Nanjing Automobile, the Chinese manufacturer that bought the collapsed carmaker last year, has signed a 33-year lease on the site with landlord St Modwen Properties and plans to start making the MG TF sports car next year.
The move could create up to 1,000 jobs. Nanjing is in negotiation with possible partners but has not revealed who.
Wang Hongbiao, chairman of Nanjing UK, said: ‘I am delighted that we have reached an arrangement with St Modwen Properties.
‘This means we can move forward with our business plan to build cars at Longbridge. The MG brand is famous and we are proud to project it into an exciting future.’
However, a dark cloud was thrown over the news when it emerged that the former directors of MG Rover, known as the Phoenix Four, were demanding cash for equipment needed to get the factory working again.
A spokesman for the Transport and General Workers’ Union said the directors, led by John Towers, had already gone from heroes to villains and would sink even lower if they tripped up Nanjing’s plans for Longbridge.
The collapse of MG Rover in May last year meant the loss of 6,000 jobs at Longbridge. Much of the car building equipment housed there has since been shipped to China, where Nanjing plans to build other models under the MG badge.