By March 5, 2014 13 Comments Read More →

News : Morgan rebooted at Geneva

Without a doubt, 2013 was a turbulent year for the world’s oldest privately-owned car manufacturer. That was then – and things are now looking brighter for Morgan. At Geneva, Andrew Elphick chatted to the company’s MD, Steve Morris, about its future.

Morgan at Geneva (5)

Morgan’s aluminium over ash camouflage deceived as ever - its cars are cutting edge in the powertrain department. Beneath the 2014 Plus 4′s bonnet, a new powerplant lurks – Ford’s 2.0-litre direct injection petrol unit (EcoBoost minus turbo) with Morgan’s own electronic mapping to for fine throttle control. Coupled with the transmission from the Mazda MX-5, it produces a power to weight ratio of 165bhp/tonne in the lightweight, 1000kg Morgan.

The current range is nothing if not diverse. The Ford 1.6-litre Sigma unit powers the refreshed 4/4 (holder of the longest-running series production car record, having been launched in 1936), and the new Mustang’s impressive 3.7-litre 285bhp V6 engine gives the Roadster an ample turn of speed. Of course, if you require even more performance, the 367bhp BMW-powered Plus 8 is all you will ever need. The popular 3 wheeler has been tweaked for 2014, with revised geometry for the (stiffer) chassis and improved cooling for low-speed urban cruising. However, Morgan’s Managing Director, Steve Morris (above),  is particularly proud of the Plus 4′s ability to deliver flexible power everywhere across the rev range.

Since we spoke with Morgan last year, a raft of improvements have been introduced across the range. New instrumentation, a series of trim enhancements and even greater personalisation options have all been introduced. An airbag has also been introduced (seen in the cutaway chassis) and that represents a substantial £100,000 investment.

With the new Plus 4 in build and ready for delivery immediately, you might notice this change of pace for Morgan – Steve Morris confirmed that, although Morgan is very traditional, today’s customer would prefer the latest model today. It isn’t just on the production line where changes have occurred either. Late last year Morgan staged its first dealer conference for all distributors to have their say, from the smallest family run dealer to the might of the Pendragon Group.

On the shop floor, a number of employment opportunities are in the works – a graduate intake is planned, as are scholarships for all trades and all ages, Morris recognising age isn’t a barrier to talent. On the show stand, monitors heralded the introduction of a new on-line configurator. For the media, a USB press kit was offered (though it wasn’t made from wood, much to the disappointment of our Editor!). Morgan is aware of social media and how important a marketing tool it is –  but only if finely judged.

Although Charles Morgan’s tailor couldn’t be present for the 14.30 press conference, Steve Morris sailed the ship effortlessly. The Morgan MD doesn’t feel the need for gimmicks – only to enhance the brand, build, the feel of Morgan. We wish him well.

Morgan at Geneva (1)

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13 Comments on "News : Morgan rebooted at Geneva"

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  1. Christopher Storey says:

    Let us hope that this will put an end to the dramas. The cars look nice externally , and doubtless they will be as good dynamically as ever. BUt…. where on earth did they get those execrable instruments ?

  2. AndrewP says:

    I am really starting to like Morgans – they seem to have a quiet confidence about them these days.

    Was it Honda that said something like “one day there will only be five car companies in the world…….and Morgan”

  3. Sandie Sandie says:

    Morgan FTW.

    Having had the opportunity to take a tour of the Pickersleigh Road factory last year I would advise any petrolhead to do likewise. Truly fascinating to see how these cars are put together.

  4. Andrew says:

    Why are they so old fashioned? Do people still like to drive retro-style cars?

  5. Andrew says:

    Morgan makes wheelchairs?

  6. Paul says:

    Substantial £100,000 investment. Thats about the same as Ford spends on food for the factory cat!

  7. Slartybartfast says:

    Turbulence over, well that’s good I hope. No mention of the Eva GT. The concept is still on their website under R & D but no mention of it going forward. It is a highly unique concept and in my eyes beautiful. It would be a real shame if it doesn’t see production.

  8. Paul pig says:

    @5. Yes perhaps a V8 wheelchair.

  9. The Wolseley Man says:

    @4Andrew

    This website is dedicated to car enthusiasts – are you aware of this?
    Just trying to be helpful.

  10. Juliebelle says:

    Turbulence not over, skilled workers leaving in droves, at least 5 in February alone. Whose going to train apprentices as set times to make a car unworkable and then fill in forms at same time so when they going to train anyone as not allowed separate time for that. Bullying is rife, if you vote against something the management take your name and pick on you. Not the company it once was. Even more employees looking for jobs elsewhere.

  11. Andrew Elphick says:

    @ 10: Julie as an indentured man myself, and having trained enough apprentices I do sympathise. However if the new managements productivity techniques keeps Morgan in the black it’s a tough call.

  12. Juliebelle says:

    It won’t be in the black that’s the problem as quality suffering due to unreasonable build times. Parts coming from China not the same quality as those from uk either. Morgans bills itself as made in the UK but these days quite a lot is made elsewhere and just assembled there.

  13. Lord Sward says:

    Has employees loyalty left with Charles Morgan?

    Is Morgan following Aston-Martin down a path of subcontracting parts to save a few quid, leaving themselves wide open to a safety-critcal scandal (look at the recent pedal box issue from china)?

    Are retail dealers leaving the Marque amid all this?

    Or is Morgan actually grasping the nettle to stay afloat?

    Only time will truly tell.

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