AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
The Automotive Industry Creates Some Odd Bedfellows
Sometimes automakers have holes in their line-up bigger than Van Halen did in 1985. Due to a lack of time, resources or manufacturing facilities, the company looks for a quick fix. The solution? Grab a vehicle from another company that fills the void and rebrand it as their own. But like Wade Boggs in a New York Yankees uniform, these rebadged vehicles never look quite right. And, like any decision made by cobbling together bits and pieces from here and there, it doesn’t always work.
In the world of rebadging, Australian General Motors division Holden is king. The company will rebadge anything and everything for the Australian market. Since Holden could have a top ten list entirely their own, we’ll skip them. Instead, let’s focus on vehicles most in North America will recognise in either current or rebadged form. We are not talking platform engineered cars within a company or ones co-developed between two companies, but rather vehicle rebrand jobs that seem to come out of left field and are thinly disguised.
MG Rover may have been able to retain much of its British character after being acquired by Chinese automaker SAIC, the company’s tie-in with General Motors may see the next generation MG Rover products use GM technologies, including platforms.
The Roewe 750 sedan, formerly based on the Rover 75, may be based on the Epsilon II platform used on the Buick Regal and Opel Insignia, which would help bring the car up to a level suitable for European sales. A new range of turbocharged gasoline and diesel 4-cylinder engines are also being developed, along with a crossover and a plug-in hybrid variant of the MG5 compact hatchback, although GM’s involvement in these projects is unclear.
MG is also hoping to expand its UK dealer network to 50 stores in the near future, and the fact that much of the engineering work is being carried out at MG’s historic Longbridge facility should make the cars an easier sell in such a competitive market.
Consider this little disappearance an “extended vacation.” After shutting down operations in Longbridge back in 2005, MG has now returned to the UK, by way of China, with the British-built MG 6.
MG Rover imploded in spectacular fashion back in 2005, but since then they have been hiding out in China. Owned by Nanjing Automobile Group, they have been building models such as the hatchback MG 6, pictured, and the occasional MG TF kit assembled in the Longbridge plant.
But now the MG 6 has returned in European specification, which mostly means a far nicer interior for discriminating consumers. Three trim levels will be offered, and all cars will come generously equipped with keyless ignition, power everything and air conditioning. The only engine so far will be a turbocharged 1.8-liter four, good for 158 horsepower. A 1.9-liter diesel will come next year.
The car will be built in Birmingham, England, and will go on sale in April.
[Source: World Car Fans]
Charles Spencer King, the engineer behind the Range Rover SUV and the Rover SD1 luxury sedan has died at age 85 after being involved in a traffic accident involving his bicycle and a van.
King famously set out to combine the best attributes of the Land Rovers of his day (rugged, off road ability) with the luxury features of a Rover sedan. In doing so, he created the Range Rover, the grandfather of the modern luxury SUV, and a product that has gone on to become an icon of luxury, off road performance and conspicuous consumption.
In addition to the Range Rover, King went on to help develop the Rover SD1 and the Triumph TR6, a car that helped spark America’s love affair with British roadsters.
[Source: Auto Express]