This is a true end of an era saga.
The Longbridge plant in Birmingham, UK may not be particularly evocative to our readers from outside of the British Isles, but the factory itself has a fascinating back story. From its origins as a derelict printing works that Herbert Austin converted into a car factory in January 1906, to eventually becoming one of the UK's largest car making facilities, it's a place steeped in heritage. Alas, the end of Longbridge's story is near, as The Birmingham Mail is reporting the factory will stop producing cars.
Though this isn't the first time we've heard Longbridge will be shuttered, it very much seems like the closing down of the production lines this time is permanent. According to MG's owners, SAIC, Longbridge will "no longer be required" to build cars, meaning all future MGs will be assembled in China. As expected, job losses will be a result of this, though a spokesperson cited by The Birmingham Mail isn't expecting any more than 15 individuals to be out of work. Why such a low figure, you ask? Because the remaining factory workers are expected to be given new roles in SAIC Motors UK's design and engineering centers.
This isn't strictly the definitive end of MG's presence at Longbridge either, as all the jobs related to design, engineering, marketing, distribution, sales and after-sales support will all remain at the site. While we're especially glad that a majority of MG's workforce of 400+ people will still have a job, it is nevertheless a shame to see Longbridge's association with car manufacturing brought to a close. As we said earlier, Longbridge has a long and storied past as a car assembly facility that stretches back more than 110 years, and several truly great cars were built there, so do forgive us for shedding a tear or two as a result of this news.