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The brand 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 (16 km) south of Oxford. During the 1960s, the MG badge was used on a sportier version of the Austin 1300 family saloon. In the autumn of 1980, however, the Abingdon factory closed and MGB production ceased.
Between 1982 and 1991, the MG marque was revived on faster 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 Range Rover V8 engine, which was produced in low volumes.
The "real" 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.
MG became one half of the MG Rover group in May 2000, when BMW sold off the huge Rover Group. This arrangement saw the return of MG badges on sportier Rover-based products, but production ceased in April 2005 when MG Rover went bankrupt.
The assets of MG Rover were bought by Chinese carmaker Nanjing Automobile in July 2005, and within two years MG TF production resumed at Longbridge. Production of the MG 7 large sports saloon has also started in China, and in 2008 the range is set to expand with the arrival of the smaller MG 3 and MG 5 hatchbacks.
MG got its name from "Morris Garages", a dealer of Morris cars in Oxford which began producing its own customized versions to the designs of Cecil Kimber who had joined the company as its Sales Manager in 1921 and was promoted to General Manager in 1922. Kimber remained as General Manager until 1941 when he fell out with Lord Nuffield over procuring wartime work. Kimber died in 1945 in a freak railway accident. In 1952, with the BMC merger, long-time service manager John Thornley took over as General Manager, guiding the company through its best years until his retirement in 1969.
MG is best known for two-seat open sports cars, but MG also produced saloons and coupés. More recently, the brand has also been used to designate sportier versions of other models belonging to the parent company. The BMC competition department was also based at the Abingdon plant and produced many winning rally and race cars.
Following the collapse of the MG Rover group, who had owned the marque since purchasing it in 2000 from BMW, MG was bought by the Nanjing Automobile Group in 2005. Under its new Chinese owners, the brand stands for something new in China, as MG general manager Zhang Xin said: "We want Chinese consumers to know this brand as 'Modern Gentleman'. To see that this brand represents grace and style." In Europe it still stands for "Morris Garages".
Check out the MG wallpapers and MG Pictures (pics) collection below: