New MG rolls off production line

MG has built a new car at its Longbridge plant six years after the West Midlands facility was shut down with a loss of 6,500 jobs.

The new 1.8-litre MG6 rolled off the production line at the factory, driven by the plant's only female worker - Lisa Ponter.

Some of the production of the "first all-new MG for 16 years" will be carried out by the company's Chinese owner SAIC, while the Longbridge plant, which employs around 400 people, will build the engine and electrics and conduct the testing.

Prices for the four-door MG6, which is set to compete with the likes of the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus, are expected to start at around £15,500, going up to about £19,000.

The MG6 is a boost to the UK car industry after it was badly hit by the recession at the end of the last decade.

Production and sales dipped alarmingly at the beginning of 2009 before rallying on the back of the Labour government's car-scrappage scheme.

New car sales of late have failed to match the scrappage-boosted period of 2009/10 but the motor industry believes purchases will pick up in the last half of 2011.

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