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other_rover
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Well done guy's, especially given the IT problems! Most significant pieces of information I thought was that Austin is definetly coming back and there will be lots of new model surprises.

Nice!
 

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will there be a non pdf version as i don't have the software to read it!!
Here you go:

PS well done to Steve and Paul S - Its always good to talk :)

Page 1 of 7
Steve Childs
Ok, whilst I'm digging out Stephen's Phone number, Paul do you want to explain what your
job with NAC is etc.. :)
Paul Stowe
I basically look after everything based upon Quality for the whole of NAC MG. From Quality
Planning,
Quality Strategy, Quality Control, Quality Audit, Quality Systems and Quality Approval.
Steve Childs
Paul, can you tell us just how enthusiast NAC is for the Brand? Do they see it with the same
enthusiasm as members on XPF and .org, for example?
Paul Stowe
Well it’s hard to put into words, and for those who have never travelled to our MG
Headquarters here in Nanjing it would be hard to understand the level of enthusiasm and
commitment not only to the project but also the brand.
If I told you that off every wall hang pictures of new and old MG’s, the entire workforce
wears MG Shirts, and suits; MG merchandise purchased off eBay clutters almost everyone’s
desks – from old model cars & pin badges through to classic car magazines and brochures.
Engineer’s talk about MG DNA, the sales and marketing staff talk about British heritage and
British Icons, and that Cecil Kimber picture is as well known as The Queens – then it may
just give you some idea of just how the Chinese have taken MG to there hearts.
Not sure if that is as enthusiastic as your members - but I bet it comes pretty close?
Steve Childs
If the Austin name is to be re-launched, what time scale will the launching of Austin cars
be, under or over 5 years? If so, what type of cars could you see under the Austin brand,
given that its status in the UK market is probably akin to Kia, i.e. the lower end, although
abroad it’s probably better regarded?
Paul Stowe
I am not sure that I agree with Dentricrio's view as to the positioning of Austin is fair or
accurate; in fact I think it is a fantastic brand, with an enormous worldwide appeal.
Austin has a very different heritage to MG, and this allows us to develop & market a very
different range of vehicles, for this reason I can definitely see the re-emergence of Austin in
less than 5 years.
Page 2 of 7
Steve Childs
Have the engines changed since their last production at Longbridge and whether they are
confident that previous issues have been resolved?
Paul Stowe
We have reviewed and revised the original engines produced by MG-Rover. Our work has
concentrated on improving the reliability and durability of the engines, whilst ensuring we
meet the latest European emissions requirements.
One of the key activities undertaken, has been the test and validation of all parts used on
our vehicles. Obviously the engine represents probably the most important part - certainly
in terms of vehicle reliability.
For this reason the engine has been under the most extensive testing and exhaustive
reliability proving. We will have covered over 1million kilometres of testing in some of the
most inhospitable areas of the world, and yes before anyone asks the changes do include a
fundamental revision of the head gasket!
Steve Childs
A recent poll on mg-rover.org indicated that over 70% of people would regard a 5 year
warranty as an incentive to buy, not only a new car, but it would also appeal as a used car
as well due to the extra warranty period.
This would then have the knock on effect of having the potential to strengthen residual
values for the cars. What is the likelihood of an extended (4- or 5-year) warranty being
offered to customers of NAC-MG vehicles as standard?
Paul Stowe
We have been looking at many ways to improve not only the vehicles appeal, but also the
confidence in the purchasing experience.
Extended warranty terms have certainly been in many of our discussions, and one of the
reasons we are doing this web chat, is to understand what the public, and our potential
customers feel would help them decide to purchase a new MG.
So the views of your members will go along way in helping us to come to our final decision
on this subject.
Steve Childs
A couple of the NAC press releases referred to a 'D Series Diesel engine' being put into
production in China is this the revised Powertrain L series (the G Series engine) or another
engine from the NAC stable?
Indeed, SAIC in their many press releases keep claiming they have the rights to the G
Series engine, some others say the IPR is with Land Rover.
Page 3 of 7
Can you shed light on the ownership of the G Series engine & are there any production
plans for [missing]?
Paul Stowe
We recognize that we must have a diesel in our product line-up. As we have stated it is our
intention to supply vehicles to a global market, and a global market expects a range of
diesel engines.
We have been working on various projects, to ensure that we will meet market demand for
a Diesel engine, I cant tell you the specifics of our Diesel program, but I think everyone will
be pleasantly surprised by the strategic decision we have decided to adopt, and how
advanced our Diesel program is.
The next generation of Diesels that will be used in MG cars, will meet the toughest of
emission tests worldwide, and will offer both incredible performance and economy.
Steve Childs
As the first main Chinese car manufacture to produce cars in Europe, you are seen as
pioneers, will you be using this to your advantage and setting up any other links with
European manufacturers, for example a European link with Fiat for engine supply etc?
Paul Stowe
We already have many links with European suppliers, the truth is no major European
manufacturer or automotive supplier simply operates in Europe these days.
Virtually every major supplier involved with the automotive industry has a base out here in
China. In fact most of today’s vehicles are made with Chinese components – even if the
vehicles are assembled in Europe, many of the key parts will be sourced from China.
This is only the beginning and we of course see our relationships with our European
partners growing as we grow, Europe has some of the best Research and Development and
Engineering institutes in the world – we hope to that they will continue to support us with
the growth of MG.
Steve Childs
[Ed]Background Info: Project Drive was initied under the previous owners to, as the name
suggests, drive down the manufacturing cost per car by removing items from the car which
they deemed to be not required.
Steve Childs
Will the new TF (and future saloons) have items removed under "Project Drive", restored to
as they were before "Project Drive".
Prime example being twin-tone horns on the MG TF.
Page 4 of 7
Paul Stowe
I couldn't say that every part removed under project drive has been re-introduced, but I
can tell you that we have totally reviewed the vehicle specification and content.
Steve Childs
There were a lot of questions about future product, which I know you can go into specifics
about. Can you give us an overview of what is planned?
Paul Stowe
There have been many questions asked about the next generation of vehicles that NAC will
produce. As expected I cannot release the detail of any specific vehicles or projects, but
what I can say is that we have been developing some exciting and interesting variations of
what are extremely good platforms to work from.
Our plans cover short, medium and long-term product strategies, which will see some new,
exciting and innovative products released over the next few years, they will include a full
range of vehicles, with a wide range of engines &, transmissions to ensure we meet
International market demands.
We believe that we have a good understanding of the MG brand and heritage, and our
product plan’s will ensure that we keep the essence of what has made MG one of the most
popular brands in motoring history, and will ensure that the products appeal to not only the
existing supporters of MG, but also a new generation of MG purchasers and enthusiasts.
Be prepared for some surprises!
Steve Childs
You have a massive equipment move from Longbridge to Pukou behind you. What were
your best and worst experiences & surprises?
Paul Stowe
To be completely honest the move itself has gone without any major crisis! Of course we
have had some equipment go missing, and some equipment suffer from the stresses of
being transported half way across the world, but the majority was packed, shipped,
delivered and re-assembled with little fuss.
This is testament to the fantastic planning and execution by the team responsible for the
activity, as well as the hard work put in by the team of people that supported from the UK,
this is especially true for the guys from Powertrain – without their help – the situation could
have been much different
Steve Childs
Quite achievement, given the distance!
Page 5 of 7
Paul Stowe
As for surprises, I suppose the fact that the equipment has all gone back together and has
worked without any major problems is the biggest surprise to me – not that I lacked any
fait in my colleagues but even the most positive of people could see that this was an
enormous feet to undertake in such a short space of time.
When I saw all of the containers for the first time I couldn't imagine how we were going to
piece this enormous jig saw puzzle back together, but as everyone will see on the 27th
March –we have managed to do it!
In fact not only have we managed to re-install the equipment, but we have also managed
to repair, service and even give it all a lick of paint in the process!
Steve Childs
Are there plans to make any improvements to the VVC system and offer greater power
outputs from it? Are we likely to see the VVC system used in MG cars again?
Paul Stowe
Just at the moment we are concentrating our efforts on production of the 135 engine for
restart of sales, and to follow that with a 1.6 litre EU4 compliant engine, particularly for
Europe.
Whilst for China we have been developing the 1.8 Turbo and the 2.5l V6 – so we have been
quite busy!!!
So what’s next? Well I hope it won’t be long before we see the return of 160 horses!
Steve Childs
Does NAC MG have any intentions of raising their profile through motor sport? It is always
seen that when a company invests in this type of advertising it increases sales, especially
now after last seasons BTCC successes NAC could capitalise by buying and entering last
seasons ZS’s. Could this be an option?
Paul Stowe
Your question is probably specific to the UK, but just to throw my 10peneth in!
Motorsport in China is in its infancy at the moment, but already attracts great crowds –
especially at the Formula 1 event in Shanghai. We are always looking at ways to continue
the great heritage MG has, and this must include some form of motorsport activity.
I cant tell you specifics, but I can tell you that some of the Senior Members of NAC have
been guests at least 2 of the great motorsport venues in the UK – and have enjoyed
themselves greatly; they already have a passion for motorsport, and are excited about
getting involved.
Page 6 of 7
Steve Childs
This is a question posed for Longbridge, but perhaps you can answer it from a Chinese
perspective?
Are there any events planned for the re-launch of production at Longbridge? As you are
aware, there is a huge enthusiast interest in this, can an enthusiasts event be arranged to
celebrate this fantastic milestone?
I know from speaking to Stephen Cox that there are plans for a celebration with the MGF
Register to coincide with the re-launch at Longbridge.
Paul Stowe
As you know I can’t really speak for the UK, but our launch on the 27th March in China, will
be a display of Chinese and British culture. We are preparing a spectacular display to
celebrate 3 great events. 1. NAC Groups 60th Birthday, 2. The Opening of our brand new
800,000sq m state of the art production facility in Pokou, Nanjing, and last but not least will
be the Launch of the new MG7 range of vehicles.
We have invited the world’s press to come and join in our celebrations, in fact those that
wont be able to make it will be able to watch the events from the UK, because we have
confirmation from UK based media organizations to cover the event.
Steve Childs
Approximately what percentage of parts for new TF will be made in England and what
percentage will be made in China? It is my understanding all engines will come from China.
Will the new TF essentially be a "kit" of Chinese parts assembled in UK? Will new MG body
panels be stamped out of British steel or Chinese steel?
Paul Stowe
All car company’s source parts from around the globe. In fact the original MGTF used parts
from every continent. The new vehicle will be no different, and we have selected suppliers
on ability, experience and quality. This means that we again will have a complete spread of
international suppliers, including those from China the UK and Europe.
Current Engine production is based in our new facilities in Nanjing; however a lot of the
development and refinement work has been done in the UK.
The majority of body panels will be manufactured in China, and assembled in the UK, as to
the specifics of steel procurement. Chinese companies are no different to UK Company’s
and we will purchase steel from sources that provide the best quality, delivery and
performance.
Page 7 of 7
Steve Childs
We understand Lotus are working with NAC, can you tell us what sort of projects they are
working with you on - on new vehicles or engine work, for example.
Paul Stowe
It is no secret that Lotus are working with us on a variety of projects, and we all are aware
of Lotus’s experience in engine development, chassis design and ride / handling
environment – it would have been a misjudgement on our part not to have asked them to
get involved and support us on our current and future product developments.
Steve Childs
The Stepspeed gearbox; does NAC own the rights to this and are we likely to see it again?
i.e. in a TF120?
Paul Stowe
The market in China is very different to that in the UK, and an automatic option is essential.
For this reason I do believe that we will be re-introducing the CVT gearbox - albeit
improved over the original.
As we will be building the vehicle in both locations I cannot see any reasons why this wont
become an option in the UK at some stage.
Steve Childs
Longbridge has a long and interesting history – are there any plans to establish a museum
on the site, celebrating this history?
The Heritage Museum in Gaydon used to be a great place to see the history of Austin and
Rover, however, no longer. Since being bought by Ford, they have gradually sold most of
the interesting pieces, which is a travesty.
The history of Longbridge should be preserved and with the Longbridge site being so large.
Paul Stowe
Longbridge already has a museum here with 24 cars in the collection. They are not
currently displayed through lack of space but they sit next to the time-warp office of
Herbert Austin himself. A treasure within Longbridge.
We have also just loaded the first 5 of a collection of Classics for the HQ here in Nanjing
leaving by ship in the next few days. Another 8 will follow those in the couple of weeks.
This is a company deeply interested in it's heritage and the collection will reflect all the
Marques we own, in time. We plan to use them to educate the Chinese public about the
origins of MG and help them understand why this is such an iconic brand.
 

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other_manufacturer
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While I appreciate the time and effort of those involved in arranging and conducting the thing, I was hugely disappointed by the bland selection of questions posed and the vague and non-committal answers given.

And as there was no value in the "real time" element, I struggle to see any point in repeating the exercise in this format.

Sorry for the negative feedback.
 

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mg_tf
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As expected considering the NAC position at present no earth shattering revelations, but encouraging that they have taken teh time to talk and confirmed some press speculation.

Seems there is still a certain amount of confusion over IPR as well.

Shame there was no Longbridge contribution though.

It's also a shame about the 160 or above engine as that counts me out for even looking for a new MG.
 

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other_rover
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As expected considering the NAC position at present no earth shattering revelations, but encouraging that they have taken teh time to talk and confirmed some press speculation.

Seems there is still a certain amount of confusion over IPR as well.

Shame there was no Longbridge contribution though.

It's also a shame about the 160 or above engine as that counts me out for even looking for a new MG.
I would say that:

"Austin has a very different heritage to MG, and this allows us to develop & market a very different range of vehicles, for this reason I can definitely see the re-emergence of Austin in less than 5 years."

Is pretty earth shattering.
 

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I would say that:

"Austin has a very different heritage to MG, and this allows us to develop & market a very different range of vehicles, for this reason I can definitely see the re-emergence of Austin in less than 5 years."

Is pretty earth shattering.
"they already have a passion for motorsport, and are excited about getting involved."

Very good news too :)
 

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Absolutely, was dying to ask him about a possible Chinese entry into F1, but knew there was no point!
 

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mg_tf
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I would say that:

"Austin has a very different heritage to MG, and this allows us to develop & market a very different range of vehicles, for this reason I can definitely see the re-emergence of Austin in less than 5 years."

Is pretty earth shattering.
I would have said it was a logical next step and good business sense rather than earth shattering or surprising news. Perhaps the timescale may be interesting, but I can see logic to that as well.

Assuming NAC understand the heritage of MG - and it appears they do - then they can not expect to put out ordinary underpowered Euroboxes and maintain the MG reputation. However, the Austin badge could survive with more mundane offerings to compete with Ford, Opel, Pugs Nissans etc. and, outside the UK, Austin's name is solid.

Therefore as the new exciting metal comes on stream these could be MGs and the reliable current models become Austins.
 

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mg_zt_t
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and yes before anyone asks the changes do include a
fundamental revision of the head gasket
Hmmm ... very interesting..;)
 

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Therefore as the new exciting metal comes on stream these could be MGs and the reliable current models become Austins.
I get the impression that Austins will be distinct to MG's. In fact I think the next all new model may be an Austin and not an MG. But that's just the impression I get from various things I've read.
 

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At the end of the day, MG probably needs a mass market brand to go along side it for it to be viable. With the P4, it was Rover, with NAC it will be Austin.

Ok, people here will probably remember Maestros and Maxis, but given time and the right products, those memories will pass.
 

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At the end of the day, MG probably needs a mass market brand to go along side it for it to be viable. With the P4, it was Rover, with NAC it will be Austin.
Totally agree Steve

Ok, people here will probably remember Maestros and Maxis, but given time and the right products, those memories will pass.
Why should they pass? There was not too much fundamentally wrong with those cars - apart from their looks and the truly awful build quality :lol: But seriously the well made ones worked really well and were as good as the competition, and these bays with Bangle, Stevens and Betty, it seems Ugly is a selling point.
 

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having read the transcript a few times(sad really). i have come to a couple of conclusions.
the m.g. brand is in safe hands (as is austin etc.)and feel very confident they will be a success.
the future seems to hold a few surprises we aren't expecting which will invigorate the brands and hopefully make them popular with more people!!
i feel that now as enthusiasts we should unite behind them and give them the credit and chance they deserve.
hopefully my next brand new car will be an mg/austin!!
 

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"Austin has a very different heritage to MG, and this allows us to develop & market a very
different range of vehicles, for this reason I can definitely see the re-emergence of Austin in less than 5 years."

Thats very interesting and good to know! (btw, i never compared austin to Austin to Kia, i wouldnt dare!)

 

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"Austin has a very different heritage to MG, and this allows us to develop & market a very
different range of vehicles, for this reason I can definitely see the re-emergence of Austin in less than 5 years."

Thats very interesting and good to know! (btw, i never compared austin to Austin to Kia, i wouldnt dare!)
i guess you probably wouldn't , but i think its what they sould aim for with austin i.e. well priced 'well specced . reliable car. with a long warranty and excellent back up (bit like skoda as well!)
austin would be the obvious brand for mpv's,suv's etc.
 
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