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AS MG prepares to relaunch in Australia on October 1, the Chinese-owned British brand has announced an expansion of its design team to bolster its global product development program.

Design director Anthony Williams-Kenny has returned to MG Motor UK’s design centre, based at Longbridge in Birmingham, after spending the past three years at parent SAIC in Shanghai.

Centre piece: The all-new mid-size GS is understood to be the first of a three-tiered SUV program in development at MG, with a smaller crossover and a larger wagon set to join the reborn British brand in the next few years.

Centre piece: The all-new mid-size GS is understood to be the first of a three-tiered SUV program in development at MG, with a smaller crossover and a larger wagon set to join the reborn British brand in the next few years.

He will continue work on all-new additions to the global product portfolio – beyond the MG3 light hatch, MG6 mid-size passenger car and all-new GS mid-size SUV, the three models that will form the basis of the Australian relaunch – and clearly has the financial backing to increase the UK-based design team beyond the current level of around 50 permanent employees.

New appointments include exterior team leader Pierre Luigi Ferrari and interior team leader Paul Matthew, each of whom “will lead the two teams to design and develop new models as well as ensure that market trends are kept up with and the quality of the products designed is exceptional”.

The company says digital model and clay model teams have also expanded, almost doubling in size, while personnel numbers often increase with Chinese designers on temporary assignments at the studio.

A look at SAIC Motor UK’s current job vacancies list shows key positions in both interior and exterior design, as well as a large number of engineers being sought across various departments including chassis, electrical, body and trim and, most notably, powertrain and advanced engineering.

As GoAuto has previously reported, MG has confirmed that broadening the SUV range is high on its agenda, with the priorities being a sub-GS compact crossover and larger model, potentially with seven seats, one rung up from GS.

There are reportedly no plans to bring a reborn roadster to market, with the reality of low volume tempering the desire to satisfy enthusiasts and reconnect with the brand’s sportscar heritage, however the company has made it clear that the new vehicle architecture in development will give rise to a wide variety of models.

MG GS

In announcing the design team’s expansion, MG’s advanced design chief Carl Gotham said: “Whilst we have to remain tight-lipped about the products we’re working on, it is certainly an exciting time for MG as we look ahead to future models.

“By bringing in our new team members, we’ve gained incredible talent with a vast amount of experience that can ensure we keep on top of areas such as quality and interior.”

By Terry Martin

MG GS

MG GS

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