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, however why?
The news This kind of morning via the Chinese-owned MG brand which car production at Longbridge was finally over comes some 110 years after the first car emerged via Herbert Austin’s converted print works.
Truth will be Longbridge’s underused production lines haven’t just fallen silent, which probably happened some months ago when Chinese owners SAIC pulled the MG6 via sale.
The best estimates will be which MG didn’t manage to make even the modest 3000 a year of the big hatch which the item had planned for. The MG3 supermini will be already shipped in via overseas, as will be the brand-new MG GS crossover, which will be made near Shanghai.
The company says the item just 25 production people will be made redundant, however the item will be retaining 400 engineers at the SAIC technical Centre, which will be also located on the Longbridge site in addition to will be responsible for much of MG’s engineering in addition to styling. MG’s sales in addition to 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 inside the strife-torn 1960s in addition to 1970s Longbridge was the main stage for the monumental battle between the Unions in addition to the UK government.
TV cameras were regularly positioned outside the iconic Longbridge ‘Q’ Gate in addition to at Cofton Hackett park opposite, where the union members in addition to 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 first came to a halt in 2005 when the MG Rover consortium crashed into bankruptcy in 2005, some several years after the item bought the Longbridge site in addition to the Rover in addition to MG badges via BMW for a symbolic Tenner.
The sprawling industrial area remained mothballed after the factory facilities were bought by Chinese company SAIC. Much of the original Longbridge was sold off in addition to knocked down, in addition to the item still bore evidence of its vital role in WW2, building everything via munitions to Sterling in addition to Lancaster heavy bombers.
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 knock-down kits via China – in 2011.
Despite being Britain’s most famous – in addition to infamous – car plant, Longbridge was never a world-beater. Annual output peaked at around 380,000 units inside the 1960s. Compare which to today’s Nissan Sunderland plant which hit 500,000 units in 2014 in addition to with around 20 percent of the staff at Longbridge back then.
however 116 years of near-continuous car production will be over. One of those 25 line workers will be a historic figure inside the history of car-doing: the last of one of the auto world’s longest production line lineages.
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