MG3 : Making a low-key debut at Auto Guangzhou 2010

Words: Clive Goldthorp Photographs: Ash Sutcliffe/China Car Times

MG3: launches today in China

MG3: launched at Auto Guangzhou in China

SAIC Motor, MG’s parent company, has given the brand’s second all-new model, the B-segment MG3, what was a reportedly low-key debut at Auto Guangzhou 2010.

The MG3 has been styled by the MG Global Design Team led by Tony Williams-Kenny at MG Birmingham and, as anticipated, bears a close resemblance to their recent MG ZERO Concept. The new model’s dimensions are pretty close to those of the Ford Fiesta at L: 3999mm W: 1728mm H: 1517mm but SAIC Motor/MG have chosen not to release any further details of the MG3’s Technical Specifications until the car hits the showrooms in China next March.

However, the word from the Chinese rumour mill suggests that the MG3 will be launched initially with an SMTC UK-developed 1.5litre NSE petrol engine producing 109bhp at 6000rpm and 91lb ft at 4500rpm – figures which would certainly make the MG3 competitive with 1.4-litre Duratec-engined Ford Fiestas.

AROnline anticipates that the MG3 will also be available with two other variants of the NSE engine: a 1.3litre petrol unit producing 67bhp and a 1.5-litre turbocharged unit with 156bhp. SAIC Motor/SMTC UK are known to be developing a 1.9-litre diesel engine for use in the MG6 but have yet to indicate whether a diesel MG3 would be fitted with a smaller version of that engine or one supplied by another OEM.

The MG3 has already been shown today at the Auto Guangzhou show in China, so the platform is already in production. However, there is a lot of unique engineering for the European markets. All I can say is we are all working as hard as possible to get this car to market with the right quality and price as soon as possible after MG6.” Guy Jones, Sales and Marketing Director, MG Motor UK Limited

The MG3 will be targeted at buyers between the ages of 18 and 28 and the Options List will almost certainly enable those customers to personalise their MG3s in the same way as purchasers of Citroen DS3s, Fiat 500s and MINIs can do. The photographs which accompany this article give a clear indication of some of the options which are likely to be available.

Guy Jones, MG Motor UK Limited’s Sales and Marketing Director, held the company’s first ‘Live and Online’ session on Facebook this afternoon and, in answer to a question about when the MG3 would come to the UK, replied: “Basically as soon as possible, given the market response! In reality we have to launch the two new MG6 models into production for Europe first and follow this with the production version of the MG ZERO. The MG3 has already been shown today at the Auto Guangzhou show in China, so the platform is already in production. However, there is a lot of unique engineering for the European markets. All I can say is we are all working as hard as possible to get this car to market with the right quality and price as soon as possible after MG6.”

Ash Sutcliffe of China Car Times – AROnline’s man in China – had a close look at the MG3 in Guangzhou today and reckons that the MG’s build quality will have to be raised considerably before production commences in order to match that of, say, the Ford Fiesta or the Honda Jazz. Mind you, Guy Jones’ remark about the need “to get this car (the MG3) to market with the right quality and price” suggests that he and his colleagues at MG Birmingham are already addressing that issue…

Clive Goldthorp

About the Author:

Clive claims that his interest in the BMC>MG story dates back to his childhood in the 1960s when the family’s garage premises were leased to a tenant with an Austin agency. However, back in the 1920s and 1930s, his grandmother was one of the country’s first female Garage Proprietors so cars probably run in his genes! Admits to affairs with Alfa Romeos, but has more recently owned an 06/06 MG TF 135 and then a 15/64 MG3 Style… Clive, who was AROnline’s News Editor for nearly four years, stood down from that role in order to devote more time to various Motor Racing projects but still contributes articles on as regular basis as his other commitments permit.

67 Comments on "MG3 : Making a low-key debut at Auto Guangzhou 2010"

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  1. Ianto says:

    I have grown to love this car over the last few weeks and seeing one with the Union Jack roof makes it even better.

    This is exactly the game-changing car that SAIC Motor/MG will need to crack the European and UK markets – the MG3 is as important to SAIC Motor as the Metro was to Leyland.

  2. James H says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing this in the metal. The side view still doesn’t do anything for me, personally – it looks a little too frumpy and not as flowing as the competition (Ford Fiesta, Hyundai i20, Vauxhall Corsa). I think that’s probably due to the small wheels fitted thus far.

    However, the MG3 will no doubt appeal to the thousands of small cars buyers at whom the MG will be targeted. I’m sure people will consider it against the afore-mentioned Ford Fiesta, Hyundai i20 and Vauxhall Corsa.

    I just hope they make a top of the range version eg: an MG3-Z with larger wheels and revised styling. Ford already do that with the ST cars. I’m sure all this will happen in time. I’m quietly confident for new MG with this car on the way.

  3. Wilko says:

    That Union Jack roof makes me feel sick.

  4. Ryan says:

    “Basically as soon as possible” – in other words, “I have no idea!” This is MG all over now and and it’s beginning to make me angry.

    There is STILL no proper launch date for the MG6 and, with nothing about the MG ZERO, people are going to loose interest very quickly. Please stop launching cars without actually launching them – it’s madness and just so amateurish!

    Anyway, as for the MG3 itself, it leaves me cold! The shape is terribly boxy and dated already, the front is nondescript and the whole thing has a distinct whiff late 1990s Korean about it – not good. The interior looks very cheap and nasty as well.

    The car which the MG3 has to beat in this class is the sleek and sexy Ford Fiesta and, based on this, MG are not even close. That’s such a shame!

  5. Adam Sloman says:

    @Wilko
    Why? It was designed and engineered by Brits at Longbridge. The design is the work of Tony Williams-Kenny and his team. It’s got more right to wear the Union Jack flag than, say, the MINI Countryman.

    I think the MG3 is a cracking looking little car and let’s hope it sees UK production and means more jobs in Birmingham.

  6. Wilko says:

    @Adam Sloman
    I’ll take it all back if the MG3 leads to a return to car production on any scale at Longbridge. However, in the meantime, it’s no less of a meaningless marketing stunt than the use of the MG badge by this cowboy “lift and shift” outfit.

    I believe that, if SAIC Motor want to emblazen the British flag all over their products, then it’s about time they started showing some commitment to the UK as a manufacturing base. Honda and Nissan have more of a right to put Union Jacks on their cars than SAIC Motor.

  7. @Wilko
    The “lift and shift” operation to which you refer was not, in fact, undertaken by SAIC Motor but by Nanjing Automobile (Group) Corporation before that company was effectively taken over by SAIC Motor on the 1st April, 2008 and SAIC Motor only gained control of the IPRs to the MG brand on that date. Our exchange of Posts in the Readers’ Comments section following my recent China Watch: The next generation Roewe 750 revealed? article refers…

  8. Oliver says:

    I do not want to upset anybody but, since the day the doors were closed at MG Rover, there has been no British car producer making cars in huge quantities!

    MINI is not a British manufacturer because all the main parts for the car are sourced from around the world and the Germans dictate the level of UK construction which is good for the quality.

    I have driven the new big MINI and I have never driven such a well-built MINI.
    That’s, perhaps, because it is not made in Britain at the old Morris/Rover factory but by Magna Steyr at Graz in Austria!

    People in Britain should be happy that they have a very good reputation for building high-end cars like??? Oh yes, Aston Martin and Bristol. All the others were sold to the Germans, to the former colony (India) or to some other Asians. However, some of these very well-made cars will be made in GB too and that is something to be proud of! Really!

    All those premium class marques would only be names in the history books without the foreign investors and that is where MG and Rover should be!

    The MG and Rover marques are lost -nobody in the World who will be interested in new cars will know MG or Rover – only people who like classic cars will know MG and Rover! Especially MG!

    The last famous MG on the continent was the MGB and that car was last sold 30 years ago! Nobody wants to remember a Metro, Montego and Maestro! That was not MG, that was BL rubbish!

    That’s like the good old Rovers! Nobody will remember a Rover 100, 200, 400, 25 or 45! Those models were not really real Rovers, they were Austins, Hondas (sometimes very well made) and BMWs(the 75 which was at a time when BMW had big quality problems and the Rover had the same faults too) but they were not typical Rovers with a very special charm. All of those models were forgotten on the continent one year after they went out of production!

    That is what we should also do with the Chinese MG models! We should forget them because they are what they are and what Landwind (an other Chinese company) is: cheap rubbish with a once big name (Landwind was never a big name) and they will completely destroy the MG name in, let’s say, five years. Do we really want this? I do not!

  9. Wilko says:

    @Clive Goldthorp
    Point taken Clive – but SAIC Motor haven’t exactly done much to reverse the process.

    Why launch a Chinese-built car in China and emblazon it with a Union Jack? If it’s so British, then why isn’t being built here and launched here?

    I completely understand that MG Rover went bankrupt and that no-one was under any obligation to save the company. What grates with me is the “having the cake and eating it” attitude of milking the MG badge and all the associated British connotations, without making any meaningful investment in the UK.

  10. Chris Chapman says:

    Well, at least the MG3 seems to have generated a certain amount of emotion – I suppose being controversial can sell cars better than being anonymous and hence forgotten…

    Anyway, I think that, if the underbumper “gaping dragon mouth” (which seems to be an MG style theme possibly now being “borrowed” by Ford, etc) is toned down and painted in the body colour, the front actually seems quite good. Overall, the proportions seem a bit out of kelter to me – not that, frankly, there’s any modern aggressive edge-styled car I really like.

    Actually, I can’t help wondering if the MG3 absolutely deserves to have a Longbridge ancestry since the doors seem to be a carryover from/common to bigger cars much like they did with the Maxi, 1800 and 3 Litre, with the styling suffering as a consequence! The facia looks very much like an early incomplete clay styling buck, especially the centre console.

    I could also see the MG3 with a Suzuki badge since they seem to have forgotten about any reasonable boot space…

    Flog it to boy racers (= today’s equivalent of youthful sports car owners?) as a ZR replacement and it will sell in droves if the insurance is cheap enough. Change the front bumper, rebadge it and, given how the non-Korean competition is creeping over the £10k mark, it could be a popular cheap shopping hatchback.

  11. Oliver says:

    You had the CityRover in GB which was made in India and had a Union Jack on the boot!

    I do not know whether the CityRover was a nice car or not as I never drove one but it was really not a British-built car and so should not have been fitted with a Union Jack!

  12. Mark Pitchford says:

    @Wilko
    How about the Union Flag on a BMW MINI roof? Was the Union Flag badge OK on a ZS which was essentially a Honda body shell? Would a Union Flag roof be OK on a Belgian-built Mini? How about the badge on an Indian-designed and built CityRover?

    This car was designed and is (potentially) to be built in the UK. The company is now owned by the Chinese but then it was also owned by the Germans for long enough. Get over it.

  13. Wilko says:

    @Mark Pitchford
    I would argue that a Union Jack flag is fine on a product which is built here – anything else is misleading and fraudulent.

    I didn’t agree with putting the Union Jack on the CityRover although, let’s face it, a tiny badge isn’t quite the same as emblazoning it across the roof at the product’s launch. I don’t remember them doing that with the CityRover.

  14. Oliver says:

    Which MINI is/will be built in Belgium?

  15. Ianto says:

    @Mark Pitchford
    The Union Jack flag is one of the best things about the car. I hope this is available as an option when the MG3 comes here.

  16. Oliver says:

    You Brits do not have to wait for Chinese MG, an Indian Land Rover or an Indian Jaguar if you want cars that are built to a high quality standard and fitted with nearly everything for a little extra money. Buy the best you will get! Buy an Audi, a BMW, a Mercedes, a VW or any high quality Japanese car such as a Lexus, an Infiniti or a Subaru but not an MG which will be made (or not) in China.

    I am not even sure if MG can really build cars because, except for some prototypes I have seen near Birmingham and in China I have not seen any MGs. I was in China last year and did not see any MGs. I only saw some Roewes and I can count those on one hand.

    I think that the Chinese have hired the Managers from MG Rover too because they will not sell anything but they will tell us everything!

  17. Vava1 says:

    Oliver :
    If you will buy cars were you will know when they will be for sale, were you know that they were built in a high quality standard , were you will get nearly everything for a litte money extra you do not have to wait for an chinese MG or an idian Land Rover or an idian Jag. Buy the best you will get! Buy an Merc, an Audi, a VW , a BMW or any high Quality japanese car like a Subaru, a Lexus or an Infinity but not an MG which will be (or not made) in China. I am not sure if they could really build cars, because exapt some prototyps I have seen near Birmingham and China I have not seen any MG. I have not seen any MG as I was in China last year. I only saw some (I can count these on one hand)Roewe.
    I think they have bought the managers from MG-Rover too because the will not sell anything but they will tel us everything!

    Please can somebody interpret this for me?

    Which language is it?

  18. Richard Moss says:

    A dull-looking, generic oriental “toaster” car… I doubt that the MG3 will make much of an impact here.

  19. Russ says:

    I’m sorry to say I really don’t like this. Maybe it will look better in the metal, but it does not hold a candle to my ZR160.

  20. Craig W says:

    I agree with Wilko, the use of the Union Jackflag takes the p!$$ completely – just like the badge on the desperate Tata-made CityRover did.

    The MG3 looks quite smart but it’s just a plain small hatch and not in any way sporty so MG is not the right badge for these ordinary versions. It looks more like a Kia or a Vauxhall or something else generic and ordinary.

    Yawn.

  21. Vava1 says:

    MG3 hits the market in 2011 – bulls eye!
    1) Wait for the UK-spec models – it’ll be marketed as youthful, cool.
    2) Watch this car fly out of the showrooms (SAIC have learned from the mistakes and sucesses of BMW (with the MINI), Fiat (with the 500) and Citroen (with the DS3).
    3) See most of the miserable old fuddy duddy’s (see above) eat their words!

  22. Old Fuddy Duddy says:

    ‘it’ll me marketed as youthful, cool’

    ‘Watch this car fly oof the showroom’

    ‘Which language is it?’

    What language is that?

  23. Dean Beedell says:

    The whole British thing does not really matter any more. British companies own huge swathes of foreign businesses and, in the process of acquiring them, become more corporate and less ‘British’ every day.

    I believe that, if anyone has a product which is inspired by “Britishness” and wants to display that through the use of the Union flag then let them. That does, at least, push our culture forward in “Johnny Foreigner’s” mind if nothing else… 🙂 I think that concept should be called “Vritishness” – not quite British but, just the same, quite complimentary to us.

    Don’t forget that all those British cars built in Britain contained parts from Holland, France, Spain and the last bunch were financed with German cash. These days I don’t think it matters any more. Look around your own kitchens and garages and try to find a British machine that you have bought in the last five years. I think you may struggle…

  24. pigeons99 Pigeons99 says:

    I have a terrible feeling that the MG3 would look rather dull sitting next to a new Ford Fiesta or Vauxhall Corsa. I don’t like those cars, but I think perhaps they would appeal more to people my own age.

    I imagine that the MG3’s design would need a bit more individuality for our shores. It is not a bad effort though – I think the best angle is the one in the Union Jack picture. It looks rather neat there.

    Anyway, I’m glad the name is still going and there are still people in the UK working on MGs and the news is current. I much prefer to hear that something is still going on than to hear that all is dead. Bringing back the brand has to be conducted tactfully and done right. I imagine it’s no easy task to balance what is going on. Well done to them so far.

  25. Chris says:

    That is one ugly car. Daewoo-ish.

  26. Steve says:

    How dare SAIC Motor put our Union Jack flag on that rubbish!

  27. Paul says:

    I can’t think of any reason why your average supermini driver would choose one of these over a Fiesta, Corsa, Polo or something French or Italian. There is no flair whatsoever.

    What is worrying is that, by the time SAICMotor/MG actually get the thing on sale here, all the above will probably be well into their next generations and have moved the game on even further.

  28. @Vava1
    I have now sub-edited Oliver’s Posts – I rather think that English may not be his first language!

  29. @Vava1
    @Old Fuddy Duddy
    I have, in the interests of consistency and fairness, now also sub-edited Vava1’s Post #21 above.

  30. Andrew-P Andrew P says:

    Looks nice but nothing special – it’s a shame they didn’t use Alfa Romeo-style concealed rear door handles.

    I reckon that bigger wheels and, possibly, a little chrome around the windows would make a big difference for the UK market. I’m looking forward to a UK-spec version and hoping for UK manufacture.

  31. StagMan says:

    The MG3 reminds me of a Skoda Fabia every time I see a photograph of one but it probably won’t be as good as the Skoda!

  32. David 3500 says:

    Dean Beedell :The whole British thing does not really matter any more. British companies own huge swathes of foreign businesses and, in the process of acquiring them, become more corporate and less ‘British’ every day.

    I believe that, if anyone has a product which is inspired by “Britishness” and wants to display that through the use of the Union flag then let them. That does, at least, push our culture forward in “Johnny Foreigner’s” mind if nothing else… I think that concept should be called “Vritishness” – not quite British but, just the same, quite complimentary to us.

    Don’t forget that all those British cars built in Britain contained parts from Holland, France, Spain and the last bunch were financed with German cash. These days I don’t think it matters any more. Look around your own kitchens and garages and try to find a British machine that you have bought in the last five years. I think you may struggle…

    I’m sorry to disagree with you on this, but the “whole British thing” does still matter to a few of us – even to someone of my age (30s).

    For me, the whole British thing is about supporting British manufacturing jobs that are evident in the design, engineering and assembly of vehicles in this country, together with using ‘local’ companies for the sourcing of most major components. However, I would be the first to admit that no ‘British’ company sources all its components from companies based in the UK.

    I believe that supporting companies like MG Rover Group, Jaguar and Land Rover demonstrated support towards the skilled Designers and Engineers based in this country, various component suppliers and, of course, the assembly line workers. That is why I won’t buy a foreign-made vehicle.

    The ‘British thing’ does matter to me – even down to the MINI, despite the fact I ultimately can’t support its parent company for the shameful way it crippled the former Rover Group through incompetence and paranoia towards its own brand.

    It is, in part, down to this scant disregard of the “British thing” by the buying British public that many of our great names such as Rover are no longer with us. How many of us actually think about whose wages we are indirectly paying when buying a new car and whether the manufacturers concerned are likely to spend the profit in a way that benefits the UK economy?

  33. Alan Closs says:

    The MG3 could be a valuable asset for China. However, if the past is anything to go by over here, it will take 18 months or longer before anything ACTUALLY appears on the market. That maybe too little, too late. The whole press thing is now zzzzz…

  34. Hilton Davis says:

    Lots of comments here! I have to say this MG3 doesn’t excite me – it looks like a Hyundai i10/i20. We have to accept that future MGs will have little or no relationship with their former BL/Rover cousins. That saddens me as an ex-MG Rover owner but we’ve got to move on…

  35. James C says:

    Sorry, but I think this is a cross between a Hyundai i10, a CityRover and a Skoda Fabia.

    I would much rather have an MG ZR…

    A great website, by the way.

  36. Doug says:

    The fact of the matter is that SAIC Motor owns the IPRs for MG and they can do what they like with the brand.

    I hope that the MG6 and MG3 both come to the UK and both do well. However, I can’t in all honesty see that happening. Better that the MG name is alive and kicking in China than not at all.

    I can’t stand this incessant whinging that we have no car industry left in the UK anymore. Globalisation has been the name of the game for a long time. That’s why I drive a German-built car with a Welsh engine and, according to the statisics, so do most people in the UK.

  37. Jemma says:

    The MG3’s pretty and looks competent but that just isn’t enough. The interior looks like someone had a cheese dream and thought that going back to a 1980s Fiat was a good idea…

    Frankly, the Union Flag on the roof of the thing is no less of a cynical marketing ploy than the flag badge was on the **ityyRover… However, I would be surprised if any turned up in the UK like that – I think there is someone at the company bright enough to realise that that particular feature isn’t going to run (and remember there might be someone, somewhere who doesn’t think that British cars were built by striking Communists).

    The company that was BMC is gone – it’s deader than a Dodo that just tapdanced on a toepopper – it is defunct, extinct – to (mis)quote: “This is a dead company, it is demised, it ‘as shuffled off this mortal coil and joined the choir immortal…”

    There may be the DNA of BL/BMC in these cars but, compared to its predecessors, this is the crocodile to the SD1’s velociraptor…

    MGR is dead, long live..?

  38. Jemma says:

    A mixture of German and Welsh *quiet sigh*

  39. Ianto says:

    @Jemma
    Ach chan Cymru?

  40. DaveH says:

    @StagMan
    I agree – the MG3 looks like a Skoda Fabia with Lexus styling cues. I think those who moan about the Union Jack roof need to get a life. You can get one of those as a special order on a Suzuki Swift!

  41. DaveH says:

    @David 3500
    You’ve cracked the nail on the head – the British don’t buy British because it is British. Look at cars, the Brits swoon over ugly BMWs and Mercs and over-designed Audis but forget about Jaguars which have, on the whole, been just as good if not better cars – especially in terms of quality and service.

    The same happens with everything else – including beer. It’s funny how people see a beer with a funny foreign name and think it’s great and buy it, then forget about it when the next one comes on the market – all especially funny when they are probably brewed here in the first place!

  42. DaveH says:

    @Hilton Davis
    What would MG Rovers have looked like if they had stayed British? Ro80 anybody? The style would have changed and probably been far from your impressions.

  43. DaveH says:

    @Jemma
    How long have Reebok had Union Jacks on their trainers when they are made in China and owned by a German firm?

  44. Ianto says:

    There are countless MINIs with Y Ddraig Goch here in Cardiff. They weren’t made in Wales, but I can’t see a problem with that. Flags are like groovy symbols and I am sure that the old USSR flag would look cool on the top of my Estelle 105S.

  45. Carl Maynard says:

    I’m not optimistic – it’s been nearly six years since there was an MG model range on offer and we can see by the used values of the last Longbridge-built MGs that the great British public have little regard for the brand!

    A piecemeal introduction of a model range hardly generates either interest or confidence. By the time (if*) they are built here, they will already be behind the opposition. Unfortunately, unless the Marketing Team raise their game, MG is a dead duck…

  46. Paul Taylor Paul T says:

    DaveH :@Jemma How long have Reebok had Union Jacks on their trainers when they are made in China and owned by a German firm?

    But they’re from Bolton! Oops, this is all starting to sound familiar… 😀

  47. @Ianto
    I appreciate that your comment was meant in jest but rather doubt that most Czechs would agree with you – remember Alexander Dubček and the Prague Spring in 1968…

    The events of Spring/Summer, 1968 made a big impact on my political awareness as a teenager.

  48. Richard says:

    @Oliver
    Minis and Allegros were made in Belgium for years. The plant was closed down – I think, but am not sure, in the 1970s.

    Anecdotally, and all hearsay, but the workers never went on strike (very unusual at that time) and their reward was to have the plant closed down!

  49. Cookie1600 says:

    “Hi, is that MG? Oh right, can you get back to me then when you have something less bland and are manufacturing it in Britain, please?”

  50. Mark Pitchford says:

    @Wilko
    All this talk of the marvellous ZR… I agree to an extent; we owned a Streetwise for years but it’s hardly entirely Anglo-Saxon. Wasn’t Rover owned by BMW when the second generation 200 was launched?

    OK, so the ZR design was the product of a foreign-owned, UK-based Design Team whereas the MG3’s design is the product of … erm … exactly that. Anyway, how many cars are wholly made in ANY country these days?

    The roof in question is merely a paint job. The Union Flag (not Jack, by the way, it’s not a ship) happens to be pretty. This was a Chinese marketing exercise at a Chinese show where the British heritage plays well. I’m sure they are sufficiently marketing savvy not to play that hand here.

    Oops, did I say Savvy? Cue the Proton comparisons…

  51. Wilko says:

    @Mark Pitchford
    The ZR, ZS, ZT, 25, 45, 75 and all their predecessors were built in the UK (a few Belgian Allegros excepted) and, while they may have shared some design aspects and some parts with Honda models, the Rover versions were developed in the UK. That entitles a company, if it wants to, to drape itself in the national flag.

    Decimating Longbridge and producing a car in China, the most British thing about it being an octagonal piece of plastic on the grille, in my humble opinion, does not. However, if you want to drive one and look like a clown, then that’s your prerogative – we do live in a free democracy (unlike the Chinese).

  52. Old Fuddy Duddy says:

    @DaveH
    I agree with both Davids here but, look on the bright side, JLR have had a fabulous year despite the economic doom and gloom!

    New models, factories staying open and good labour relations with unions and management – JLR’s workers need a good slap on back for their outstanding efforts.

  53. Simon Woodward says:

    @Ianto
    A Skoda with a USSR flag on the roof would look cool!

  54. Marty B says:

    67bhp from 1.3litre? A top speed about 85mph flat out??? Poor economy? Tons of weight to lug about… The old 1993 Skoda Favorit had the same power and that struggled to hit 90mph even though it weighed as much as a fag packet.

    The MG3 should have the Chinese flag on the roof and it WILL NEVER be built here. Don’t even dream of it. Labour rates and taxes are way too high here.

    The only thing that car has in common with Longbridge is rampant Communism!

    Give it 12 months, and what remains of Longbridge will be gutted and shipped over to China.

    The MG name died when MGR collapsed. Let it rest in peace.

  55. Paul Taylor Paul T says:

    Wilko :

    @Mark Pitchford
    The ZR, ZS, ZT, 25, 45, 75 and all their predecessors were built in the UK (a few Belgian Allegros excepted) and, while they may have shared some design aspects and some parts with Honda models, the Rover versions were developed in the UK. That entitles a company, if it wants to, to drape itself in the national flag.

    Decimating Longbridge and producing a car in China, the most British thing about it being an octagonal piece of plastic on the grille, in my humble opinion, does not. However, if you want to drive one and look like a clown, then that’s your prerogative – we do live in a free democracy (unlike the Chinese).

    I totally agree. I am sick of people deriding those cars as Hondas. Yes, there are similarities and carry-overs from the alliance, but how many parts are interchangeable? Very few, I would have thought. They were good British cars that earned the right to wear the Union Flag (and chequered flag) both in terms of heritage and DNA.

  56. Richard B says:

    StagMan :
    The MG3 reminds me of a Skoda Fabia every time I see a photograph of one but it probably won’t be as good as the Skoda!

    I agree with that. The side angle is also particularly ugly; the wheels need sorting vis a vis the arches but that’s only going to sort a small part of the problem.

    The Union Flag is designed for the Chinese market – it adds perceived value for their average buyer. Yes, believe it or not, the flag does have a considerable amount of kudos in China. I think it would be a mistake to emblazon the car with it for the UK market. The average buyer is not that dumb and does not like to be patronised by a myth.

    All of that said, if the MG3 results in more UK jobs, puts an old British marque back on the road – even if only assembled here, then that is good news. I just hope the design looks better in the metal and ditto that for the MG6.

  57. Mark Pitchford says:

    @Paul T
    Agree with Wilko all you like but you’re both missing the point I am making. Here we have a company which remains committed to providing British employment both in its Design Studios and at Longbridge and all you can do is wring your hands, chant “if only” and poor scorn on photographs of products you haven’t even seen yet.

    That is an attitude reminscent of the entirely negative British motoring press (and, indeed, public) which helped significantly in committing MG Rover to the history books in the first place. However, you presumably read these pages because you were once enthused by them.

    I remain as disappointed as the next man that MG Rover was allowed to go to the wall and am convinced that no other Western Eurpoean Government would have allowed that to happen. I also accept that the ZS, ZR, ZT were all fine cars and no worse for the collaborations which brought them to us. However, MG Rover is no more and what remains is a company with an ongoing commitment to the UK – which it has no need to engender at all.

    I suppose that, if the very people who applauded MG Rover products in the past are so determined to prejudge the efforts of the new regime even before any products have been launched, then maybe you’re right. Maybe they will fail.

    I am a Chartered Engineer and owe my entire livelihood to British Manufacturing here in the UK. It would be nice to think that SAIC Motor MG will be given every chance and that means not dismissing them out of hand in the way you seem determined to do.

  58. Paul Taylor Paul T says:

    @Mark Pitchford
    I object to your tone and your judgment of my opinions. Could you specify my posts that “directly pour scorn” on the new MG products as you accuse? If you took time to read my post you are replying to correctly, I objected to my ZS being branded a re-hashed Honda Civic (which in my opinion was an inferior car).

    I have not specifically said as much in previous posts but part of my problem with the current occupants of Longbridge is that, from memory (and I am happy to be corrected), they pulled the plug on their planned investement in 2005 – they were obviously aware the company was in trouble (sound business sense, maybe) but AFTER they had paid for the IPR’s to the MG brand and technology for the Rover 25 and 75. They then, after the collapse, picked the bones of the corpse for a fraction of their planned financial input.

    You can say “it wasn’t SAIC/NAC” or whoever, but the fact is the company which pulled the plug is now part of the merged organisation now in place at Longbridge. Equally, you could accuse the Phoenix consortium of naivete but the fact is that the company could have been saved and someone chose not to.

    I do not slate their cars just because of who they are and what happened. I am not keen on them because they are not a patch on what MGR made before they folded. They do not stand out from the crowd and I do not think they will compete in the current market.

    Likewise, I will not feel compelled to like them because they are (allegedly) supporting manufacturing in the UK. I would say the jury’s out regarding any long-term commitment to the UK – seek out threads on this site about the exact level of productivity at Longbridge just now.

    On a factual note, the UK Government could not support them due to EU competition laws and so neither France nor Germany could not have done any different if one of their car makers had been in a similar position. Labour gave them a loan near the end, but they could not provide financial support or part-nationalise them, as has happened with the banks.

    Finally, in reply to your last sentence, I am not “determined to dismiss them out of hand” as you accuse – in fact, I have praised the updated styling of the MG6 on this site and will do so if the cars excite me. Remember, your eyes will be the first things that tempt you to a product – if it looks wrong, then you are unlikely to take any steps forward to buy.

    I really hope MG survive and prosper in the UK, but not all the signs are encouraging…

  59. Mark Pitchford says:

    @Paul T
    You started by agreeing wholeheartedly with someone who suggested that because, I’m happy to reserve judgment on the MG3 and MG6 and might even buy one, I am a “clown” and then you go on to suggest that you don’t like my tone…

    Well, thanks for your opinions. Forgive me if they don’t impact on mine.

  60. Wilko says:

    @Mark Pitchford
    I actually meant driving one with a Union Flag on the roof – but I think we’ve pretty much exhausted this debate anyway.

    I’ll take everything back when Longbridge is thriving again.

  61. Paul Taylor Paul T says:

    @Mark Pitchford
    I didn’t suggest you were a clown, again get your facts right.

    I’ll echo Wilko’s last post.

  62. Mark Pitchford says:

    @Paul T
    “However, if you want to drive one and look like a clown, then that’s your prerogative – we do live in a free democracy (unlike the Chinese).”

    “I totally agree. ”

    OK, never mind – this is all getting silly and is less than seasonal! Not really worth arguing over… Have a Happy Christmas both of you and let’s hope the cars are actually worth buying on their own merits.

  63. Paul Taylor Paul T says:

    @Mark Pitchford
    Hear, hear. I see why you said what you said and perhaps my original response was too sweeping – and, as you say, it’s Christmas.

    Anyway, if the Sports version of the MG6 hits these shores and lives up to its promise, it might not be such a bad buy…

  64. Wilko says:

    Merry Christmas!!

  65. David Whittington says:

    I agree with Paul T – the Sports version of the MG6 looks fantastic. Fit a 200bhp V6 and it’ll really do the MG badge justice.

  66. Ianto says:

    Where have all these contributors gone?

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