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£2.7M move by SMTC strengthens MG’s Longbridge base

4th March 2009 Print
MG Motor UK Limited and the SAIC Motor UK Technical Centre (SMTC UK) are now sharing the Longbridge site as the engineering and R&D company has completed a move from its Leamington offices into new premises, on the site of the MG factory on Lowhill Lane.

The move was an obvious, sensible and inevitable rationalisation of SAIC group companies within the UK, according to SMTC UK’s Director of Business Development, Ian Horton, who said, “We are delighted to have moved to Longbridge to be closer to the product and to the HQ functions of MG UK. We were already working closely with MG and the new geographical proximity of the companies can only be of benefit to the group and the MG brand. We now have a Technical Centre platform from which to grow the future of the Group’s engineering in the UK.”

SMTC UK works on a wide range of engineering and research and development projects for the SAIC Motor group, including new models destined for the Longbridge line. Much of the work is commercially confidential but one of SMTC UK’s first projects for MG is likely to be a remodelling of the existing TF, following the successful launch of the MGTF LE500 earlier in 2008, into a limited edition derivative to mark MG’s 85th anniversary in 2009.

Over 250 people have made the 25 mile move from Leamington to Longbridge following planning that had been progress since last year. The move has benefited both MG UK and SMTC UK, with over £1m spent on an IT upgrade for the whole Longbridge site and larger technical centre offices and workshops for SMTC UK engineers.

Leader of Birmingham City Council, Mike Whitby, said: “Today’s announcement is encouraging news for the city, particularly in the current economic climate, and I am delighted to see jobs being brought into Longbridge.

“Over the last three and half years Birmingham City Council and MG have worked together diligently to build relationships and secure the positive outcomes. We will continue to give our support to make Longbridge once again become renowned as a by-word for excellence, and a real centre of high-class manufacturing.”