MP says Longbridge should remain Nanjing’s UK motor manufacturing centre as MG Rover deal is announced


Richard Burden MP, whose Birmingham Northfield constituency includes MG Rover’s Longbridge car plant, has today issued the following statement in response to the news that Nanjing Automobile Company (NAC) has acquired MG Rover’s assets at Longbridge.

“I am pleased that Nanjing and their UK partner, Arup, have indicated that they envisage significant motor manufacturing presence in the UK, specialising in MG cars, and a Research and Development centre as well. I hope they will look to Longbridge as the centre of their activities in the UK. Over the past few weeks, some have speculated that Nanjing would simply want to strip out MG Rover’s technology and ship it to China. Nanjing now has the opportunity to prove such fears wrong. If motor manufacturing returns to Longbridge, its scope, nature and scale will no doubt be different to what has been there in the past. But here in Birmingham we have the skills and commitment that the automotive industry needs for the future as well as a heritage in motor manufacturing. Those things could be Nanjing’s biggest assets here in the UK.

“From their statement today, Nanjing certainly has ambitious global plans. It will obviously also be important to see how today’s announcement affects the future given Shanghai Automotive (SAIC) purchase of the intellectual property rights to some Rover models and engine technology some months ago.

As the local MP for the Longbridge area, I certainly look forward to discussing Nanjing’s plans with them and how motor manufacturing at Longbridge specifically as well as in the UK more generally, can bring big benefits both our countries in the future.”

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Richard Burden

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I was Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield between 1992 and 2019 and a former Shadow Transport Minister. I now chair Healthwatch in Birmingham and Solihull, and the West Midlands Board of Remembering Srebrenica. I also work as a public affairs consultant. I am an effective community advocate and stakeholder alliance builder with a passion for human rights. I am a trustee of the Balfour Project charity and of Citizens Advice Birmingham, and a former Chair of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

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