MG Motorsport was set up in 1990 by Doug Smith to service and supply parts to owners of later MGs, especially the MGC for which he had developed several improved and performance parts. The business gradually expanded to include building “new” MGBs and Cs as well as restoration, road and race preparation, and standard and performance parts for most of the post 1955 MG models.
Tom, Doug’s son, works in the business and is a successful multiple race winner in his MGB Historic car, 297 EFU.
They currently work from their premises in Bovingdon, near Hemel Hempstead and among other mainly MG projects manufacture the highly regarded MGC GTS Sebring and MGB Historic Racer replicas. These comply with FIA regulations for Historic Racers.
BMW acquired the MINI brand as part of its purchase of the Rover Group in 1994 and since production of the new MINI started in 2001, more than two million cars have been made at Plant Oxford, of which approximately 75% have gone for export. Hundreds of MINIs leave the plant's assembly lines each day, off to meet owners in more than 100 countries around the world. Since 2000, around £1.5 billion has been invested in MINI manufacturing in the UK.
Although Plant Oxford is the birthplace and heart of MINI production, two other UK plants have a part to play. Plant Hams Hall, near Birmingham, makes the new MINI petrol engines and Plant Swindon produces body pressings and sub-assemblies and all this comes together at Plant Oxford with body shell production, paint and final assembly.
The Countryman model is currently built in Austria due to production capacity limitations in the UK and also assembled at other BMW plants for localised markets.
All Convertibles are currently assembled in Holland and some production of the 3-door Hatch will also be undertaken here where production capacity limitations in the UK make this necessary. Examples of the latter model assembled in Holland are unlikely to be sold in the UK.
MK Sportscars is one of the big players at the affordable end of the UK's huge Lotus Seven inspired roadster scene. From an embryonic start, producing chassis and suspension components for the Locost, another Seven style car, they were quick to develop their own roadster in 2000 and have since constantly developed the product, while maintaining a clear focus on affordability, allied to quality and high performance. In 2004, the founder of the company Martin Keenan (MK) sold it to his brother Phil and business partner Barry Lunn, both of whom had worked there for several years. Both Phil and Barry have been involved in motorsport of one sort or another for many years and the continued success they brought to MK Sportscars enabled them to move to bigger and better premises in Maltby, Yorkshire, where they currently produce the Indy R and Indy RR.
The Morgan Motor Company is the oldest independently owned car manufacturer in the world and the oldest British owned one still making cars in the UK. Based in Malvern, Worcestershire, where they first started making cars, Morgan celebrated their centenary in 2009. The Morgan Motor Company is well known all over the world for their hand built open sports cars, echoing a style of car that was a common site on British roads before and after the Second World War.
Despite the familiar 'heritage' look of a classic Morgan, they have kept up to date with technology, incorporating many of the latest mechanical developments into the range. Current models are the Roadster, Plus 4, 4/4 and new Plus Six. In addition, the widely-acclaimed Three Wheeler has taken Morgan back to its roots, as this was the model that originally put the company on the map. However, Morgan have a deserved reputation for innovation, so watch this space!
Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd was founded in 1984 and by 1986 the first cars were rolling off the production lines at the new state of the art factory in Sunderland. Since then, the plant has gone from strength to strength, with a total investment made or announced since 1984 of several billion GBP. Between 1986 and 2015, total production stood at over 8 million vehicles. Production is currently running at at around 500,000 a year with a workforce of 6,700 and supporting a further 27,000 positions in the supply chain. Sunderland currently produces the Juke, Qashqai and LEAF EV ranges (including the LEAF's batteries), and are now also building the first Infiniti models to be made in Europe, the Q30 and QX30 models.