May 4, 2015 By Mike Lee
Last updated on May 4, 2015

MG LogoBrief History About MG

MG was founded in 1923/24 in England by Cecil Kimber. Cecil worked for William Morris (Morris Motors Limited) and wanted to promote his own unique branded car within the Morris business, although as he worked for William Morris, the brand was personally owned by William. The MG name is said to stand for (not confirmed though) for Morris Garages.

Those first cars built in the mid-late 20’s were rebodied Morris cars and sold very well, prompting a move to larger premises to keep up with the demand. Between 1928 and 1930 MG Car Company Limited was established as a separate car business and continued to expand. They also got into motorsport and even got a class win with the K3 at the 1933 Mille Miglia road race.

MG belonged to William Morris as a personal entity, however in 1935 William sold it to his own Morris Motors Limited company and there were many different models now on offer.

Cecil left Morris in 1941 after disagreements with William and was sadly killed in a railway accident in 1945. After the war in 1945 the MG TB Midget, then the TC were introduced and became a popular 2 seater sports car with returning American soldiers.

In 1952 Morris merged with Austin as part of the British Motor Corporation. Most MG cars at the time were just rebadged BMC cars, but the MG T Midget models were still selling well. The A and B-Series engines were also built around this time.

In 1962 the popular MGA and MGB were released, followed by the 6 cylinder MG C in 1967.

MG became its own division of BMC in 1967 and a component of the 1968 merger that created British Leyland Motor Corporation.

Despite the Oil crisis, MG brought out the MGB V8 in 1973, however there were still issues that caused British Leyland to close its Abingdon factory and end the production of the MGB in 1980 and a temporary halt on MG cars until 1982. In 1982 MG became part of the Austin Rover Group and created sportier versions of the Metro, Maestro and Montego with the MG brand.

In 1988 MG was taken over by British Aerospace, who continued with the Rover badged MG’s and then in 1993 released the first MG only car in a long time with the introduction of the MG RV8. In 1994 BMW then took over MG and in 1995 the MG-F arrived.

In 2000 BMW sells MG, who now became part of the MG Rover Group and once again Rover use the MG brand as sportier versions of Rover, creating the MG ZR, MG ZS and MG ZT. In 2001 MG returned to motorsport with cars in the BTCC, WRC and other motorsport events. Also there was an update to the MG F in 2002 with the introduction of the MG TF and a new 2003 model called the MG XPower SV, which was built when MG Rover bought Qvale Automotive. However when MG Rover went into administration in 2005, all production cars ceased to be built.

In 2005 MG became MG Motor when it was bought by the Nanjing Automobile Group for £53 million, which was then itself merged with SAIC Motor Corporation Limited in 2007. Not a lot happened for a while although there were on and off  sales of the MG TF from 2009-2011.

From 2011 the new company have introduced the MG3 MG5 and MG6. Also in 2011 Frontline Development (nothing to do with MG Motors) released the LE50, which is essentially  an updated MGB GT.


MGB 1962-1980

MGB GT V8 1973-1976

MG Metro Turbo
Metro Turbo 1983-1990

MG Maestro
Maestro 1984-1991

MG Montego
Montego 1984-1991

RV8 1993-1995

MG F 1995-2002

MG TF 2002-2005 & 2009-2010

ZR 2001-2006

ZS 180 2001-2006

ZT 2001-2006

SV 2003-2005

MG Frontline LE50
Frontline LE50 2011