The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

12 July 2006

Another chapter in the Octagon soap

We got your globalization right here, pal: the latest incarnation of the classic British sports car will be built by the Chinese in Oklahoma.

Nanjing Automobile Group, which wound up owning the MG brand after the collapse of UK-based MG Rover, has announced plans to assemble MG TF coupes at a new plant to be built in Ardmore next year. Nanjing will also reactivate a British factory to build the roadster version of the TF, and will build home-market cars in China. Production is expect to begin in the fall of 2008.

Duke T. Hale has been appointed president and CEO of MG North America/Europe, which will be based in Oklahoma City. I'd say he's got his work cut out for him.

TF, incidentally, is a series name from MG's past: the original TF, a repository of 1930s technology, was built from 1953 through 1955, when it was replaced by the shockingly-modern MGA. The new TF will look like this.

Posted at 8:35 AM to Driver's Seat , Soonerland

So, will our Ardmore cars be known as OMG?

Posted by: John Owen Butler at 11:02 AM on 12 July 2006

Possibly even OMG WTF.

(Incidentally, this is the 15,000th comment to this blog.)

Posted by: CGHill at 11:23 AM on 12 July 2006

Chinese Company Intends to Build MGs in Oklahoma

All globaled up; the most unreliable British sports car ever made will now be produced by a Chinese owned company in the Great State of Oklahoma ! Maybe they will use Lucas electrical components and make sure the roof leaks as it leaves a nice nostalgic pool of oil on your driveway. And with a puff of blue exhaust away we go...

I actually do hope this works out and they sell lots of these nifty, new MGs.

Do any of you remember running the heater on the passenger side of the firewall to cool your little car down as you drove your Funny Foreign Sports Car in the Hot Oklahoma Summer in the 50's & 60's. I sure do, along with the leaky sidecurtins (screw on plastic vinyl windows), and adding quart of oil each 1,000 miles with the dealer, Bolin Imports on Broadway in OKC telling us they were race cars and designed to burn that much oil for high performance. We believed that BS and added oil and motored on our way with those wonderful sounding little four-banger engines announcing our presence.

How great it was to be 19 years old in the early 60s driving a British Sports Car, smoking a pipe and listening to folk music at a real hip coffee house on Classen Blvd.

One of those great moments in the history of the world and this guy's life who used to live in Okie Land. JFK was our president and entertaining us and Viet Nam was still an unknown, all we worried about were the Russians and being cool.

Posted by: Former Okie at 9:28 PM on 12 July 2006

Nostalgic pool of oil and all, my experience was very cool. It was a red MGB I owned, in the 70's, for two years while stationed at Pearl Harbor on Oahu. The car didn't have a heater and didn't need one. I never put the top up.

Posted by: Mike at 3:18 AM on 13 July 2006

In the interest of unfairness, here's an MG joke (swiped from here).

A blonde pushes her MG into a gas station and tells the mechanic, "It just quit on me!"

He tells her to pop the hood.

The blonde asks, "What's the story?"

"Just crap in the carburetor," he replies.

"How often do I have to do that?" she asks.

Posted by: CGHill at 7:26 PM on 13 July 2006

The big question I have is why the U.S.?

Posted by: China Law Blog at 12:20 AM on 15 July 2006

I think it's a bid for market credibility: the Chinese are considered right now to be vendors of cheap vehicles, a notion not helped by Malcolm Bricklin's on-again off-again plans to import bottom-end Chery vehicles to the States, and Nanjing would actually like to make some money off what is, after all, a low-volume niche model.

Posted by: CGHill at 5:18 AM on 15 July 2006