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An MG badge on the front grill of a classic car
The MG Car Company Limited was a former British sports car manufacturer founded in the 1920s by Cecil Kimber. Best known for its two-seat open sports cars, MG also produced saloons and coupes. Kimber was an employee of William Morris; MG is from Morris Garages. The MG business was Morris's personal property until 1935 when he sold MG into his holding company, Morris Motors Limited, restructuring his holdings before issuing shares in Morris Motors to the public in 1936.
The original MG marque was in continuous use (barring the years of the Second World War) for 56 years after its inception. Production of predominantly two-seater sports cars was concentrated at a factory in Abingdon, some 10 miles south of Oxford. In the autumn of 1980, however, the Abingdon factory closed and MGB production ceased.
Between 1982 and 1991, the MG marque was revived on sportier versions of Austin Rover's Metro, Maestro and Montego ranges. After an interval of barely one year, the MG marque was revived again, this time on the MG RV8 - an updated MGB Roadster with a Rover V8 engine, which was produced in low volumes.
A second revival came in the summer of 1995, when the high volume MG F two-seater roadster was launched. This was an instant hit with buyers, and sold in volumes which had been unthinkable on affordable two-seaters since the 1970s.
The MG marque passed, along with the Rover marque, to the MG Rover group in May 2000, when BMW broke up the Rover Group. This arrangement saw the return of MG badges on sportier Rover-based cars, and a revised MG F model, known as the MG TF, launched in 2002. However, all production ceased in April 2005 when MG Rover went into administration.
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June 12th, 2009
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