History & Heritage

The birth of a British icon

The rich history of MG began nearly 90 years ago in 1924. The famous initials we know and love were chosen by Cecil Kimber, the founder of MG. Kimber chose the letters as a "nod" to William Morris, his employer, and the owner of Morris Garages. Kimber, didn't just come up with our name. He also created the first line of MGs. He started out by fitting coach-built tourer bodies to the Morris Cowley chassis, creating cars known as the Morris Garage Chummys. A few years later, in 1924, he designed the 14/28 Super Sports model, the first true MG, and the car that premiered the octagonal logo which has journeyed with us ever since.

MG Milestones

  • 1924 - Cecil Kimber, Morris Garages General Manager, found a niche market for modified Morris cars that were faster and a little more sporty. It didn't take long before MG was known for its "affordable performance" cars.
  • 1st May 1924 - the Octagon was registered as an MG trademark.1st September 1924 - MG's 14/28 Super Sports model went on sale.
  • The telephone number Abingdon 251 provided the starting point for most MG's chassis VINs (Vehicle Identification Numbers).
  • MG's competition success in the 30s was characterised by a class win with the K3 at the 1933 Mille Miglia road race – the first time a non-Italian team had won.
  • The most famous TC customer was the Duke of Edinburgh, who bought the MG in August 1947.
  • 1952 - Longbridge designed and manufactured the A and B-Series engines. These would provide the power behind the MG Midget and Z Series Magnette, MGA and MGB.
  • Production TF and Magnette ZAs use a 101 VIN start code. In keeping with tradition, this number came from the Birmingham headquarters telephone number.
  • On Wednesday, 16 May 1956 the 100,000th MG was produced. This was the LHD MGA 1500.
  • The first MG built in Longbridge was the MG1100/1300 family in 1962.
  • The most famous MGC customer was HRH Prince Charles, who took delivery of his GT in 1969 (SGY 766F). He later passed this down to Prince William.
  • The 1,000,000th car was built in October 1975 - a unique LHD MGB roadster finished in Brooklands Green, with Jubilee GT livery and wheels.
  • Tuesday 9th May 2000 – MG Rover Group is formed following separation from the BMW Group.
  • Production of the new TF commenced with a *101 VIN after the company's Longbridge telephone number (0121 475 2101) tradition.
  • The 1,500,000th MG, a Golden Jubliee celebration special TF 160 was produced on 16 April 2002.
  • 8th April 2005 MG Rover Group enters administration and the brand is purchased by NAC, China's oldest carmaker.
  • 26th December 2007 NAC merges with SAIC, China’s largest car maker.
  • 4th September 2008, the first of the new Limited Edition MGTF LE 500 leaves the Birmingham factory.
  • May 2011 - the MG6 GT, the first all-new MG in 16 years is launched in the UK.
  • June 2011 - the MG6 Magnette (saloon version of the MG6 is launched)
  • November 2012 - Following the success at the British Touring Car Championships with Jason Plato, an MG6 GT BTCC Special Edition is released
  • January 2013 - A new 1.9 DTi-TECH Diesel engine is released for the MG6 range
  • April 2013 - The UK MG3 is revealed at the Shanghai Auto Show - as well as the new MG CS Concept car
  • September 2013 - MG3 Press Event at Butlins and MG3 goes on sale 
  • June 2014 - MG celebrated its 90th year with a spectacular event at Silverstone, and unveiled the MG3 and MG6 90th Limited Edition models
  • October 2014 - MG wins the BTCC Manufacturer Championship
  • April 2015 - The new MG6 is launched, with three new trim levels and a new pricing structure
  • July 2015 - MG Piccadilly opens - a new flagship showroom in the heart of London
  • November 2015 - The MG3 gets a facelift, which sees the introduction of a new stop-start EU6 engine