The new owners of MG Rover today announced a deal with a British team of designers to develop a new range of cars.
The Nanjing Automobile Group said it had reached an agreement with the GB Sports Car Company to collaborate on the next phase of its plans.
The British company is headed by Fraser Welford-Winton, the former managing director of Powertrain, the engine division of the collapsed MG Rover Company.
His team will help develop a range of MG vehicles to be manufactured at the huge Longbridge plant in Birmingham, it was announced.
The move was the first major announcement by the Chinese firm since it bought MG Rover for around £60m (€87m) last month raising hopes of creating up to 2000 jobs at Longbridge.
Nanjing said that Mr Welford-Winton’s team will work in conjunction with its established advisers Arup and China Ventures.
Nanjing added that as well as the design and development of cars other activities will include the consolidation of the Longbridge site for car manufacturing and related activities.
Mr Welford-Winton said: “I am delighted to be at the heart of the development and implementation of a business plan that will produce long term skilled jobs at Longbridge and create a centre of excellence for sports car activities for which the UK is world renowned.”
Wang Hong Biao, Vice President of the Nanjing Automobile Group, said: “We are delighted to have such fine British partners to reach our goals.
“In particular the wide knowledge and experience of Fraser and his team will complement the skills of Arup and Nanjing Automobile.”
John Miles, Director of the Arup Group said: “We welcome this agreement between Nanjing and Fraser. We look forward to deploying our engineering and design skills to help them to bring their vision of an MG car range to fruition.”
The GB Sports Car Company was founded to design, develop, manufacture and market British sports cars as well as to provide consultancy services to car related businesses.
Almost 6,000 workers lost their jobs when MG Rover went into administration in April.