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Author Topic: MG UK Factory Tour (Longbridge)  (Read 12612 times)

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Karl

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MG UK Factory Tour (Longbridge)
« on: 07, December, 2012 - 11:29:40 »
If you look at the MG Uk website they offer free factory tours, so electricDave and I went along for a visit.  For a freebie it is a really good day out, it starts off with a short presentation about Lord Austin ,the history of Longbridge and the future plans under Chinese ownership.

You then have a visit to Lord Austin's office ,the small on site museum, the production lines and lastly the technical centre. We also had a look around the other displays next to the showroom.  Surprisingly they make no attempt to try and sell you anything either so there is no "catch" to going along. Very refreshing  8)

A couple of piccies from the day;















Karl

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Re: MG UK Factory Tour (Longbridge)
« Reply #1 on: 07, December, 2012 - 11:33:44 »





















Karl

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Re: MG UK Factory Tour (Longbridge)
« Reply #2 on: 07, December, 2012 - 11:36:29 »
If you fancy going along yourself the MG website is www.mg.co.uk and the link to the factory tour is : http://mg.co.uk/factory-tours/


Offline Retro Andy

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Re: MG UK Factory Tour (Longbridge)
« Reply #3 on: 08, December, 2012 - 07:49:36 »
Looks like a great day out and place to visit, some really nice pictures of some old MG's and loads of british history  :) Is MG is making or started making cars again as the saloons in the factory look nice ?

Retro Andy. 

Offline Dave.76

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Re: MG UK Factory Tour (Longbridge)
« Reply #4 on: 08, December, 2012 - 08:42:36 »
Looks like a good day out :)

Currently MG only sell the MG 6 in this country, they are assembled here from kits shipped from China. SAIC currently own MG.

The smaller red car in the picture looks like the MG 3, which is due to go on sale in this country in 2013.

Austin Rover online www.aronline.co.uk is a good site to look at if you want some more info on MG.
« Last Edit: 08, December, 2012 - 08:48:12 by Dave.76 »

Offline coverman

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Re: MG UK Factory Tour (Longbridge)
« Reply #5 on: 11, December, 2012 - 10:53:56 »
That assembly hall was the shop in which they produced prototypes back in the days of BMW ownership. I was involved in the launch of 75/45/25. They had the single seater MGF speed record car there at the time.

Karl

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Re: MG UK Factory Tour (Longbridge)
« Reply #6 on: 13, December, 2012 - 12:43:08 »
That assembly hall was the shop in which they produced prototypes back in the days of BMW ownership. I was involved in the launch of 75/45/25. They had the single seater MGF speed record car there at the time.

..the Longbridge site is so small now , a real shadow of its former self  :'( I think most people leave the tour thinking the UK government should hang their heads in shame for refusing to help out MG Rover in its hour of need. Especially when you look at how much has been thrown at the banks  >:(



Offline coverman

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Re: MG UK Factory Tour (Longbridge)
« Reply #7 on: 14, December, 2012 - 10:28:50 »
When they failed they had one good modern car, the 75 a BMW design,  and even then only with certain of the engine range. The 25 and 45 were dinosaurs and the TF wasn't a match for other sportscars of the time. What was to save?

Offline radiomarty

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Re: MG UK Factory Tour (Longbridge)
« Reply #8 on: 14, December, 2012 - 12:04:04 »
What was to save?

British manufacturing jobs !!

Offline KarlG

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Re: MG UK Factory Tour (Longbridge)
« Reply #9 on: 14, December, 2012 - 15:19:28 »
Very touchy subject.

From the mid 60s because of bad management, continuous Union problems, lack of investment, shoddy workmanship etc. about the only place that British cars could be sold was Britain.

In Germany British Leyland was referred to as British Eland, Eland in German is 'misery, poverty, distress, wretchedness'.

Lots of British cars bore a sticker "Lucas Lord of darkness"

BMW cancelled a sub-contractor contract with Lucas because they kept missing delivery dates.

Dealers having to waiting up to 3 months for delivery of spare parts.

Because of Union problems Ford's new engine factory that was to be built in Britain was built in Cologne .

I could give you a very loooooong list of other cases, but I won't bore you with the facts.

Just a pity Britain laid on the laurels of the 50's era.  :( :( :(

P.S. I'm a Jag, a Mini, and a C5 fanatic, and not a GB hater.

Offline radiomarty

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Re: MG UK Factory Tour (Longbridge)
« Reply #10 on: 14, December, 2012 - 16:30:01 »
Agreed but - I have worked in the British manufacturing industries for just short of 30 years now (3 years to go) - I have been in involved in electronics , motor vehicles and steel production- point in case :

In the early nighties I was working as a new/model intro team leader for what is now Vauxhall manufacturing Luton (formerly Bedford vehicles , IBC vehicles , GM Manufacturing Luton - in my 14 years there I saw an organisation which was under funded, union led and producing poor quality vehicles turn around to become a first class manufacture with a dedicated van assembly plant which now produces the Vauxhall Vivaro which is also built for Renault (badged trafic) and Nissan (badged Primstar). The van won many awards for quailty , van of the year etc and the plant has now won the contract to build the next generation of vans against heavy competition world wide.This came with investment - good product new leadership and a dedicated British work force striving to be the best at what they do.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKsebooqgbU
http://www.autoebid.com/autoenews/newsAEBSingle.asp?artID=1198
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vr4pob7IeWs

I now work for TATA Steel Europe (formerly British Steel - Corus )- The 'works' I am employed in are run down - under funded - out dated machinery but the work force are dedicated and striving to achieve great things. I can see the old attitudes but the realization of the new demands and needs are well and truly driven home - The once power full union are almost powerless and the whole organisation is a very different place today.

My point - yes British Manufacturing realized to late the major changes that need to take place - They suffered from the hands of the unions and the Thatcher years however - There are many highly skilled dedicated workers out there - MG could have been transformed given the right management / product / investment.

I will fly the flag for British Manufacturing a subject close to my heart and some thing that the government have realized that they need to revive and transform this country back to a world leader as it was in years gone by.

Cor blimey had a moment there !! Marty
« Last Edit: 14, December, 2012 - 16:56:14 by radiomarty »

Offline KarlG

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Re: MG UK Factory Tour (Longbridge)
« Reply #11 on: 14, December, 2012 - 17:37:22 »
Hi Marty,

I don't know if things have changed in the UK as I've been out of the country for over 40 years, if the have it's TOO LATE. Think of the old saying 'one bitten twice shy', very few people here want anything to do with British cars unless it's an oldie.

Can you name me one single major BRITISH car manufacturer? This makes me very sad.

The reason I came to Germany in 72 was the unions. Just after I left the RAF (67) I applied for a job at GE in Manchester, they informed me that I had to produce a union card before they could talk about work. I said that I didn't have a card, but would get one if I knew in which branch a job was open. The reply was 'no card no interview'.  I swore at this point never to have anything to do with the unions. This was the first but not last run in I had with the unions. Thanks to Maggie that's all be changed.

I've read Kudos's link to bike building and read that the attitude taken by firms as far as delivery is concerned hasn't changed since I left the UK. The Lukas/BMW fiasco was in the 90s, so the old attitude's not dead yet.

On the other side I'm proud to say that nearly all the optical design staff at Porsche, VW, Audi, Opel, BMW are British or American. In the 70s and 80s at MAN and MBB (aviation) 90% of the staff working with carbon fibre were British.
I have also worked in the automobile industry, Porsche in Weissach configuration management, MAN project management and Krauss Maffei (military vehicles) project design and control (electronics).

We could go on for weeks concerning this subject, but it wouldn't change the fact that Britain went down the drain in the 70s.

Offline radiomarty

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Re: MG UK Factory Tour (Longbridge)
« Reply #12 on: 14, December, 2012 - 20:00:06 »
I agree with many of your comments Karl and have seen much of what you discuss myself - However things are very very different now - maybe if we have an international run again we can sit and chat over a nice cool (possibly German  :D) beer - Marty

Offline Lancealot

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Re: MG UK Factory Tour (Longbridge)
« Reply #13 on: 15, December, 2012 - 06:39:52 »
At lease we make our own nuclear submarines..................................................

Ok the very first original design came from the American's but we do all our own design and build from then on...........................

Lance

Offline coverman

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Re: MG UK Factory Tour (Longbridge)
« Reply #14 on: 17, December, 2012 - 10:01:39 »
The decay in Bitish motor manufacturing started immediately after WW2. Old designs with few concessions to modernity were rushed back into production on worn out machinery. The few new designs of UK mass produced cars that emerged in the late '40's (Vanguard Minor P4 Javelin) were good cars but Javelin suffered from lack of developement which killed it, Standard suffered from a one model policy, Morris had in the Minor the one good car in its range, and Rover produced an excellent mid-upper market car. The British cars of the '50's killed the export market for the UK because the cars were wrong for their makets, way under engined for the US, not tough enough for Australian conditions etc , and unreliable everywhere. A bad reputation once earned is very hard to shift.
As for saving MG Rover jobs in this century, the creation of British Leyland way back and then the resultant lack of rationalization because of individual brand pride( eg the Stag V8 engine when the Rover one was fine for the job etc etc etc,the lack of product developement, eg that old nail the MGB was a total joke towards the end of its production run; the Marina/Ital backwards step  was the final nail in the coffin too many years before the total collapse. The same amalgamation programme by Benn killed off certain aircraft companies that may well have survived independently although their products were not as good as those in particular of the French. The component suppliers often succeeeded in re-organizing in order to serve foreign vehicle makers and other markets. Its no good propping up a failed firm with taxpayers money, in what had already become an oversaturated market where only really good value or prestige products can survive, and MG Rover were absolutely not in a position to quickly occupy either of those sectors. Its better to invest in emerging industries, which successive UK governments have failed to do.