MG is the iconic brand created by the M.G. Car Company – a British motoring manufacturer famous for its no-nonsense sports cars.
Founded in the early 1920s, MG was simply an initialism of Morris Garages: a vehicle sales and service centre in Oxford, England. Over the years, MG was sold and incorporated with a number of different conglomerates and subsidiaries, including British Leyland and Austin Rover.
In 2005, the MG Rover Group collapsed. It is now MG Motor UK, which is a part of SAIC Motors – China’s largest automotive manufacturer. Nowadays, MG seems to be firmly back on track with an exciting range of fully-electric vehicles.
In this article we’ll cover a bit of history on the brand, and where its current production plants are located.
Where MG cars are made
MG cars are currently built in India, China and Thailand. The company, MG Motors UK, is headquartered in Marylebone, London (UK).
A huge part of MG’s British motoring heritage was their flagship plant in Longbridge, Birmingham (UK). By the 1960s the plant employed over 25,000 people who were focused on researching, assembling and marketing MG vehicles.
When Nanjing Automobile Group purchased MG’s assets in 2005, the Longbridge plant entered a state of limbo, with frequent attempts to restart production. In 2016 the plant officially ceased all vehicle production and was converted into a research and development facility for SAIC Motors.
MG Production in China officially began in 2007. SAIC Motors now operate a total of four Chinese facilities for MG vehicle production.
Is MG a British or Chinese brand?
MG Cars was founded in Great Britain, so it is historically a British brand. MG Cars is now owned by MG Motor UK, who is owned by SAIC Motor (China). The company is still headquartered in London, UK.
MG’s DNA is 100% British. From the 1920s through 2006, MG was owned completely by a British company. It is now owned by SAIC Motor, one of the largest automotive manufacturers in China.
The early 2000s was a difficult time for British motoring manufacturers, especially MG. With the eventual collapse of MG Rover in 2006, international investment was needed to keep the brand and its vehicles alive.
If you own an MG from the past or present, you might be curious about where it has been assembled. Read on to find out how you can tell.
How to tell where your MG was made
The most accurate way of identifying where your MG vehicle was made is to check the first two or three letters of your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
The first three digits of a VIN number are known as a World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI). For most production vehicles, this allows you to trace the car back to its country of origin.
You can find your VIN number on the title or registration documents for your car. It can also be found on the cowl panel, or on a metal plate in the inner driver’s door sill.
If your WIM is ‘GHD’, ‘GHN’ or ‘GAN’, this simply means that the vehicle has been assembled by MG in the United Kingdom. Before 2006, MG produced all of its vehicles in the UK.
If your WIM is ‘LNP’, the vehicle was assembled by Nanjing in China.
On some MG models, the eighth character of the VIN number can be used to identify the production plant used to assemble your vehicle. If the eighth character is ‘D’, this means that your vehicle was built in the Longbridge plant. If it is ‘M’, this means that your vehicle was assembled in the Cowley plant. If it is ‘G’, this means that the vehicle was produced in China.
If you’re interested in decoding your VIN number to find out more about the spec of your MG vehicle, there are plenty of VIN decoder services online. They’re mostly free and very easy to use.
What does MG Cars stand for?
MG is an initialism of Morris Garages, a service and sales centre for Morris vehicles in Oxford. The MG name was originally used to promote Cecil Kimber’s special versions of Morris vehicles. In 1928, the MG Car Company was founded as a separate entity, and the rest is history!
When did MG go out of business?
The MG Rover Group collapsed in 2005, with its assets being taken over by Nanjing Automobile Group in China. Before the collapse, MG Rover was making continuous losses and losing market share.
Who owns MG now?
The MG brand is owned by MG Motor UK, based in London. MG Motor UK is owned by SAIC Motor, a Chinese automotive manufacturer. All MG assembly plants and production facilities are based in China, India and Thailand.
Financial troubles led to MG production leaving the United Kingdom for good. While some research and development activities still take place at the famous Longbridge plant, it’s nothing close to the 25,000 employees that once worked at the assembly site.
But seeing the MG brand live on, whether in China or the UK, is inspiring and a true testament to the resilience of the British motoring industry.
Go on then, tell us – which MG do you own? Let us know below!