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Report: Roewe to get own version of Buick Regal

08/26/2011   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: China, Buick, GM, Roewe

roewe badgeEven in the vehicle-hungry Chinese automobile market, there are winners and losers. SAIC has seen its passenger vehicle sales fall to just under 91,000 units for the first seven months of 2011. That's a two-percent drop versus 2010, and the company is making several moves to reverse that trend. Forty-five billion Yuan will be poured into research and development over the next four years, and the sales figure are also likely to get a shot in the arm from the July showroom debut of the Roewe W5, the first SUV for SAIC.

On the heels of the new W5 SUV, and joining other SAIC models like the Roewe sedans and several MG models will be a new midsize sedan that's based on the Buick Regal. Codenamed BP31, the new Roewe sedan will be yet another model to employ the widely-used General Motors Epsilon architecture. General Motors already works with SAIC building Buick, Chevrolet and Cadillac vehicles, as well as Wuling vans. It's not going to stop with this sedan, either; there will be a total of nine new or redesigned vehicles rolling out between now and 2015.

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Report: SAIC to sell new MG models through GM showrooms in UK

12/22/2010   [Original: The Telegraph via Autoblog]
Category: China, GM, Roewe, UK, MISC

The notion that Chinese automakers would begin selling cars in competitive export markets seemed laughable only a few years ago. But that's what they said about the Koreans, and before them the Japanese. Also laughable: the notion that a British brand like MG would have no outlet to sell their cars in the UK. But that's the situation that MG Rover found itself in after it was taken over by Chinese automakers SAIC and Nanjing.

A new arrangement, however, could see MGs being sold through GM dealers in the UK before too long. The deal would actually be an extension of the cooperative venture the two auto groups embarked upon years ago in China, giving The General a foothold in the rapidly growing market to sell Chevrolets, Buicks and Cadillacs, of which it has already sold a reported 2.2 million so far this year.

According to reports, MG already has a memorandum of understanding with GM to distribute the Sino-British cars in the UK. If that's the case, it could be just a matter of time before MGs are sold alongside such vehicles as the Cruze and BLS from London to Scotland.

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Shanghai Preview: New Roewe MG6 is... nice

04/17/2009   [Original: Auto Sina ( via Autoblog]
Category: Sedans/Saloons, China, Roewe, Shanghai Motor Show

This is the Roewe MG6, and it's a good looking car. As the sporty version of the 550 (another good looking car), the MG6 gets a tauter nose with new lights, a slightly more upswept swage line, and a fastback rear end.

The Roewe 550 signified a break from the heavily Rover-based design still found models like the Roewe 750, undoubtedly due to the international design team based in China and the UK. The MG6 continues the trend of independent design, not relying on being merely a tweaked copy of its sibling, or any other car for that matter. It will be debuting at the Shanghai Motor Show, and to you, Roewe, we say keep up the good work.

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Shanghai Surprise: Roewe to unveil N1 sedan concept?

04/11/2009   [Original: China Car Times via Autoblog]
Category: Concept Cars, Sedans/Saloons, China, Misc. Auto Shows, Roewe

Roewe N1 concept - Click for an image gallery

Back in 2004, Chinese firm Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) purchased the rights to assemble the Rover 25 and 75 from British automaker MG. Since then, SAIC has been content to offer a few vehicles that closely resemble the old Rover designs under the Roewe brand name. If the new Roewe N1 sedan concept is anything to go by, it looks as if the Chinese automaker is finally ready to branch out with something a bit more modern.

So far, all we have are renderings of the sleek new sedan, but the real thing is expected to debut at the Shanghai Motor Show next week. We look forward to finding out whether the Jaguar XF-esque sedan's coupe-like profile is retained when the N1 makes its official entrance in the metal. Stay tuned.

Gallery: Shanghai Motor Show: Roewe N1 renderings

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What's in a Name? Nanjing removes name from MG division

01/21/2009   [Original: Autocar via Autoblog]
Category: China, Roewe, UK

Is a British automaker still British if it's foreign owned? This is an increasingly relevant question, as England's biggest car brands have been gobbled up by foreign concerns. Jaguar and Land Rover are owned by India's Tata, Aston Martin by a group of Kuwaiti investors, Bentley is part of the Volkswagen Group, Rolls-Royce under the BMW umbrella, and Lotus is owned by Malaysian state automaker Proton. This leaves the LTI taxi cab company as the largest independent, self-owned British automaker. Even MG was sold, together with Rover, to China's Nanjing Automobile Corporation nearly four years ago. But a recent change in nomenclature apparently seeks to minimize that impression.

MG has been operated over the past several years as NAC MG UK Ltd, including on its masthead the name of its parent company. Nanjing has decided to change that, however, renaming its British subsidiary as MG Motor UK Ltd. Will that change the notion that Britain's favorite roadster company is owned by the Chinese? Not one bit, but who knows, maybe some will be fooled.

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Spy Shots: Roewe developing executive limo?

01/20/2009   [Original: China Car Times via Autoblog]
Category: Spy Photos, China, Roewe

China-based high rollers may soon have another option for whisking about if spy shots of a Roewe limousine hold water. The car itself is apparently based on the Ssangyong Chairman W limo, though it may not carry that car's Mercedes-sourced powertrain.

China Car Times surmises that Roewe's Rover V6, at 2.5 liters, just doesn't have the guts to pull so much car around. According to CCT, the cat will be fully let out of the bag in April when the car is unveiled in Shanghai. Until we see the whole thing, our favorite feature will have to be that medieval-looking R emblem. Tattoo, anyone?

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Roewe 550, 750 arrive in Chile as MGs

10/27/2008   [Original: Autoblog Spanish, Austin Rover Online via Autoblog]
Category: Sedans/Saloons, China, Roewe

Remember the Roewe 550? Pretty nice-looking ride, especially for a Chinese car, considering some of the freakishly awful stuff that comes out of the country. SAIC apparently realizes that in terms of name recognition, MG > Roewe. Case in point: the introduction of the 550 and 750 sedans in Chile, where both cars are now being sold under the MG moniker by importer SK Bergé. The two four-doors will reportedly be joined by the TF roadster in November, but despite the traditionally British nameplate adorning their respective bonnets, all three are made in China. You know, like everything else. You can see a gallery of the brand's launch event in Santiago here. Thanks for the tip, Potts.

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Rendered Speculation: MG TF is coming...

05/08/2008   [Original: Auto Express via Autoblog]
Category: Convertibles, Coupes, Roewe, Rendered Speculation

There's a new MG TF on its way to replace the current TF, which is once again rolling out the doors at its Longbridge, UK ancestral home. The new TF will be available as a roadster, natch, and as a coupe, and based on the Roewe 550. AutoExpress has worked up some renderings based on insider information about the new rear-drive MG, and the car amounts to a smorgasbord of cues from a variety of unfortunately styled vehicles. There's a lot of X80 concept, a dash of the crosseyed Qvale Mangusta, and a peppering or two of the MG SV, too. The end result looks like something Noddy assembled in a candlelit workshop, but then again, so does the existing MG TF.

The underlying platform for the new TF is one of the last vestiges of MG Rover, and would have been used for the MG ZS/Rover 45 replacement. Ricardo also played a role in the development of the chassis, which will have a turbocharged 1.8-liter four and a 2.5-liter V6 as power options. Still, more coupes in the MX5's sandbox can't be a bad thing, so we wish the new MG TF well, and hope that it comes to the United States for a proper taunting.

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Beijing 2008: Roewe 550 debuts, still good lookin'

04/22/2008   [Original: Autoblog Chinese, Autocar via Autoblog]
Category: Sedans/Saloons, China, Misc. Auto Shows, Roewe

Click above for high-res gallery of the Roewe 550

Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation debuted the Roewe 550 over the weekend at the Auto China show in Beijing, and it joins the 750 in a lineup that was designed and engineered entirely in Britain. For those who don't remember the story, a little history lesson might be in order. SAIC fought long and hard against cross-town Chinese rival Nanjing for the right to purchase the bankrupt English automotive brand Rover. SAIC won the battle, but didn't secure the rights to the Rover name. Hence, Roewe was born and the 750 debuted as a rebadged version of the Rover 75. The Roewe 550, however, is its own car with a design that doesn't carry forward any obvious cues from Rover. Based on a shortened version of the Rover 75 platform, the 550 was reportedly being developed before MG Rover bit the dust in 2005, and SAIC has made sure to keep the car palatable to European tastes as it plans to sell the 550 in Europe eventually.

The 550 features a clean and tasteful exterior design, though some at the show note its interior isn't made of the highest quality materials. We do, however, like the digital gauge cluster that wraps around the analog tach, as well as the flush nav screen. The 550's available engines, however, are not as impressive and include the same 1.8T and 1.6L K-Series four-cylinders, as well as a 2.0L diesel, that were sold in Rovers before the company collapsed. Autocar points out it's also possible that the 550 could be badged as an MG in Europe, as SAIC recently bought its rival Nanjing, which settled for buying the MG name when it lost the bid to own Rover's assets.

Check out the new Roewe 550 in our high-res gallery below.

Gallery: Roewe 550 - Live Shots

Gallery: Roewe 550

All photos Copyright (C)2008 Bin Chen / Weblogs, Inc.

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Package Deal: Tata buys 5 British marques for the price of 2

03/28/2008   [Original: Automotive News Europe - subscription required via Autoblog]
Category: Government/Legal, Jaguar, Land Rover, Earnings/Financials, Roewe, Tata

Click above for a high-res gallery of the Daimler Super 8

While most of the automotive press is reporting on Tata's acquisition of Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford's Premier Automotive Group, the fine print shows that the Indian automaker got a whole package of classic British marques to go along with them. In addition to Jaguar and Land Rover, Tata also acquired the rights to use the names of Rover, Daimler and Lanchester.

The Rover name previously belonged to BMW, which bought the Rover group 14 years ago. Although Shanghai (SAIC) bought the rights to produce Rover products, BMW refused to license the name to them (leaving SAIC to label its cars Roewe), instead selling it to Ford who secured the name to avoid confusion with Land Rover. The Daimler name, through an age-old licensing agreement with the Mercedes parent company, is used by Jaguar for a line of even more luxurious versions of its XJ sedan range. The Lanchester name is likewise attached to Jaguar, but having produced its first motor car in 1895, has laid dormant since 1956.

Although the three brands are barely in use, they transfer ownership to Tata along with Jaguar and Land Rover. The option will remain Tata's whether or not to utilize the names, but we wouldn't expect the Indian auto giant to lay out the cash to launch additional brands while it shoulders the financial burden of the $2.3 billion acquisition. We wouldn't be surprised, however, to see Tata license any of the names it can to help raise the funds.

Gallery: Daimler Super 8

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