Plans For MG Plant Moving Forward, Oklahoma Officials Say

Wednesday, March 28th 2007, 2:58 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Plans by a Chinese automaker to manufacture MG sports cars in Ardmore are alive despite a report that the deal is off, an attorney helping organize the project said Wednesday.

Nanjing Automobile, which launched production of the MG Tuesday in China, previously announced plans to open an assembly line for the car in Ardmore. A news report Wednesday indicated these plans were being abandoned.

The company had no formal response to this report, but Marc Nuttle, a Norman attorney representing Oklahoma interests in the project, said in a statement Wednesday he had just returned from meetings in China to finalize agreements for the Ardmore plant.

"Our business plan remains on schedule to finalize these agreements," he said. "We are in the process now of completing all due diligence."

A statement issued by the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce and the Ardmore Development Authority echoed Nuttle's comments.

"This is a complicated project, with individuals and companies on three continents, a foreign government and a former company in bankruptcy," the statement said. "There are many details to work through and issues to be resolved, but we are committed to the project and will continue ongoing discussions with all parties involved."

Wes Stucky, head of the Ardmore development agency, said Oklahoma officials are continuing to work to make the project happen.

"I am in charge with developing the airport for them and I am proceeding with that," Stucky said.

State officials last year pledged $20 million as part of financial incentives for the Chinese company to bring the MG plant and a parts distribution center to the state.

A board consisting of Gov. Brad Henry and leaders of the Oklahoma Legislature approved the plan.

Nanjing Automobile Corp., China's oldest carmaker, wants to build a newly designed MG TF Coupe, a rear wheel drive two-seater engineered but never built by MG's former owners.

Ardmore is located about 100 miles south of Oklahoma City along Interstate 35, about half way between Oklahoma City and Dallas.