Roewe (in Chinese: 荣威; in Pinyin: Róngwēi) is a luxury automotive marque owned by the Chinese automaker SAIC Motor. Roewe vehicles are primarily based on technology acquired from the defunct British carmarker MG Rover. SAIC was unable to purchase the rights to the Rover brand name and created the Roewe marque as a replacement.
The name "Roewe" originates from SAIC's failure to acquire the Rover marque from BMW c. 2005; it was instead sold to Ford in 2006 (and later purchased from Ford by its current owner, Tata Motors, as part of the 2008 sale of Jaguar Land Rover).
Composed of the Chinese characters Róng and wēi that together roughly mean "glorious power", SAIC says it derived the Roewe name from Löwe, German for lion, but some believe that it is simply a transliteration of the word Rover. Loewe, pronounced much like Roewe by Chinese speakers, is also the name of a Spanish manufacturer of luxury leather goods. The Chinese pronunciation of Roewe is closer to "wrong-way" than "roe-way" although the latter may appear to be the correct way to say the name. Roewe's badge, superficially similar to Rover's, includes two golden lions.
SAIC purchased technology relating to the Rover 75 and Rover 25 after the 2005 collapse of MG Rover, and the Roewe marque first appeared on a version of the 75, the Roewe 750. Originally intending to purchase all assets of the failed British company, SAIC was outbid by Nanjing Automobile. In 2007 SAIC merged with Nanjing Auto, so it now controls those MG Rover assets, such as the MG name and a Birmingham factory, the Longbridge plant, that it was initially unable to acquire.
English engineering firm Ricardo assisted the development of early Roewe models and set up a new company in the UK, Ricardo (2010) Consultants Ltd, which helped bring the 750 to market. According to SAIC, work on the vehicle was also done in China. In 2007 Ricardo (2010) Consultants was purchased by SAIC and renamed SAIC Motor UK Technical Centre. It employs over 200 British ex-Rover engineers.
- Main article: Roewe 750
The Roewe 750, launched in October 2006, is a revised version of the Rover 75 with the wheelbase stretched by 103 millimetres (4.1 in) and a re-worked rear end. The drivetrain is a 2.5L V6 petrol unit based on the Rover KV6 engine, and the gearbox is a brand new 5-speed automatic. The company claims that 85% of the car is improved. Later, a 1.8T (turbo) petrol engine based on the Rover K-series, delivering around 150 bhp (112 kW/152 PS) was introduced. The standard 1.8T version Roewe 750 was priced at 210,000 Yuan (US$29,000 or £14,500) in January 2008.
- Main article: Roewe 550
Partly developed by SAIC, the 550 is the work of a joint Anglo-Chinese collaboration between ex-Rover experts at a consultancy firm, Ricardo 2010, and SAIC's own car development team. Underneath, the 550 is based on a shortened Rover 75 platform and features a development of BMW's Z-axle system also used in the 75.
Using a powerplant based on the Rover K series engine, options include a 1.6 litre and 1.8 litre naturally aspirated or turbocharged petrol and 2.0 litre diesel engines. The 1.8 litre turbo (christened "Kavachi" after a submarine volcano in the South Pacific) delivers around 150 bhp (112 kW/152 PS), while the 2.0 litre diesel, complying with Euro IV emissions regulations, provides similar levels of power. A hybrid version was shown at the 2010 Beijing Autoshow.
The Roewe 550 is sold as the MG 550 in Peru and Chile, but most export markets will only receive the sportier MG 6 derivative. Chinese-built MG 6 models for the UK market undergo final assembly at the MG Longbridge plant as of April 2011. Production will stay small at no more than 3,000 units per year.
- Main article: Roewe 350
The Roewe 350 is based on the Roewe N1 concept car of 2009. The production version was publicly launched at the Beijing Auto Show in 2010 with a SAIC-developed 1.5 L engine. The engine produces 107 hp (80 kW), but currently only meets Euro 4 emissions standards. The 350 is produced at a former Nanjing Automobile production base in Pukou, China. It is sold as the MG 350 in Peru, Colombia and Chile.
- Main article: Roewe W5
SAIC revealed an all-electric version of the Roewe 350 powered by lithium-ion batteries in late 2010. It is not certain if the vehicle will be offered to consumers, but a small electric vehicle is supposed to be on the market in 2012. China subsidies oil and some Chinese automakers see opportunities in less mature electric vehicles because Western companies have yet to develop much of a lead in the technology.
Outside of China Roewe-derived models are currently sold under the MG marque.
In 2008, the Roewe 550 and 750 were launched in Chile under the names MG 550 and MG 750, respectively. The smaller MG 350 and sporty MG 6 were displayed at the eleventh Santiago Motor Show in October 2010.
European sales first began in Belarus, with an MG-badged version of the 550. British car magazine Autocar tested the Roewe 350 in 2010 and it was suggested that the model would be built and sold in the UK, but Roewe denied this. Nonetheless, as of April 2011 SAIC's MG6 (a reworked Roewe 550) commenced assembly at the old MG Rover plant in Longbridge. The European market cars feature certain improvements over its Chinese siblings, meeting EURO V rather than EURO IV emissions standards.
- ↑ "Rover becomes 'Roewe'", The Daily Telegraph (13 October 2006).
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Adams, Keith (19 September 2008). "Roewe 750". AROnline. Retrieved on 19 April 2011.
- ↑ Fang Yan and Tom Miles (27 December 2010). "SAIC invests $1.5 billion to boost own-brand car capacity: paper", Reuters. Retrieved on 13 July 2011.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 China debut for Rover-based car bbc.co.uk, Monday, 20 November 2006, 20:41 GMT
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Fairclough, Gordon (13 October 2006). "Over With Rover, China Firm Calls Car Line 'Roewe'". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved on 24 April 2011.
- ↑ REFILE-UPDATE 2-SAIC to make MG 6 in UK, upbeat on own-brand car reuters.com, Wed 25 November 2009 5:04 am EST
- ↑ SAIC Motor Technical Center SAIC Official Site
- ↑ 70. Business Combinations C. The Group as the acquirer... SAIC Motor Annual Report 2008, page 165
- ↑ Implement the Scientific Development Philosophy and Fulfill Corporate Social Responsibilities: Independent innovation, sustainable development of enterprise SAIC Official Site
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Roewe cashes in on MG Rover's British heritage telegraph.co.uk,2:04 pm BST 25 August 2010
- ↑ "in Chinese". Pricesearch.auto.sohu.com. Retrieved on 19 April 2011.
- ↑ "Roewe reveals reborn Rover 45". Auto Express (5 May 2007).
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Sloman, Adam (16 February 2010). "Roewe 550: the story so far". AROnline. Retrieved on 19 April 2011.
- ↑ Factbox: A glimpse of Chinese green cars reuters.com, Wed 21 April 2010 11:40 pm EDT
- ↑ "Autocar 24 March 2010". Autocar.co.uk (24 March 2010). Retrieved on 19 April 2011.
- ↑ "Autocar 10 April 2010". Autocar.co.uk (10 April 2010). Retrieved on 25 April 2011.
- ↑ Nanjing base sees 50,000th Roewe 350 SAIC Official Site, 24 December 2010
- ↑ "Autocar 19 April 2011". Autocar.co.uk. Retrieved on 19 April 2011.
- ↑ Sutcliffe, Ashley (12 April 2012). "Roewe | Roewe 950 hits the market, priced competitively". chinacartimes.com. China Car Times - China Auto News. Retrieved on 2 October 2012.
- ↑ Roewe website on 950 (2012 [last update]). "荣威950,荣威950报价和图片,油耗测评-上汽荣威950官方网站". roewe.com.cn. Retrieved on 2 October 2012.
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 SAIC's Roewe 350 all-electric car unveiled globaltimes.cn, 11 November 2010
- ↑ China's fuel subsidy costs the world reuters.com, Wed 4 June 2008 8:08 am EDT
- ↑ Mr. Heyi Xu，the president of Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co., Ltd. delivered a speech at the 2009 China (Changchun) International Automobile Forum BAIC Official Site, 2009-07-20
- ↑ Big bet on better battery-run cars chinadaily.com.cn, 2011-01-03
- ↑ SAIC expands MG line-up in Europe bbc.co.uk, 12:38 GMT, Wednesday, 24 March 2010
- ↑ "MG: Morris Garages" (in Spanish). MG Motors Chile. SKBergé Automotriz. Retrieved on 12 March 2009.
- ↑ "Noticias: MG en el XI Salón del Automóvil" (in Spanish). MG Motors Chile. SKBergé Automotriz. Retrieved on 19 April 2011.
- ↑ "24 March 2010". BBC News (24 March 2010). Retrieved on 19 April 2011.
- ↑ SAIC launches new MG car in UK Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the People's Republic of China, 2011/04/13
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- Roewe website (Chinese)