The Chinese have found that reviving old British sports cars is a tough business.
Limited production of the MG TF roadster at the former MG Rover factory near Birmingham, England, has stopped again.
Just 265 MG TFs have been sold this year. The car, available only in Great Britain, once was the United Kingdom's top-selling small roadster. After MG Rover collapsed in 2005, much of the company's production equipment was sold to Nanjing Automobile Group, which since has been absorbed by Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp.
The TF, styled by Gerry McGovern, now director of advanced design at Land Rover, debuted in 1995. It was given a face-lift and other upgrades in 2002 and renamed the MG TF.
Plans to build the MG TF in Ardmore, Okla., never materialized.
Shanghai Automotive assembled the MG's body and power train in China and shipped everything to the British plant for final assembly. MG officials say production will restart next year.
"We build the TF in low volumes and in batches," Guy Jones, MG's sales and marketing director, told The Birmingham Post. "The peak sales period is between March and September, and sales over the next few months will be very low."
The Post reported that the market for two-seater sports cars in the United Kingdom is down 40 percent since 2007.
(Source: Automotive News)