Nanjing plans to re-start production at Longbridge


Richard Burden MP joined Government Minister Mike O’Brien MP and other guests on Tuesday 29th May when it was announced that the production of MGs will restart at the Longbridge factory in his constituency.

The MG marque is now owned by Nanjing Automobile Corporation (NAC) and tomorrow’s ceremony will be attended by senior officials from NAC and by Liang Bao Hua, the Governor of Jiangsu province in China. Mr Burden was in Nanjing in March at the Invitation of NAC, to witness the first MGs to roll off the production line in China.

During his visit to China, Mr Burden promoted the potential for using the redevelopment of the Longbridge site for cooperation between the UK and China in innovation, skills training and the development of sustainable transport technologies in the automotive sector and this has figured strongly in the representations he is making over the future redevelopment of the Longbridge site as a whole. He also hopes to take up that theme when he meets the Governor of Jiangsu at Longbridge tomorrow.

Mr Burden today commented:

“It will be great to see MGs rolling off the production line at Longbridge once again. The name Longbridge has been synonymous with car production for over 100 years and NAC deserve praise for their commitment to make the production of MGs happen here once again.

“I hope the production of vehicles can also become one of the foundations for co-operation between the UK and China on wider range of activities at the Longbridge site to the benefit of our two countries. In the 21st century there is potentially a huge cross-over in the skills required for performance automotive engineering and other areas such as aerospace and environmental technologies. The increasing global reach of the UK‘s motorsport industry into these areas is an example of that. The home of a lot of that expertise is here in the Midlands. There is huge potential for technological cooperation and knowledge transfer between the UK and China to tackle the environmental challenges we both face. With NAC already here, Longbridge could become a natural centre for that.

“The report of the Government Task Force, of which I was a member, set up to address the challenges for the region following the demise of Rover. It recommended that there should be a strong educational and skills element to the Longbridge site. That theme is taken up in the Area Action Plan being developed in conjunction with the developers, St Modwen, which envisages the relocation of Bournville College to the site. Advantage West Midlands will open a new Innovation Centre there within the next month or so and representatives of the University of Central England are involved in exploratory discussions for more cooperation with universities in China in technology and innovation.

“If we can get all this joined up successfully, Longbridge has the potential to become a real centre of excellence for 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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