West midlands’ automotive sector shines

Posted on 18 May 2011 by The Manufacturer

MG Rover has announced a better than expected public response to its new model, the MG6, while Jaguar Land Rover argued that electric cars are the way forward for the global automotive sector.

Bob Joyce, group engineering director of Jaguar Land Rover, commented that as petrol prices rise, in the future people are more likely to buy either hybrid or electric cars. With proposals to introduce a network of electronic ‘charging points’ across cities and potentially the rest of the country, it’s set to become even more convenient and practical to own an electric car.

Mr Joyce commented on the future of electric cars: “The world will go plug-in. When it does, I think you are going to find the world will move much quicker than people think,” he said. “Plug-in will do at the bottom end – the city car and the little cars going round the cities.”

One potential problem with the concept of electric cars is the fact that they wouldn’t be able to make long journeys without needing to be recharged. While a network of charging points is likely to be established in cities such as London, the cost of installing such facilities at petrol stations across the country would be high.

Over at the MG Motor site in Longbridge, the MG6 was extremely well received last weekend. It surpassed all expectations, according to Doug Wallace: “Feedback has been hugely strong and hugely positive and several dealers have already reported sales,” he said.

The good news comes six years after the company fell into administration in April 2005. The MG6 is a two-door fastback and is the first of a range of new models to be assembled at the plant. Also planned is a four-door salon car, with further models to be assembled there in the future. After a painful six years, the prosperity currently experienced by MG Rover comes as a relief for the company’s owners.

There was cause for celebration in Birmingham city centre as MG Rover dealers were cheered and waved at by members of the public.