News : MG’s charity drive

Keith Adams

MG6s at Longbridge are about to go on tour...

MG6s at Longbridge are about to go on tour...

If you’ve yet to drive an MG6 for size (and if so, why not… it’s not as if there aren’t enough opportunities for you), then MG has just come up with another reason for you. A fleet of the latest MG cars is touring the country in an initiative which hopes to raise thousands of pounds for two worthy charities.

Thirty MGs models are touring Britain in ‘The Great British Charity Test Drive’ in support of Macmillan Cancer Support and Help for Heroes. As the cars tour the country they will call in at motorway service stations and places of interest. They will also call in at most MG dealerships around Britain.

Anyone over the age of 25 who takes a test drive before the end of September will be able to nominate one of the two charities which will then receive a £5 donation from MG Motor UK. A great reason to try out an MG6 yourself – and maybe lobby your dealer for the earliest possible launch of the MG3 supermini and diesel-engined cars.

This comes on the back of the recent news that UK customers will be offered a special three-year fixed price servicing cover for £199 on all new MG6 models sold during the new ’61 plate month of September. MG6 GT fastback range starts at £15,459 for the S model, £16,995 for the SE and £18,995 for the TSE.

AROnline has already tested the MG6 and came away reasonably impressed at the value, pace and especially dynamics of the recently-launched car.

More at www.mgmotor.co.uk.

Posted in: AROnline News
Keith Adams

About the Author:

Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007. Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Clsssics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent... Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasable adventures all across Europe.

32 Comments on "News : MG’s charity drive"

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  1. Dennis says:

    “They will also call in at most MG dealerships around Britain”
    Aren’t they expecting them to be very reliable then? (joke)

  2. Simon Weakley says:

    This sort of marketing has been tried before with very poor results. Don’t MG know that you can’t just turn up in a town centre or shopping centre and collect money for charity without being moved on by security. you need permits and permission these days to do that sort of thing. Also why turn up at their dealers who already have the MG 6 on display? I thought the idea should be to get the car out to the wider public. No wonder hardly anyone knows MG is back with a new product. Do the job properly MG or not at all.

  3. Keith Adams Keith Adams says:

    @Simon – agreed 🙂

    /K

  4. alex scott says:

    has anyone bought / taken delivery of one yet…..perhaps they should “give away a bunch of 10 cars” in a competition after all you really need some serious punters (or balls or too much cash) to buy a brand new model from what is really a brand new company with no history, at least you already know with in reason what you’re gunna get from Ford Toyota Hyundai Kia etc. alex

  5. russ says:

    Oh my god are we about to maybe see one on the road tell google maps to get ready it may be there only chance to photo one actually in use ……

  6. david whittington says:

    iv’e yet to see an mg6 on the road let alone the tv advert,
    and that’s the problem most people still don’t know mg is back you can have the best product in the world but if nobody’s aware it exists no one’s going to buy it , if your listening mg more advertising please.

  7. Andrew Elphick says:

    My local (multi) franchise has the stumbling block of the ajourning Renault franchise offering a 17% margin; the adjourning Nissan franchise offering 10% across the board. And these are established marques with resale value. MG really needs an Ace – they canot drop the list price, maybe an inflated minium PX? Bring the (surely catastrophic tax break) automatic transmission in and hoover up the motability customers (who are exempt road tax anyway).

  8. Chris C says:

    MG needs to get out into shopping centres, etc – dealers might wait for punters to call in but they won’t if they don’t know the product exists. MG cannot drop the list price since it would be an admission of failure – throwing in free accessories might be better. If I was them I would be getting somebody to retrim the seats/modify the covers to make the interior more appealing and do other quick interior improvements.

  9. James says:

    @ Andrew. NO MG’s are available on the Motability Scheme at present. The lack of MG discounting the cars would make the advance payments costly. They’ve already risen alot this year.

    As a Motability customer, I want reliability above anything else, that’s why my last three Motability cars have been Honda Civics. (My current Type-S I-Shift is a cracker)

  10. Andrew Elphick says:

    James I’m waiting for the three year old returns to hit the auction hall’s so I can buy my next automatic as we speak; I do find the early MOT before 3 years old strange on most of them mind.

  11. Sixtyten says:

    Typical – MG doing it wrong again. Wrong idea, wrong car, wrong commitment, wrong plastics, wrong race series, wrong charity, wrong photograph, wrong engine, wrong price, wrong warranty, wrong, wrong, wrong. And what makes their wrongness even more wrong is that they don’t listen to people on the internet telling that they are wrong about everything. Or is that something they’ve gotten right? Either way – it’s wrong.

  12. Steve McGill says:

    The Chinese either need to take a more active role in promoting this brand properly, or let the lads at Longbridge do it (get [properly qualified experts in, not the idiots that have done it so far!)
    Motability is a good earner, but no good for a brand, alot of motability drivers are council estate fraudsters that cannot be bothered to work and pretend to be disabled in order to get a free ride. This has a knock on effect of giving the cars a negative image which puts off legitimate consumers if too many are being punted around by “hobbling Ronnies” the perception of the brand will be as Protons or Kias… MG need to cultivate an image perfected by Audi or BMW, a premium brand, driven by professionals, not losers…

  13. James says:

    @ Andrew. Yes Motability cars are MOT’d two months shy of the three year limit. That is so that any work can be completed in time before handback. Motability also have the cars inspected at this time, and if the car is in good nick, you can qualify for a good condition payment of £250, which I just did.

    They probably only lost £1,500 on my 2008 Civic I handed back a month ago. It was an auto with very low mileage, and in superb condition. If you can get that one at an auction, you’ll get a bargain!

  14. Hilton Davis says:

    Seen the press adverts, seen one LHD model on the A1M in Yorkshire, read James Martins test in Sunday Live magazine (where it broke down twice in a week). Hope this doesn’t put people off!

  15. Will M says:

    Dennis –
    “They will also call in at most MG dealerships around Britain”
    Aren’t they expecting them to be very reliable then? (joke)

    I had to laugh at this, I remember taking part in an Alfa Romeo club run, it started from the Alfa dealer in Belfast. A friend laughed as he suggested this was to stock up on parts 🙂

    Re: Motability – For those who genuinely need it, it is a great scheme. However, around the greater Belfast area, it is extremely prone to abuse by those who fake an ailment or claim that they drive for an elderly relative whom they never actually visit.
    It must be a cash cow for the dealers, as a certain large dealer in the area advertises in the media and sets up shopping centre displays specifically advertising motability deals!

    Steve – “MG need to cultivate an image perfected by Audi or BMW, a premium brand, driven by professionals, not losers…”

    Thinking of real professionals I would think of Saabs, Volvos, Jags. BMW and Audi conjure up images of pushy sales rep, bearing down in the fast lane of the motorway. They are merely the modern day Cortina. Might be profitable, but is it the right image to project?

  16. James says:

    @ Will. If you know for a fact that people are abusing their Motability cars, then please report this to Motability. They take such things very seriously. They are very quick to take back cars that have been proven to have been in the hands of people who shouldn’t be using them.

  17. cookie1600 says:

    @Chris C – ‘MG needs to get out into shopping centres’

    Or in the car parks of bowling greens, bingo halls, retirement homes and day-centres through-out the land.

    Sorry, good luck on the charity drive (albeit strangely conceived and executed) but ‘silver-haired drivers’ of the UK seem to me to be the market that these will appeal to……

  18. James Riley James says:

    I’ve known of a few people who have taken the Motability scheme for a ride. I knew of a Taxi driver who worked all hours god sent driving his own new taxi, yet he also had a Motability car because of a “disability”…. there was nothing wrong with the bloke and his daughter drove the car virtually all of the time.

  19. David 3500 says:

    Admittedly I am not a dyed-in-the-wool MG fanatic and so am not likely to buy one of the current models in the future.

    However, I can only guess that MG Motor UK Ltd have already made enquiries about suitable locations where they will be permitted to display their vehicles and offer such test drives, as even they will be aware of rights of access and touting laws relating to local authorty-owned town centre car parks.

    At the end of the day I wish them well in this venture as they are looking to raise much needed funds for two worthy causes. Good luck to them.

  20. Dennis says:

    it’s not hard is it, you just ring up the local council or shopping centre management and get the ok. Most large shopping centres have a management suite, where you can just turn up and ask.

  21. dolomitefan says:

    I don’t think MG are as daft as some people would believe. I still think it’s a shame that the product line up is not stronger. Irononically had they chosen to launch the smaller more mediumsized car with acompetitive engine lineup they’d be much stronger. I’ve driven an MG6 and I was genuinely impressed. However you cannot get over the prices which to me are high for a manufacturer which has no reputation and extremely poor residuals. It’s not that it’s expensive next to a Focus or an Octavia etc it’s just that to pitch at that market sector you have to have justify it. I thought the car was good but perception was on the Hyundai/Kia/Renault sort of level rather than a Ford/Vauxhall/VWone.

    I don’t want to be quick to judge as I feel that with a new small and medium sized car they’ll be more successful. I have yet to see an MG6 in the wild and don’t expect to anytime soon.

    I know the lack of diesel is off putting for many on here but actually looking around at private motorists (they’re easy to spot usually) by far the majority seem to still be petrol versions.

  22. John Morris says:

    People always have the perception that Kia.Hyundai, and Proton etc are inferior cars to brands such as Ford, BMW, VW ,Audi Toyota etc.
    If you look at the retail prices and specifications of the current models of these “budget brands” they far exceed “per pound” their rivals.Their reliability and economy reputation is equal and in lots of cases far exceeds the premium brands if you only pay £8000.00 for a car you can only ever loose £8000 !
    I am lucky enough to be able to buy just about any on the world market and I don’t have to tell the world look at me I drive a BMW I’m a success I’m happy driving a 13 year old van and I don’t look down on Kia drivers !

  23. Dennis says:

    @john, i think that’s basically why topgear do their reasonably priced car thing each week. Just to prove the point.

  24. Sam Skelton says:

    Would it not be wiser for MG to employ a team of drivers, one per county, for a fortnight – the aim being just to drive the car as great a distance round as much of the county as possibly and simply GET IT SEEN? Signwrite the side with the MG website, start price, use top spec, fully loaded cars to do the job and have predefined stopping points where the public can crawl around said car.

    Then they can take test drives at their leisure if they like it. The main thing is to let them know it’s there – I haven’t seen ONE in Yorkshire yet!

  25. excalibur says:

    in refernce to steve mc gill .your right saic employed former mg workers off the original tracks and everybody knows they were not highly skilled but mainly i operation associates. SAIC need to employ skilled workers if they are going to attempt to bring mg to the fore the opportunity to rise is there but needs taking by the scruff of the neck . what happened to former methods or protoype employees from body in white and manufacturing . these people had high levels of skills and could build cars from start to finish and identify problems and quality issues immediately .Many former employees took assessments to return to mg and passed with high scores yet saic remain with the employees that have not got the knowledge or skills required to launch new vehicles .

  26. doodle says:

    it sounds like excalibur has an axe to grind , as aformer employee at mg rover the only thing i will agree with is that SAIC seem to have missed the opportunity of employing the methods build trainers and prototype managers at mg rover that were extremely knowledgeable and had the ability to produce world class vehicles from metal to the showrooms. my only message to SAIC is if you want to be the best employ the best. LONG LIVE MG

  27. Stevemcgill76 says:

    I was not referring to the actual assembly line staff, I was talking about the pr managers and their bosses in china and their half arsed approach to advertising this newly launched brand… Their image is low enough without this apathetic, underfunded effort so far..

    Ps, james, ive reported at least five people in my local area for dla fraud, that was at least a year and a half ago, no action whatsoever has been taken against them…

  28. doodle says:

    i also think steve that you may well be right in your assessment of promotion and advertising . we have friends currently part of the manufacturing build that have been sent out off the assembly lines to promote the mg6 as the production of mg6 has been suspended .due to sales for mg to be successful they need the highest level of advertising by proffessional people. they are falling in the trap of playing with the brand thinking that the words mg is all you need .

  29. Binky says:

    I have been a visitor to this site for a while as I have an interest in British cars and a nostalgia for the cars of the 60’s and 70’s when I was in my youth.

    MG are of paricular interest as I really wanted an MGBGT in my twenties. Never could afford one and but managed a Midget (chrome bumpers) which was great at the time.

    I would really like to see MG return with a competative product line up whether under Chinese ownership or not.

    I’ve not seen a 6 on the road yet after more than 3 months and the sales figures I have seen should be making the Chinese worry.

    I think as noted here the profile is very pretty weak. Seems to be little advertising, but the main problem is I think the defeciencies of the present product and the fact the they have become an unknown manufacturer following any market prescence for the last 4-5 years. Also tainted with the image of the Pheonix 4.

    To get the product out there have MG thought of local newspater advertising – I’ve seen nothing to date- and offers on the cars.

    As they don’t want to reduce the list price, there needs to be offers on finance, and how about instead of reducing the price, offering free petrol for say the first 10,000 miles. I think this would cost about £1800 which would be in line with discounts offered elsewhere but also negate the biggest drawback for the private motorist of the poor fuel consumption of the present engine.

    Just some food for thought.

  30. Rob C Rob C says:

    I think it’s a good idea, I’d rather pop along to my local shopping centre for a look over drive of one than go to the dealer who will then be on the phone once a week and sending me junk mail every day trying to get me to buy. I’m sure MG have gained the necessary permissions as needed, I don’t think they’re that silly. Hopefully they’ll be in my area this week while I’m still off work!
    Getting cars into shopping centres can work, very popular in SA, I got my first real look at the new Jaguar XJ in a mall in Port Elizabeth last year.

  31. Graham Ariss says:

    One thing I notice about MG is the lack of dealers in the West Midlands and Warwickshire. The choice is Dudley or a trip into Gloucestershire, Leicestershire or Oxfordshire. I am surprised they haven’t set one up at Longbridge, or failing that surely one in Daventry, Redditch or Solihull?

  32. David 3500 says:

    I saw this roadshow last Friday in Budleigh Salterton, Devon, in the Estuary car park amongst other cars. The MG personnel were very enthusiastic about the product, as well as the future.

    However, they admitted that it is expensive to get permission to do a display in the middle of a town/city shopping centre. That said, Budleigh Salterton is an olde world town that has the highest rate of elderly people in the UK who would rather buy something no larger than a Rover 25. Very few younger buyers would have been visiting this venue on a Friday afternoon compared to say, the shopping centres of nearby Exeter.

    Having seen the efforts of MG Motor UK Ltd first hand, I conclude that they really do need to review their strategy and possibly hand it over to those who are actually experienced in organising promotional events. After all, parking a single MG in a crowded car park is not going to get your product noticed or increase the likelihood of selling one.

    It all came across as a promotional strategy done on the very cheap (although as already mentioned, you could not fault the enthusiasm of the MG employees).

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