China’s powerful state development and reform commission has approved Nanjing Automobile’s purchase of collapsed MG Rover, the official Xinhua news agency said on Monday, according to Reuters.

The report said Nanjing chairman Wang Haoliang was cited by Xinhua as saying the Chinese car maker planned to roll out its first locally made MG 75 sedan in the first half of 2007 based on the acquired technology.

Reuters noted that Nanjing surprised the motoring world when the company paid GBP53m (US$91.3m) to buy MG Rover out of bankruptcy in July, outbidding rival Chinese car maker Shanghai Automotive (SAIC). The British car maker had collapsed under debts of GBP1.4bn in April, leading to 5,000 job losses at its main plant.

Last month, Nanjing took a 33-year lease on the former MG Rover plant at Longbridge in central England and reiterated it still hoped to revive production at the site, Reuters added.

Since buying the MG Rover assets, Nanjing has reportedly packed up and shipped to China much of the manufacturing and assembly equipment once used at Longbridge.