MG 2.0 is proving not to be the passing fad that some thought it might be, with the company announcing record sales in January 2012...of 107 cars.

It's a drop in the car ocean (Ford UK sold that many cars every four hours during the same month), but the company is pressing on, and backed by a behemoth, too: Chinese parent company SAIC sold four million cars in 2011. That's more like it.

Anyone that watched Top Gear this weekend will have learned that China could very well become a significant car making force in Europe, despite its, ahem, 'familiar' output today.

China is the world's biggest car market, but the country's products are far from the best. We once sat in a Build Your Dreams (BYD) something or other at a motor show...the smell of industrial solvent and broken promises still lingers.

SAIC's 2011 sales tally makes it China's number one car company, and represents a 12% increase on its numbers 2010.

And a big push in the UK over the next year or two should see MG make real inroads and begin to re-establish the brand to someting akin to its glory days.

To that end, SAIC has placed a 300-strong R&D team in Birmingham, who will continue to develop MG road and racing cars. The MG6 hatchback and saloon (called Magnette) will eventually be joined by the Ford Focus-sized MG5 hatchback and the MG3 supermini.

But before that, MG will enter the racing fray with two MG6 GTs in the 2012 Dunlop British Touring Car Championship, with Jason Plato and Andy Neate driving.