The Birmingham Post reports that Chinese-built MG TF sports cars will finally roll off production lines in Nanjing on May 20.

The newspaper said that Nanjing Automobile (NAC) confirmed the date to a group of British journalists during a tour of production facilities.

The date is four months ahead of the expected relaunch of production of the twoseater at Longbridge.

Yang Junhu, vice general manger of Nanjing MG, said: “It is a very exciting time for us – we started work on this in 2005 and we think the car will be popular.”

The success of the car in China may have a bearing on what happens at Longbridge. While confidence in MG in China is strong, in Europe there are fears the brand may have difficulty re-establishing itself, the report noted.

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The MG TF is based on a design which first appeared on UK roads back in 1995.