Following last weeks news of the free tour available of the MG Factory at Longbridge, I duly went on the tour on last thursday and had some surprises!…..
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We were given a short presentation of the history of the Longbridge site since it was started in 1905, by Lord Austin.
This was followed by a viewing, through glass, of the inside of Lord Austin’s office. This was in the original site buildings and then the wall panels and furniture transferred to the new site. A safe discovered elsewhere and was opened with great excitement but unfortunately it was empty.
Next was a look around the small museum of cars with some notable models from history.
What was most interesting and impressive was a look inside the UK Technical Centre which I estimate includes a room about 50 by 50 metres. This is very, very modern with no grease in sight! just 325 people in front of computer screens designing the MG models of the future. Some examples of their prototype car bodies and engines were on show. Also, most impressive, was the latest aid to prototyping – a 3D laser printer which constructs a component from a computer design by building up layers from a lump of resin. This is an expensive piece of kit about the size of a fridge/freezer cabinet, but saves a substantial amount of money and time in prototyping components of engines, gear boxes, etc.
In contrast the assembly plant employs only about 3 dozen people to assemble the body and engine of all MG6 cars for the UK market – times have changed! This was not included in our tour due to it being tooled up for new production but will be included in a month or so.
The tours are now booked up until October, but as a party of 20 failed to turn up to mine, I imagine you might be able to persuade the organisers to put you on a cancellation list.
I’d recommend the visit and have booked a test drive, for this afternoon.