I believe the pirate community (and the "talk like a pirate" community) would prefer a revival of letters of marque and reprisal. ARR! ARR!! ARRRR!!!!!
posted by jonp72 at 8:50 AM on July 12, 2006


Oklahoma is OK.
Not good, just OK.
posted by Floydd at 8:58 AM on July 12, 2006


"Lucas electrics"

Ah yes. All british products leak. MGs leaked oil, water, electrons, and magic smoke.

Why do the brits drink warm beer?
What was special about a Lucas vacuum cleaner?
How do you label a three position switch from Lucas?

Lucas: Get home before dark.
posted by eriko at 9:08 AM on July 12, 2006


Why are they moving to the US? Don't manufacturers usually move their factories to third world countries....Oh, Oklahoma. Ok, that makes sense.
posted by Gamblor at 10:27 AM
Yeah, I guess you NYC big shots have nothing to learn from us hillbillies. Oh well, we still dig you.
posted by HyperBlue at 9:12 AM on July 12, 2006


eriko, I only remember the punchline to the second one. Little help?
posted by Richard Daly at 9:20 AM on July 12, 2006


I used to drive an MG Midget which was great fun to drive. When it ran, which wasn't all that often. I do have fond memories of my father and I taking the thing apart and putting it back together several times.
posted by lordrunningclam at 9:30 AM on July 12, 2006


The only British automobile I want to hear about being built in America is some kind of new factory for Grinnall Scorpions.
posted by QuarterlyProphet at 9:41 AM on July 12, 2006


Why do the brits drink warm beer? Because Lucas makes refrigerators.

What was special about a Lucas vacuum cleaner? It was the one thing Lucas made that didn't suck.

How do you label a three position switch from Lucas? If new, "OFF, FLICKER, DIM", if old, "OFF, FLICKER, IGNITE"
posted by eriko at 10:06 AM on July 12, 2006


Now now, you leave Lucas alone. Granted, after 30 years the electrics can get pretty dodgy, but there haven't been many problems in my car that couldn't be directly attributed either to way more time than the designers intended or messes created by the previous owner.
Nah, who am I kidding. It's crap!
posted by 1adam12 at 10:16 AM on July 12, 2006


mmmm, fond memories of an electrical fire in the dash.

"Houston, we have a problem!"
posted by blue_beetle at 10:18 AM on July 12, 2006


Easy now, HyperBlue, I kid because I love. Like most New Yorkers, I'm actually from a small town in the Midwest. Still, those links are much appreciated.

And I've been to Oklahoma City. It's no Amarillo, but it's not bad. ; )
posted by Gamblor at 10:37 AM on July 12, 2006


Why didn't the Luftwaffe bomb Lucas Electrics factories in WWII? Because the Germans considered Lucas an ally in their war effort...
posted by clevershark at 10:41 AM on July 12, 2006


Well, sure. You build your plants and construct your goods in countries with weak economies where you can get cheap labor. That's globalization.

Which is why the chinese would build a factory over here? Are you making a joke? If so, it's funny, but it's very subtle and I'm not sure if you're just confused.
posted by delmoi at 10:41 AM on July 12, 2006


Well, once upon a time, China was British. Parts of it even remained that way until recently.

That's a very stilted view of history. China was never directly under British control. The Qing basically did whatever any colonial power wanted, including Germany, England, and Japan. England got Hong Kong, and Japan got all of taiwan. Other countries also got zones under their control (but not to the extent of england and Japan). The Qing had basically no control over commerce, but they still controlled things domestically, having just won Taiping Civil war. In fact, the British really needed the Qing because if they had lost power, the Taiping would have probably taken over the country, and they would have probably been less accommodating.
posted by delmoi at 10:46 AM on July 12, 2006


Yes, delmoi, understood. That was (weak) teasing about England's failed colonial ambitions in China, as illustrated in The Meaning of Life:
"...to commemorate Empire Day, when we try to remember the names of all those from the Sudbury area who so gallantly gave their lives to keep China British."
posted by Gamblor at 11:04 AM on July 12, 2006


If Lucas made guns, wars wouldn't start.
posted by Floydd at 11:16 AM on July 12, 2006


John Lucas invented darkness
posted by Carbolic at 11:24 AM on July 12, 2006


> "Houston, we have a problem!"

I recall reading, in a motorcycle magazine road test of a Triumph or Norton, the following thought experiment: "Imagine you are an astronaut, strapped into your capsule atop a rocket on the launch pad. Just as the count reaches X minus 4 seconds you notice a little plaque on the instrument panel that reads 'Electrics by Lucas.'"
posted by jfuller at 11:32 AM on July 12, 2006


Which is why the chinese would build a factory over here? Are you making a joke? If so, it's funny, but it's very subtle and I'm not sure if you're just confused.

I'm sorry, delmoi. At this point, I can't tell if I'm joking either.

The good news is, the United States manufacturing industries will see a resurgence. The bad news is, all the factories will be owned by Chinese corporations.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:57 AM on July 12, 2006


I can’t help but chuckle at the mention of Lucas jokes. The Lucas bits of my classic Rover are the most problematic peices of crap, even though the cats at the Solihull North Block did a much better job with my 3500S than BL ever did with the MG line. What’s amazing is that its taken a no-name PRC manufacturer to get MG back in the States. It is beyond stupid that the F/TF (or even the super expensive RV8 – a reworked B) was not made available across the ocean. MG amazes me – BL actively tried to kill it in favour of Triumph but people love it – it survived. The launch of the MX-5 should have been enough to wake people up at Rover, but they insisted on making rebadged, chromed Hondas with fake wood pretending they were luxurious. BMW also made a hash of it by trying to sell the same indifferent, overpriced pimped out late 80s Hondas until selling off Land Rover, keeping Mini and bailing. The scamming, skimming Phoenix goons were less qualified to run the thing than a Halford’s clerk and finished the 30 year job of burying the UK domestic car industry. I just hope Nanjing et al build something at old Longbridge (though it was always a bad place to build cars – BMW and Ford kept the better plants) and realise that the F/TF is a circa 1993 design that needs a little more than a hard top to compete in 2008. I worry that that these sites will be just assembling dodgy kits from China and that will be about it, further devaluing the marque.
posted by The Salaryman at 12:00 PM on July 12, 2006


"John Lucas invented darkness"

You know, the J in Jrun error could stand for John Lucas.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:03 PM on July 12, 2006


This is excellent news. GO THE US ECONOMY!!!
posted by subaruwrx at 2:17 PM on July 12, 2006


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