MG (car brand)

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MG car brand Logo.svg

Introductory year 1924
Products Automobiles
Markets worldwide

MG was a British car brand that was owned by the MG Rover Group until 2005 . The Chinese Nanjing Automobile Group took over the trademark rights, but was taken over by Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) in 2007 . MG Motor UK Limited , headquartered in Birmingham , has existed since 2006, selling final assembly of cars for nine years and, as of 2020, three models produced in China under the brand name MG .


Foundation and advancement (1923–1939)

MG 14/28 Sports (1924)
MG M-Type (1930)

The MG company was founded in Oxford (England) in 1923 as "Morris Garages"; the first managing director was Cecil Kimber . At the end of the 1920s the company moved to Abingdon in Oxfordshire .

The first model was a sports tourer derived from the Morris Oxford , which was sold from 1924 under the name MG 14/28 . It was followed by sporty sedans, of which the MG 14/40, presented in 1927, was the first vehicle to bear the octagonal MG emblem. From 1928, the M-Type Midget was the first simple, two-seater sports car to be built, which became typical of the brand's range. The sports car based on the Morris Minor with ohc engines became the brand's first really successful model because it was inexpensive and offered very good performance.

The brand's first sporting successes were achieved in 1931 in Montlhéry with the C-Type Midget . Further developments were the J3 / J4 models with supercharged engines, which were specially designed for racing, and their successors, the Q-Type and R-Type .

Until the mid-1930s, the model range included the small Midget, the larger Magna and Magnette models with ohc six-cylinder engines of less than 1.5 l displacement. Although the simple but reliable and powerful roadsters were the company's main field of activity, there were always sporty coupés and sedans, all of which were derived from Morris designs. From around 1935 the T-Type replaced the Midget with simpler ohv engines and the larger four- and six-cylinder models SA , VA and WA replaced the Magnette.

The golden years (1945–1980)

MG TF (1953)
MGB GT (1962-1980)

After the Second World War , the small sports roadster, the TC , was offered again from 1945. From 1950 onwards, the Series Y was also joined by a sporty sedan - like the Roadster, it was equipped with a 1.25-liter four-cylinder engine. In the mid-1950s, the old T-Type roadsters (most recently: MG TF) were replaced by a completely new, modern design that, as the MGA, indicated a new beginning. For the first time, this car was also increasingly exported and, above all, MG opened up the important American market. The name Magnette reappeared and until the mid-1960s referred to the large sedans, which - equipped with four-cylinder engines - were only slightly more luxurious versions of the sister brands Morris and Austin , which, like MG, had belonged to the Nuffield Group since the mid-1950s . From 1961, the brand's smallest model was again a Midget, which was derived from the Austin-Healey Sprite . Also from mid-range model of the group, the Austin / Morris 1100 / 1300 , there was a better equipped MG variant each.

In May 1962, the MGB with a self-supporting body replaced the successful MGA. The four-cylinder engine, which has now grown to 1.8 l, was accompanied by a 2.9-l six-cylinder MGC at the end of the 1960s, and even an MGB V8 with the 3.5-l V8 taken over from Rover in the mid-1970s -Engine. In addition to the Roadster, the MGB was also available as a GT model with a fixed roof.

The MGB and MGC remained on offer until the end of 1980, when the last independent MG design for a long time disappeared.

Decline and bankruptcy (1981-2005)

MG F (1995-2002)
MG ZT (2001-2005)

From 1981 the MG were only top versions of models from sister company Austin, such as B. the Metro , the Maestro and the Montego . These three models are also known as the MG-M series and were manufactured until 1990. The Nuffield Group initially operated as the British Motor Corporation (BMC), and after the takeover of Leyland as the British Leyland Motor Corporation (BLMC). The last Morris was built in 1984 and the BLMC conglomerate, which included almost all British automobile manufacturers, became the Austin-Rover Group and then the Rover Group after several economic turmoil.

After there had been no MG vehicle for three years, the MG RV8 was relaunched in 1993, a vehicle closely based on the MGB that had disappeared in 1980. The roadster, which was only offered in the home country in a total of 2,000 copies for two years, had a 4.0-liter V8 engine from Rover.

In 1994, the German automobile manufacturer BMW took over the Rover Group and - encouraged by the sales success of the MG RV8 "test balloon" - brought out an independent new MG design in 1995 with the MG F. The F was the first MG to have a mid-mounted engine behind the front seats, a four-cylinder with a displacement of 1.8 l.

As early as 2000, BMW sold the Rover Group (including the MG brand, but excluding the Mini and Land Rover brands ) to the British Phoenix Venture Group, which for marketing reasons is now the MG Rover Group, due to the sustained weak earnings of its British subsidiary called.

From mid-2001 the sporty MG versions ZR , ZS and ZT were built in the well-known way of the Rover models 25, 45 and 75 . These models are also grouped together as the MG-Z series. The MG F received a revised successor model (including classic suspension instead of hydragas suspension and a torsion-resistant chassis) with the traditional name MG TF of its predecessor from the 1950s. In 2001, Lola even built a racing car for the Le Mans 24-hour race , the MG-Lola EX257 . In 2003, the MG Rover Group bought the Italian small series manufacturer Qvale Automotive Srl and subsequently manufactured 50 of the mid-engine sports car MG XPower SV .

Ultimately, the MG Rover Group was unable to assert itself in the international automotive market because market shares and capital resources were too low. In April 2005 she had to file for bankruptcy.

New start in Asia (2005) and Europe (2008)

In July 2005, the Chinese Nanjing Automobile Group was awarded the contract by the insolvency administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers to purchase the company. The branch in Modena was taken over by a newly founded company called MG XPower and produced the XPower WR model in small series . Nanjing Automobile in turn was taken over shortly afterwards by SAIC Motor, which had previously taken over the Rover part, but not its name.

From 2008 to 2016 the British MG Motor UK Limited was the final assembler of the MG vehicles, which were delivered as almost finished kits from China. The final assembly with 25 employees was stopped in autumn 2016. The SAIC Motor Technical Center (SMTC) is still located in Longbridge, where the models of the Chinese brand MG are designed and developed by 400 employees. The MG 3 , MG GS and MG ZS models are currently sold in the UK.

Model overview


Type Construction period
MG 14/28 1924-1928
MG 14/40 Mark IV 1927-1929
MG 18/80 Mark I-III 1928-1932
MG M-Type / C-Type / D-Type Midget 1928-1933
MG J1 / J2 Midget 1932-1934
MG J3 / J4 supercharged 1932-1933
MG PA / PB Midget 1934-1936
MG F1 / F2 / F3 / L1 / L2 Magna 1931-1934
MG K1 / K2 / K3 / KN magnets 1932-1935
MG NA / NE Magnette 1934-1936
MG VA 1937-1939
MG SA 1937-1939
MG WA 1933-1939
MG TA / TB 1936-1939


Type Construction period
MG TC / TD / TF 1945–1955
MG Series YA / YB / YT 1947-1953
MG Magnette Series Z 1953-1958
MGA 1955-1962
MGB 1962-1979
MGC 1967-1969
MG RV8 1993-1995
MG F / TF 1995-2005
MG Midget Mark I-IV 1961-1979
MG 1100 1962-1968
MG 1300 1967-1971
MG Metro / Maestro / Montego 1981-1990
MG ZR / ZS / ZT / ZT-T 2001-2005
MG-Lola EX257 2001-2002
MG XPower SV / WR 2003-2008


Web links

Commons : MG  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. MG Motor UK makes it official ... (23 September 2016)