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Nanjing Automobile to start Longbridge recruitment in July

Nanjing Automobile Corporation, which bought MG Rover assets from the company’s administrators for £53 million late last year, has told union leaders that it plans to start interviewing for up to 400 jobs next month, to allow series production of the MGTF and Rover 75 from early next year.

Nanjing’s acquisition of MGTF roadster tooling for £1.5m is likely to be completed in four weeks, following agreement for Stadco to establish on-site panel production.

About 40 ex-MG Rover design and manufacturing engineers are already working again at Longbridge. The first MGTF is set to roll off Longbridge production lines early next year, followed by the former Rover flagsghip, the Rover 75.

Transport and General Workers Union regional secretary Gerard Coyne said: "They have started recruiting a limited number of staff to build up for the MGTF - their initial drive is for about 400. They are saying they hope to start production by April 2007."

Nanjing signed a 33-year lease on the Longbridge plant earlier this year with its owner St Modwen, with a six-month get-out clause which expires on 22 August.

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