Following an intensive programme of production engineering, localisation of component supply and commissioning of its brand new GBP15m Baoshan engine manufacturing plant near Shanghai, SAIC Motor has announced the start of production of the MG Rover-designed KV6 petrol engine which will power its Roewe brand products.

The announcement followed the unveiling of SIAC Motor's first own-brand car, the Rover 75-based Roewe 750 sedan, at November's Beijing motor show.

The design of the new 140kW (188 hp) KV6 engine was part of the package of intellectual property rights (IPR) purchased by SAIC in 2004 from bankrupt UK automaker MG Rover. This IPR purchase did not include the provision of any manufacturing tooling or background expertise.

As a result, a new Ricardo subsidiary, Ricardo2010 Consultants, was formed both to assist SAIC Motor into production with products based on the acquired IPR and also to act as the centre for the development of SAIC's in-house automotive R&D capability.

Ricardo 2010 supplied key engineering staff - including former MG Rover personnel - whose role involved the detailed specification of the production equipment required for the new plant, as well as its installation and commissioning ready for pilot production. In parallel with this, a team of 10 engineers were based in Shanghai to 'localise'  component supply, select suppliers and oversee development to internationally competitive standards.

The Euro 4 complaint engine reached almost 100% Chinese content and was commissioned for manufacture in under 14 months from the initial project specification.

SAIC has also purchased the intellectual property rights to the Rover 25 model range and G series diesel engine family.

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