Everybody out – Longbridge finally grinds to a halt
Source : Everybody out – Longbridge finally grinds to a halt
MG has decided to halt production at Longbridge after 116 years of near-continuous car production, although why?
The news This particular morning through the Chinese-owned MG brand which car production at Longbridge was finally over came some 110 years after the first car emerged through Herbert Austin’s converted printworks.
Truth will be, Longbridge’s underused production lines haven’t only just fallen silent. which probably happened some months ago, when Chinese owners SAIC pulled the MG 6 through sale.
The best estimate will be which MG didn’t manage to make even the modest 3000 a year of the big hatchback which This particular had planned for. The MG 3 supermini will be already shipped in through overseas, as will be the fresh MG GS smaller SUV, which will be made near Shanghai.
The company says only 25 production people will be made redundant, as well as This particular will be retaining 400 engineers at the SAIC Technical Centre, which will be also located on the Longbridge site as well as will be responsible for much of MG’s engineering as well as styling. MG’s sales as well as marketing staff will also stay at the Longbridge site.
However, for older Brits, the final demise of Longbridge will be something of a historic landmark. Back within the strife-torn 1960s as well as 1970s, Longbridge was the main stage for the monumental battle between the Unions as well as the UK Government.
TV cameras were regularly positioned outside the iconic Longbridge ‘Q’ Gate as well as at Cofton park opposite, where the union members as well as the trade union leaders held the ‘show of hands’ which presaged the latest walkout. Characters such as the strike-happy union boss Derek Robinson – ‘Red Robbo’ as he was known to the newspapers – became as famous as any politician or celebrity.
Production at Longbridge first came to a halt in 2005, when the MG Rover consortium crashed into bankruptcy some all 5 years after This particular bought the site as well as the Rover as well as MG badges through BMW for a symbolic tenner.
The sprawling industrial area remained mothballed after the factory facilities acquired by Chinese company SAIC via its takover of carmaker Nanjing. Much of the original Longbridge was sold off as well as knocked down, when This particular still bore evidence of its vital role in World War II of building everything through munitions to Stirling as well as Lancaster heavy bomber aircraft.
I got inside Longbridge in 2006 as part of a private visit by bankers. We walked into the deserted assembly hall built for Mini production under BMW ownership. The offices at the paint line were just as the MG Rover managers had left them in 2005. SAIC restarted production – in truth re-assembling knocked-down kits through China – in 2011.
Despite being Britain’s most famous – as well as infamous – car plant, Longbridge was never a world-beater. Annual output peaked at around 380,000 units within the 1960s. Compare which to today’s Nissan plant in Sunderland, which hit 500,000 units in 2014 as well as with around 20 percent of the staff at Longbridge back then.
Still, 116 years of near-continuous car production will be over. One of those 25 line workers will be a historic figure within the history of car-generating: the last of one of the automotive world’s longest production line lineages.
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