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NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

GM's Vauxhall denies deal to sell SAIC's MG cars in its UK showrooms

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GM's Vauxhall denies deal to sell SAIC's MG cars in its UK showrooms

David Jolley

Automotive News Europe -- December 16, 2010 06:01 CET

General Motor Co.'s UK brand Vauxhall said it will not sell MG cars in its showrooms.

The denial follows a report from Reuters news agency that said GM partner SAIC Motor Corp. may be granted access to Vauxhall's UK sales network.

"There is no plan to sell MG cars in Vauxhall showrooms," a spokesman for GM UK and Ireland told Automotive News Europe on Thursday.

Vauxhall's retail network development department is helping SAIC subsidiary MG Motor to develop its retail network in the UK, including finding property and land, the spokesman said.

Reuters said on Monday that SAIC could be granted access to GM's UK retail network to sell MG cars, quoting Kevin Wale, managing director for GM's China operations, as saying: "We have agreed in a memorandum that we would discuss the potential for MG to be distributed in the UK."

SAIC became the owner of MG Rover's 10,000-capacity Longbridge plant in Birmingham, England, after a merger with its much smaller peer, Nanjing Automobile Group, in late 2007.

Nanjing had earlier bought MG Rover after Britain's last domestic volume maker collapsed through financial difficulties.

SAIC plans to start making MG cars in Longbridge by the end of this year and sell them across Europe, Chairman Hu Maoyuan told Reuters in January.

In November, SAIC bought nearly a 1 percent stake in GM when the U.S. automaker returned to the stock market with a record initial public offering worth more than $20 billion.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20101216/ANE/101219898/1193#ixzz18HwqVmEh

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