Roewe is a vehicle marque created by the Chinese automaker SAIC Motor in 2006. Roewe vehicles were initially based on technology acquired from defunct British carmaker MG Rover. SAIC was unable to purchase the rights to the Rover brand name (which was bought by Ford instead) and created the Roewe marque as a replacement. The MG name is preferred in most markets outside China.
- 1 Name
- 2 History
- 3 Current models
- 4 Former models
- 5 Sales
- 6 References
- 7 External links
The name Roewe originates from SAIC's failure to acquire the Rover brand name from BMW c. 2005 (it was instead sold to Ford in 2006, and the brand is currently owned by Tata Motors). Composed of the Chinese characters Róng and wēi, which roughly mean "glorious power", the name is a transliteration of Rover, although SAIC has stated that it is derived from Löwe, the German word for lion. Loewe, pronounced much like Roewe by Chinese speakers, is also the name of a Spanish manufacturer of luxury leather goods.
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 properties, 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.
Roewe 950/ e950
The Roewe 950 is a B-plus class or E-segment executive saloon and the flagship model of the Roewe range. It was launched in April 2012 and is based on the long wheel base version of General Motors' Epsilon II platform, which it shares with the Buick Lacrosse. The 950 was developed over a three-year period at a cost of around 1.8 billion yuan.
Roewe 360/360 Plus
The Roewe 360 was the replacement for the outdated Roewe 350. However the 350 remains to be in production serving as the cheapest model in the Roewe product range. The Roewe 360 shares the underpinnings of the MG 5 hatchback and the MG GT sedan.
The Roewe E50 all-electric supermini was unveiled at the 2012 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition as a concept car. In November 2012, SAIC introduced the production version of the E50 for the Chinese market with sales commencing in 2013.
Roewe RX7/ Marvel X
The Roewe RX7 is a mid-size CUV with a fastback. The electric version dubbed the Marvel X debuted during the 2018 Beijing Auto Show.
Roewe RX5/ eRX5/ ERX5
On 9 June 2016, Alibaba officially unveiled the Roewe RX5, its first “internet car” in collaboration with SAIC. The RX5 is available for pre-order; it is priced upwards of RMB 148,800 ($22,300) with deliveries scheduled to start in August 2016. According to Roewe CEO Wang Jian, the new internet technology will allow the joint venture to quickly adapt its cars to become self-driving. Alongside the regular RX5, the plugin hybrid eRX5 and the full electric ERX5 with subtle styling differences were also revealed at the same time.
In September 2017, the production of Roewe's subcompact crossover RX3 has started. Developed by the SAIC UK Technical Centre, the third Roewe SUV model, Roewe RX3 is positioned right below the RX5 and will compete against B-segment crossovers such as the Buick Encore and Ford EcoSport. The Roewe RX3 also shares the underpinnings of the MG ZS SUV.
In November 2017, SAIC launched the replacement of the Roewe 550, the Roewe i6 sedan which shares the platform with the second generation MG 6 sedan. As for ei6, the hybrid version was also launched into the market at the same time.
Roewe i5 is a compact station wagon sharing the platform with the Buick Excelle GX wagon. The all-electric version called the Ei5 was first introduced and provides a range of 310km. The Ei5 made its debut at Auto Guangzhou 2017. Roewe will launch an entry-level Ei5 model with a range of 251 km.
The Roewe 850 is the license-built Chinese version of the SsangYong Chairman full-size luxury vehicle.
The Roewe 750 is an executive saloon that was produced by Roewe in China between 2006-2016, based on the Rover 75. Launched in October 2006 and codenamed SAC528 during development, the wheelbase of the Roewe 750 is stretched by 103 mm (4.1 in) compared to the Rover 75. The drivetrain is a 2.5L V6 petrol engine(184bhp), based on the Rover KV6 engine and designated NV6, 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 engine, delivering around 160 bhp (119 kW; 162 PS) was introduced. The standard 1.8T version Roewe 750 was priced at 180,000 Yuan (US$29,000 or £14,500) in January 2008.
Roewe 550/ e550
The 550 was developed by an Anglo-Chinese collaboration between the British consultancy firm Ricardo 2010 and SAIC's in-house 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 1.6 litre and 1.8 litre naturally aspirated or turbocharged petrol and 2.0 litre diesel engines. The 1.8 litre turbo (named "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.
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 Israel, Peru, Colombia and Chile. SAIC revealed an all-electric version of the Roewe 350 powered by lithium-ion batteries in late 2010.
A total of 155,336 Roewe vehicles were sold in China in 2013, making it the 29th largest-selling car brand in the country in that year (and the 13th largest-selling Chinese brand).
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 suggesting 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.
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