New MG6 Rolls Off Production Line

Originally published on April 14, 2011 12:28 pm
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STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

As Vicki Barker reports, it is being seen as a breakthrough moment in both countries.

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VICKI BARKER: The first British-made MG6 drove off the Longbridge assembly line in a swirl of dry ice, confetti, popping champagne corks.

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BARKER: Behind the wheel of the bright red hatchback: worker Lisa Ponter, one of the lucky 400 rehired from the more than 6,000 laid off when MGs previous owner, Rover, went bust in 2005.

LISA PONTER: Four years I've been back and I've been working towards this, and finally it's here.

BARKER: But even then, analyst Paul Newenhaus says, most of the design work will still take place over drafting tables in the U.S. and Europe - the Chinese just aren't there yet, he says.

PAUL NEWENHAUS: Although they have the ability to make cars and manufacture cars, that ability to develop a car from scratch doesn't come easy.

BARKER: For NPR News, I'm Vicki Barker in London. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.