Blog : Back in an MG6

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Keith Adams

Interior quality of the MG6 has made strides since I last drove one...
Interior quality of the MG6 has made strides since I last drove one...

Back at Longbridge yesterday to pick up an MG6 saloon, as I’ve yet to sample one first hand. Was greeted by PR man Doug Wallace, and had a quick chat about the company’s current position, some of the future plans, and asked a few of your questions. First thing’s first, it’s obvious that the boys at Longbridge have read my last blog about the company’s lack of marketing, and I must admit that it was with a sense of trepidation that I went in to the on-site showroom…

As it happened, things went well, and although I vented my frustration at a lack of a diesel MG6 (‘they are in testing and arrive next year’), concerns about UK-China communications (‘we’re still working on that, but they do care about Longbridge’), marketing (‘we’re getting the word out – Birmingham airport is a good example’), and ongoing customer care for older cars (‘we do look after these and we’re committed to the MG TF’), it’s clear that, in tough trading conditions, MG is still looking forwards.

Sales of the MG6 have clearly been a disappointment, having spent more time with one, it’s clear that the product is fundamentally a good one – but the level of public awareness is abysmal. A good example – I rolled up to my house yesterday afternoon and a random stranger came up and spoke to me. ‘That’s a lovely car, mate,’ he says. ‘Chinese aren’t they?’ he goes on.

I am quick to correct – it’s a Chinese company, British designed and engineered, and assembled in the UK in Birmingham. ‘Really,’ he exclaims. ‘I have a 54-plate MG ZT, am looking for a new car and had no idea. I’m from Coventry and had no idea.’

Considering he’s almost in the back garden of Longbridge that really is disappointing – especially as he seemed to care about MG and is currently looking for a replacement for his ZT. And to go on – the last two cars that passed through my hands to attract comments from random strangers were a Jaguar XJ and Lamborghini Murcielago. Impressive.

Back to the MG6. Have to say it’s clear that the interior quality has improved since the last car I drove. The saloon body style looks better and more homogeneous than the fastback, even if you lose a little practicality – and, on the drive, it gives off good vibes, certainly not ‘budget’ or ‘low rent’. There are a few minor irritations – the throttle is too light (a stronger spring in it would make driving far smoother), the stereo sounds tinny, the leather doesn’t feel good (I’d buy a boggo model with cloth, anyway) and, er, that’s about it. Dynamically, it’s there or thereabouts (firmish ride, stiff-legged damping, roll-free cornering, good steering and brakes), exterior build quality is tight with good paint finish and reasonable panel gaps, the interior plastics are solid and it all feels well screwed together.

And it all has me wondering why they don’t sell more of the things.

And of course we already know the reason – public awareness. Or a lack of marketing. Get the word out, make the world know that MG is back and building cars for non-conformists and, even if the 6 isn’t the right car for many (and won’t be until the diesel comes), at least get generate some showroom traffic. Get bums on seats, people in showrooms, and simply talking about MG. And then sort out some tempting finance packages to go with the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 deal you’ve announced – I imagine a lot of people would buy one if they could get one for £199 per month all in with guaranteed residuals…

People still care about MG – so here’s a message to Longbridge and Shanghai:

Please, please tell the world you exist – the 3s, 5s, diesels and sports cars can come later. Just let them know you’re actually making new cars!

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up 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 Classics 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 unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

129 Comments

  1. I agree, Keith – not enough of the general public know about this car. I also believe that they cannot afford to leave the sports cars too long or it will all be too little, too late – and the momentum will be lost. They need an ‘MG Special Products’ skunk works to develop the MG8!!

  2. All about the marketing. The Germans are the experts at this, hence their popularity.
    MG WRC anyone? MG6 could fill the niche of the old Impreza/Evo

  3. and this is precisely my frustration. Designed and engineered here, and people know it is, yet no one knows about it. No one can criticise a car that no on knows about.

    I remember that ad for the Rover 75 back in ’97. You hear a childs voice saying something like ‘it’s better to be loved or hated, rather than ignored or not known about’… And this is a problem. *We* know the car but those that vaguely know about it are largely ignorant of it. Many just don’t know at all. Targetted advertising is ok, but if the targetting is too narrow, you’ll never get the word out beyond those people. And, MG isn’t just the MG6.. MG is a major global brand with a heritage and that needs pushing hard to get the world out. So far I’ve seen very little in the way of TV advertising, no radio advertising at all and some really basic advertising in the Birmingham Mail. This really needs sorting out. The MG6 is not a bad car at all and reports on reliabilty seem to very favourable. However it can’t sell itself and at the moment, nor can the brand.

  4. Aye. I was at a multi-franchise on Saturday where the lights were down in the MG showroom and the doors closed… they’d jump on you if you wanted a Cruze however…

    The 3 year residuals are a joke too, MG you need to prop these up from your own coffers, Kia & Hyundia like Rome were not built in a day.

  5. Glad that this car really is good and the interior issues that plagued early reviews have been sorted.

    You are so right about the marketing – I hope a blitz is planned for when the diesels (key to this class of car) are introduced.

  6. I have to say i think the interior/Dash in these it what sets them apart from the like of Kia, Hyundai, Chevrolet etc. While a lot of the ‘reasonably priced’ makers often turn out cars that look ok, even great on the outside, they often fall down on the interior design. Even if you compare an MGF and an MX5, MX5’s look great on the outside but interior wise it’s almost as basic as a Ferrari F40.

    Personally i’m a fan of wood trim on dashes but that just isn’t fashionable these days and i’m glad they didn’t try it on this as it would automatically make it look like an old mans car.

    The dash on this looks well laid out and has enough style to keep it from looking bland but not over styled so as to be cluttered. The switch gear looks coherent, unlike say the Aston Martin DB7, where it had a mismatch of various random switches from the Ford range.

    The radio is even a bespoke unit, not just a standard din slot thrown in as an after thought (which you usually get on the likes of Hyundai etc). Remember in the dying days of MGR when they lobbed a budget looking DIN format radio into the R75’s with a fascia adaptor?

    Interiors were what AR, Rover Group etc always did well, it was one of the major fields of expertise they brought to the Rover/Honda collaborations.

  7. There really needs to be a big ad campaign, and one that moves away from all the references to MGs of old. They must dare to focus on MG as a brand for the future, and make adverts without MGBs trailing in the background. Hopefully it will all come on stream once the diesels come out. Otherwise, why bother?
    Incidentally, I’ve really grown to like the MG6. It seems to bridge the gap between the two extremes of old and stuffy Rovers and loud MGs of the last decade. To me, this is the more complete of the new MGs – better to my eyes than both the 3 and the 5. But – MG will mean nothing, and be nothing, without diesels, better marketing and a sports car – probably in that order.

  8. who cares about the MG its an ugly car and looks like arfix had some input.dont kid yourself its a chinese kit car made over there and badly put together here.dont worry it will be cast into the history books like every other very badly built british car.lets face it, as always its a re badged foriegn car passed of as british.close the factory an build much needed houses on it.thank god for BMW.

  9. i’ve been up to birmingham quite a lot recentley, most recently to the nec, and i have’nt noticed any mg adverts anywhere. maybe they’re just not noticable.

  10. Quote:

    ” I am quick to correct – it’s a Chinese company, British designed and engineered, and assembled in the UK in Birmingham. ‘Really,’ he exclaims. ‘I have a 54-plate MG ZT, am looking for a new car, and had no idea. I’m from Coventry, and had no idea.’ ”

    May I assume that you made it clear to him that “assembled in the UK” involved no more than putting the (uncrated) engine in, putting the wheels on and fitting the exhaust? I’m absolutely certain that no one is being mislead into thinking that this essentially Chinese built car is being little more than uncrated in Longbridge!

  11. PS: Loving the new “higher quality” interior, as exemplified by the way the leather has been skillfully tensioned onto the side bolster on the seat squab….

    • @John

      Yes, unfortunate use of a press shot of an early interior. Will take a new pic this morning, and replace it – because the car I’m in has un-rouched leather 🙂

      On your other point, yes, I made it clear it’s assembled in a CKD operation – the assembly is a little bit more involved than that, but it’s a fair point. Still, they are British assembly workers in a British factory…

  12. BSD

    DEAR KEITH,

    IN THE PICTURE I SEE THAT THE DASHBOARD HAS ANALOGUE DIALS.

    DOES THE LONGBRIDGE MG6 SEDAN ׂMAGNETTE HAVE ANALOGUE DIALS AS IN THE PICTURE ABOVE?

    BECAUSE HERE IN ISRAEL,THE MG6 SEDAN (SOLD AS MG550) HAS THE DIGITAL DIALS.

  13. If my increasingly unreliable memory is correct (although I was only aged 3 at the time) the ooriginal Mini was a poor seller until the Queen had a go in one – maybe MG needs to get some free publicity that way, especially in today’s celebrity-obsessed society?

    Can’t help wondering that SAIC MG are still doing the old BL/Rover trick of releasing cars before they are fully developed – see the complaints in early roadtests. In fairness, they are making them by the bucketload for the home and more obscure overseas markets before releasing them in the UK but I suspect some potential buyers are hanging fire to wait and see what happens.

  14. HANDS UP anyone who’s going to buy one with their own money? No? Thought not.

    To echo what Mike and Andrew said above, I doubt there’ll be any dealers left by the time the diesel arrives.

  15. @Peter

    “as always its a re badged foriegn car passed of as british.close the factory an build much needed houses on it.thank god for BMW.”

    While not wanting to feed the trolls, that last statement says it all. The proles are obsessed with their Bavarian propellor-wagens because of marketing.

    MG desperately needs marketing, product placement, ‘celeb’ endorsement and a good dose of motorsport.

  16. Great article and MG are very lucky to have the likes of yourself banging their drum for them for free! Should they have delayed the relaunch of MG untill they had the diesel and other models ready, in your opinion?
    When I was marketing director for Alfa Romeo in the early 90s, I had to sell truly awful 33s and even worse, absurd 75s,(although I loved the 3.0 litre!)and we only had the died in the wool beardy Alfa nuts buying the things to keep us afloat untill the 164 truly kicked in.
    I certainly think Guy Jones has a very difficult job to do and if The Chinese are half as bad as the Italians at FIAT were when I was trying to squeese money out of them, then heaven help him!

  17. In my opinion the dealers are partially to blame, I was interested in the Magnette (prefer boots to hatch), I visited a couple and both said they would contact me when the car would be launched, to this day neither have, and I have since gone out and bought something else.

    The advert they did again in my opinion did nothing for the car, why bother showing the MGB, it is not relevant, for some it will just remind them of the poor old days of dodgy cars and poor built.

    I was lucky enough to go and test drive one at Prodrive, it is an impressive car, well put together and well specified for its price, and with the new 5432-1 deal (WHICH NEEDS TO BE ADVERTISED)i cant see why they would not sell.

    As for assembled in Longbridge, from memory the car from the A pillar back comes assembled its just the front that is added, unless it has changed.

    I am sure there are plenty of people on here who state they can do better than MG in advertising and selling the cars, i for one take no notice, and as for idiots that come to these sites just to troll there rubbish, again I take no notice.

    However, the public are taking no notice, unless of course you go to Birmingham airport, which 99.9% of this country do not, what happened to the mass internet campaign, what happened to the press adverts, STOP advertising in motoring magazines, start advertising in your target markets press, what ever that may be.

    I want MG to survive, i always have, and with the MG3, MG5, MG7 (eventually) and MGSUV(8)they may have a chance, but unless they are prepared to fully put there money where there mouths are, it will not, and they will get fed up with the UK and Longbridge will hit the skids again.

    This is all just my opinion

  18. How many have they actually sold, in total, though Keith? Not enough to keep Longbridge or a dealership viable. 200 registrations, including TFs and dealer demos, all year so far.

    And if each and every active poster on here bought one, it still wouldn’t be a viable business.

    As for Longbridge, I can’t see it remaining open as an assembly plant for long. It doesn’t make sense shipping half finished cars half way round the world in kit form from a country with one of the lowest labour rates to be built up in a country with one of the highest labour rates.

    Will M – Wasn’t their something recently about Bobby Davro in an MG6?

  19. To quote Rob C

    “HANDS UP anyone who’s going to buy one with their own money? No? Thought not.”

    Then again, I would not go out and buy ANY new car with my money. I like my cheap and cheerful ’53 R75 tourer. I like classics, I like bangers.

    I don’t like haemorrhaging money at a rate of £2000 per year minimum on ANYTHING. I like it to cost £2000 total.

    So, the question is this….

    Would I spend my own £2000 on a cherished used example when the arse falls out of it’s value?

    Absolutely.

    It will have to be the diesel model though 🙂

    P.s. Peter (the man who likes BMW) is what is wrong with Britain today. Once we were Great, we can be Great again, but as long as the country and the buying public are represented by people who would prefer to buy Munichs finest, we shall never be Great again 🙁

    Sad but true

  20. 10% of the UK Exports are cars – we currently are one of the best in the world, we also produce some of the best cars in the world, and before anyone goes on about them being foreign owned, who gives a stuff, most are.

    The UK is the best in the world for R and D in motoring and Motorsport, we also are the base for nearly all the F1 teams because of the history and experience and know how of the UK staff.

  21. The initial sales targets were very low (2000? cars in the first year, for a volume model is miniscule) so the marketing spend was equally low, which has led to them not even making their initial low target.

    When the likes of Kia or Daewoo launched in the UK, they never started with such low targets, and gained public awareness much quicker.

    Is this really a UK assembled car? weren’t Ladas and Skodas back in the 70s heavily modified by the UK importer, and you wouldn’t call them UK assembled!

  22. Why on earth don’t they find a way to mailshot existing MG owners to let them know that MG exists and that you can buy a car from them? Surely there must be a way for them to get the names and addresses of owners from DVLA, or, if Data Protection forbids that, I’m sure that the dealers who were MG R dealers will still have previous customer details. Even if only one person buys a car as a result of a mailshot then it’s still been worthwhile – and you can bet that there are owners of MGs out there like the guy that Keith spoke to who are getting ready to change their cars and who might well consider a new MG.

    Even if not, they might pass on the information to someone else. I get mailshots from my Honda dealer and because of that was able to tell a colleague who was looking at a Kia Sportage that he could probably get a new CR-V with the 0% 50/50 interest deal they were doing – that chance conversation got the Honda dealer a £20k sale from someone who didn’t think that they could even consider the extra cost of the Honda.

  23. “It doesn’t make sense shipping half finished cars half way round the world in kit form from a country with one of the lowest labour rates to be built up in a country with one of the highest labour rates.”

    Import Duty. 😉

  24. Isn’t there some sort of tax advantage fo assembling here rather than fully assembled from China?

    And as for the SniffPetrol ad’s whilst they are a little crass – this is the sort of attention grabbing stuff we need. Hell, even the ZR/ZS football TV ad was more attention grabbing than the stupid MGB/6 ad that says nothing about the car that was on what feels like a millenia ago.

  25. Loving the Sniff Petrol sites adverts!

    Why not do a national advert in The Metro free Newspaper? Just a one page MG logo with a QR code at the bottom? Simple, yet effective!

  26. IMO there is no getting away from the fact that people want others to understand their choice of car (or any other major visible product). Apple products are a great example. And so, Audi, BMW etc…

    This is more than targetting the just people who will buy. And a sensible advertising budget is just a part of the development costs. No advertising = no sales. As we can see.

  27. Love the fake ads. Wish more stuff was advertised like that!

    As for the car…. like so much around these days it just makes me want to say “Meh….” with an emo-teenager-like emphasis on running out of energy by the end of the ‘eh’.

    It just looks so generic like so many other vehicles that you could stick any old badge on it and no-one would know. I guess that’s more a reflection on current trends rather than the car itself. Just MVHO by the way.

    The only thing I’d actually say I could desire as a new car these days would be a nice new XF or XJ.

    Everything else is just beige dishwater drab to me….

    Oh well, stick to the classics I think.

    On a positive note, I hope they succeed.

  28. Maybe SAIC did this the wrong way round? If they had launched this a Roewe 550 and priced accordingly….there would have been no high expectations.

    It seems cynical marketing to me to call these cars ‘MG’ If BMW had gone bust and a Chinese firm came in to pick over the remains, then launched a new car as an ‘M’ (M Series) there would be uproar.

    MG have always been an affordable sports car based on run of the mill stuff, that’s where its character and heritage stem from, right from the MG 14/28 in 1924!

    I think Roewe could have had a real push at Hyundai’s and Kia’s….and a couple of years down the line….here come the sporty Roewe’s…MG

  29. “Can’t help wondering that SAIC MG are still doing the old BL/Rover trick of releasing cars before they are fully developed”

    So by that analogy we should have a series of special edition models coming along any minute then to bolster the already flagging sales?

    MG6 Park Lane
    MG6 Mayfair
    MG6 Checkmate (your move SAIC)
    MG6-6 (for how long since we last had a real British MG?)
    MG6 Cooper (after the famous comedian)
    MG6 with a side order of prawn balls….

  30. If the was import duties they were bothered about they’d have a final assembly plant in some cheapo EU new-state like Romania, not the UK.

  31. Just to go slightly off topic.

    Missed opportunity for all UK car “manufacturers”.

    The car of choice for ferrying around the Olympic community in 2012? BMW!

  32. I know where you are coming from Cookie 1600 but surely this:

    “MG6 Cooper (after the famous comedian)”

    Should be the MG6 Davro given the earlier posts! 😉

  33. Great feature as always,well done, I totally aggree whats already been said, MG realy need to push their cars, also as I mentioned and other people rightly said, that a turbo diesel model is a must, I hope the people from MG have a read of all he coments that all we said and act on it,ot if the dont it the MG brand will be a lost cause. Thats interesing from the guy in Israel with the dials, could be made as an option perhaps. I wonder some of the public would buy the Roewe 750 to replace their exsisting R75s if they were made avaiable in this country. I just wish the MG brand gets a good foothold in this country.If I could afford one would like MG6. Regards Mark

  34. “Rob B – they need the UK operation to help advertising back home, union jacks on the roof, pictures of Big Ben etc”

    Why do they need a UK factory for that? They could just do the same thing without one.

  35. Still quite like the look of the “6” but need the reassurance of a decent size dealer network and it would be nice to see a few (hundred) more on the roads. I wont be changing car for another 2-3 years so by then maybe the situation with MG will have improved(?) Hope so…

  36. “Still quite like the look of the “6″ but need the reassurance of a decent size dealer network and it would be nice to see a few (hundred) more on the roads. I wont be changing car for another 2-3 years so by then maybe the situation with MG will have improved”

    Catch 22 then? If everyone has this in mind, who are the buyers that will make a commitment to an unknown product?

    I’m not in the market for a car of this size/class bit if I was I would have to ask myself I would risk my hard-earned on one? In fact would any contributor to this forum chance circa £16k on a current MG product without any real track record or feedback?

    I have enough of a problem contemplating if I am going to replace my SAAB 9-3 Convertible with an equivalent late, low mileage SAAB, as I’m not sure what support/warranty I am likely to get in the next few years.

    Talking of SAAB’s I read earlier on another site about SAAB owners worrying about the potential Chinese ownership of the Swedish company. It was rightly pointed out that I-Phone buyers know it is a sleek bit of kit designed in California, but no one is concerned that it is made in China…..

  37. I can’t help thinking we’re getting this business about lack of dealers and advertising wrong. Given that there is only the MG6 at the moment I’d be surprised if there are many dealers out there who’d be interested in taking on an MG franchise at the moment (especially after the shoddy way MGR treated so many of them). Surely a lot of dealers will adopt, or are adopting, a wait and see attitude before signing up. Maybe the arrival of the 3 and the diesel option will encourage them to do so. And from SAIC’s point of view they might just feel they want to take it easy as they enter the UK and continental European market for the first time, knowing that any new MG will come under intense critical scrutiny. In short, they’re feeling their way into the market.
    That said, any advertising needs to be something better than old MGBs driving about the place: sell the car on its merits, not on misplaced nostalgia; make it very competitive on price; and take it racing/rallying to grab a bit of kudos and shut the petrolheads up.

  38. It doesn’t matter how good or bad a car is, if you don’t advertise it you won’t sell it, especially in today’s tough trading conditions. I’m totally perplexed by the Chinese approach to marketing, maybe they do believe it’s all done by whispers. Surely people at Longbridge can get into the ears of the people that matter at SIAC and tell them that if they ever hope to sell cars in the UK they need to market them. It must be so very depressing for the Longbridge employees. No car markets itself these days of downturn, all the main European brands advertise.

    The only people who know that there is an MG6 are the employees at Longbridge and people who read this and similar web sites.

    Based on Chinese theory, if the MG6 has the best diesel unit in the world fitted when it eventually comes out, it won’t sell because nobody will know about it!!

  39. Couldnt agree more. The public simply aren’t aware of MG MOTOR let alone the 6.
    A major marketing drive would really get the ball rolling. Get those cars out there on the the road & they will sell themselves.
    As you say, the 6 may not be everyones taste. But it is a good car & will sell on good numbers , once the public get curious.

    Really hope they succeed but at the moment ,Mg are their own worst enemy.

  40. peter comment 10.regards the gentleman calling me an idiot.well dont judge a email by its cover SIR.for your information i was a soldier in afganistan ,iraq and northern ireland to name but a few.29 months ago i was in an explotion that left me in a coma for seven months,have lost my left eye and most of my memory.i am learnig to read,write and go the toilet on my own it has taken me nearly two hours to write this.so sorry about my grammer. while you were at home with your biege trousers on and tartan rug at the back of your car i was eating my tea through a drip.and yes with whats left in my thick scull i mite be lucky to get a job in mcdonalds.

    (Offending comment has been removed – Ed)

  41. Yes MG, it’s all very well having a big advertising push at Birmingham International, I bet no one from down here will see it, but let’s not worry about that! Again I ask, where are the billboard ads? Evoque is everywhere, so much so, I reckon the local dealer must be having trouble getting them out the door quick enough! Oddly the MG dealer used to be right next door, I say used to be, as they got shot of the franchise some months back, and are now listed on the website as after sales only, but I can only imagine that’s for the TF as not one 6 has been seen round here (real or advertised!). The nearest dealer now is some 40 miles away, and not being funny I can’t see many people wanting to drive that far, especially when there is a Kia or Hyundai dealer within spitting distance.

    Now I like the saloon, it looks good, OK similar to the Cruze and a few others out there, but it gels better than the hatch (IMO) and yes if I was in the market for a saloon, then yes I would give one serious consideration, however I’m not, have a company van, so currently no need for another car, one is plenty, although if MG bring out a 7 seater I’d be there sharpish!

    It NEEDS advertising, adverts even half a page in national papers, billboards, TV ads, but something dynamic not something associated with a car from the 60s or 70s, it’s NEW FFS, the only old thing on it is the badge.

    Here’s an offer for you MG, it will cost very little, give me a stickered up 6 and I’ll drive it around here to show people its out there, print me a load of flyers out and I’ll happily talk to anyone who even shows a mere hint of interest in it. Surely there’s a spare one kicking around doing not a lot? There’s cheap advertising for you!

  42. Oh and your 5,4,3,2,1 offer, Ends 30th November, it needs to a) last longer, and

    b)
    5 years warranty
    4 years free servicing
    3 years free European breakdown
    2 years free VED
    1 years 0% finance

    That should get some interest going!

  43. This is clearly an emotive subject – I just want to register my feeling that I sincerely hope the new MG team make a success of it all in the end – no matter how they go about doing it. I think most of us would agree on that

  44. The MG operation with some 300(?) designers and engineers working at Longbridge to develop all MG and Roewe models is a global centre, not a tax-dodging local assembly facility. British content is set to increase, e.g. discussions with TRW.

    I must say if Keith’s neighbour recognised the MG6 as a car with Chinese connections, I do not believe he is typical. I don’t think it would have been viable to have *no* car in production now, but it would have been good if we now had had MG6 diesels and MG3s too.

    So the fans must press for more marketing spend and model programmes to back it up!

  45. So, if its not a proper MG because they are now Chineese owned, does that make the LR Defender not a proper LandRover as its indian owned….
    Same with the Jaguar XJ, Rolls Royce, Bentley…. The last 2 have a lot of German built stuff in them.!!!

    The MG6 was designed by ex-MGR guys in Birmingham, why does it matter where its built? The Kia C’eed is a good car and no one says “oh what a load or rubbish its built in some far east factory”.

    I’m a BMW man, I sing their prases, but I also have a long history with MG, and having driven the MG6 I can say its a lot closer driving expereience to a 3-series than some other cars on the road.

    BTW, the 6 just got a 4* rating in the Euro NCAP tests (the new tests that has relagated a few previous 5* cars to 4 starts), so it proves they have looked seriously at the design.

  46. It matters a lot that the MG is built in the UK. Manufacturing in the UK is good for the country’s economy. It’s a shame that some people need to be reminded about this.

  47. I had a quick look on Autotrader, there is quite a few examples with just 1500 to 3000 on the clock and for £13000 upwards, just a bit suprised as only a few new ones been sold why there is a now quite a number available on the second hand market.Regards Mark

  48. I asked for a brochure on the MG website about six weeks ago. It hasn’t arrived!
    There was a big festival one Saturday in our town a few weeks ago, the crowds poured in, the old Rover dealer on the spot was open (he has the MG franchise apparently but no new MG logos) and displayed just used MGR products! Not one new MG to be seen!
    I’ll have to stick to my Saab and trusty Mumford Marina in my garage!

  49. Just watched the Euro Ncap video for the MG6 crash tests. I counted 3 different MG6s used. So at least we know who bought 3 MG6s. Anyone else know about the other handful sold?!!!!!

  50. @ Will M:

    Some of these adverts are frightful, particularly the beastly innuendos about mother’s starched net curtains.

    Why can’t they be more homely and thoughtful and use nice, safe embracing slogans like: “MG – it’s one of the family”, “Listen to your heart” or “it gives a new meaning to one for the road.”

    In others words, slogans that will get the ageing population in Budleigh Salterton, trembling with excitement to get behind the wheel of one.

  51. For all the comedic value of those adverts, James is right in that it is that sort of attention-grabbing advertising that is needed. The fact is that those ads as shown here would probably be ok in the likes of Viz, Zoo, Nuts etc and get talked about.

    There is no such thing as bad publicity and if those ads got coverage in mainstream news and got people talking, then they would have done their job. Maybe they do need to think outside the conservative box and look to get the current sub-25 year old ZR drivers to get interested in their product with laddish attitude. The ads won’t go down well in some circles, but to be honest we’re getting past the point where that really matters or where MG are able to afford to actually care about upsetting their old demographic.

  52. “There is no such thing as bad publicity”

    Well that’s the old saying, but the fact is there is such a thing. Take the Rover 100, it failed the NCAP test spectacularly in 1998, sales evaporated over night.

  53. @ Dennis

    I was meaning possible shock-horror reactions to the adverts above if used. Looking at the relevant blog on here, EuroNCAP doesn’t seem to be a problem for the 6.

    In any event, I do not buy a car on the basis of what might happen to me if I crash it.

  54. One breakers yard has a demo stickered silver 6 hatchback in (I believe the Bristol area, with frontal damage, airbags deployed, tailgate dented & back window gone), and there is an engine from a 6 on ebay that has been broken. The salvage car looks very easily repairable, and surprising that it has been declared a write off, unless there is a shedload of chassis damage underneath perhaps, or parts are not available!

    Keith, don’t kid yourself that it is a quality car. It isn’t and never will be.

  55. Too little, too late.

    I wouldn’t buy one, and judging by the comments on this website not many MG devotees would either. MG has been dead too long in most peoples minds, and I cannot think of another marque which has managed to successfully resurrect itself.

  56. Quote Keith:

    ” @John

    Yes, unfortunate use of a press shot of an early interior. Will take a new pic this morning, and replace it – because the car I’m in has un-rouched leather

    On your other point, yes, I made it clear it’s assembled in a CKD operation – the assembly is a little bit more involved than that, but it’s a fair point. Still, they are British assembly workers in a British factory… ”

    Thanks for your detailed reply Keith.

    My concern is that it’s not even a CKD operation. I am not aware of any more work than “engine in, exhaust and wheels on” other than final testing before it leaves the “factory”. Please enlighten me if anything else is done at Longbridge.

    Although it employs a small number of people in “manufacturing” at Longbridge and a very small number in design (to put it into perspective, it’s 5% of the number of people that are employed by Ford in design in the UK), my concerns for the future of much more genuine manufacturing operations in the UK are two fold:

    1. Our small design team in the UK is providing the design team in China much of the vital information that is needed for them to play catch up with the other European design teams. Witness the resent Euroncap results on the MG6: The usually laughable results from Chinese cars have been replaced with a very-acceptable-for-1999 4 Star result. That’s a big catch up in a short period of time!

    2. If MG were ever to succeed in the UK, it could be damaging to the sales and jobs of much more committed, though still foreign owned, UK manufacturers. Step forward the likes of Honda, Nissan, BMW, Ford (although they don’t build cars here, they dwarf MG’s design operation and manufacture huge numbers of engines), Jaguar – Land Rover, Vauxhall and Toyota.
    Take BMW for instance: Engine manufacture at Hamms Hall, Steel pressing at Swindon, Body in White, painting and all final assembly at Cowley. A great many parts and raw materials sourced in the UK.
    Alternatively, with my own Freelander 2: Design and development at Gaydon, steel sourced in UK, pressing & Body in White, along with all final assembly in Halewood, with engines provided from Ford at Dagenham (or Bridgend in the case of the, now for export only, i6 petrol version).
    All of the above are genuine manufacturing operations.

    For those who are, like me, understandably concerned about UK manufacturing jobs, I am at a loss to understand why MG is not seen as a slightly cynical back door entry for, essentially Chinese built cars, into the EU market.

  57. @John

    >>>The usually laughable results from Chinese cars have been replaced with a very-acceptable-for-1999 4 Star result.

    The 4 star in 1999 can not be compared to 4 stars now. The Euro NCAP ratings are changed year no year to bring in new tecnologies. Thats why alot of cars that got 5 starts last year would only get 4 stars this year. The MG6 would have got 5 stars if tested last year…. Thats got to be positive… surely?

  58. The Honda piece has a very important point.

    It started “20 years ago as a pre-delivery inspection facility”.

    Stop thinking of Longbridge as Austin Version 5.
    Start thinking it as SAIC Version 1.

  59. Just looking at the new “did you know” stuff MG are posting on Facebook (of all places??!!!) and it occured to me how bad the MG website is – not in appearance – I don;t think its bad looking at all – but in content.

    The content for the MG6 is appalling, there is no real way to look at all the features or special things about it – you can download a brochure which is very poor in content. If MG are now trying to shout about all the standard features the car has like “Hill Hold” etc then why the hell not improve the website so this can all be pointed out to anyone browsing? It all feels so very amateur which is partly why I think people are turned off by the whole thing.

    No-one wants to part with £16-£20k on a company that sometimes appears a little skint!

    Come on MG, stop faffing with Facebook and start getting the website fixed, the MG brand in web ad’s with links to the improved website and some TV commercials too!

    This isn’t rocket science – MGR managed to sell more CityRovers FFS!

  60. The random stranger from Coventry admitted he had “no idea”. Well, now he has even less of an idea after being misled like that!

  61. “The salvage car looks very easily repairable, and surprising that it has been declared a write off”

    Not really surprising, insurers write cars off for so little these days. On many cars a complete set of airbags alone will set you back a couple of grand. Usually if all the air bags have deployed though you’re looking at serious chassis alignment issues. There are plenty of breakers around the country with nearly new write offs in them from various manufacturers. Many get auctioned off to small repairers who patch them up and sell them on, for a large bodyshop or an insurer they’re not worth fixing though.

    “Keith, don’t kid yourself that it is a quality car. It isn’t and never will be.”

    So from that statement, you’ve driven several of them? or is this just the usual Xenophobia?

  62. @Dennis

    “….or is this just the usual Xenophobia?”

    That’s a very odd thing to say. Xenophobia is fear or hatred of foreigners. If the MG6 is as British as you like to claim, why should criticism of it count as Xenophobia?

  63. @75: exactly! Everyone seems to expect Longbridge to be up and running and producing 200,000 cars a year by now. As you say, it’s SAIC Version 1.

  64. I’ll concede that despite not liking the Key fob and not being too enamoured with certain bit’s of trim inside the MG6 I tested, I certainly didn’t feel it was a poor quality car. It felt very solid, substantial and sure footed. The niggles I had are easily fixed, and judging by Keith’s impression of the Magnette, have been addressed. Let’s not forget this car is in production in China already in large numbers so running improvements are almost a given.

  65. “@Dennis
    “….or is this just the usual Xenophobia?”
    That’s a very odd thing to say. Xenophobia is fear or hatred of foreigners. If the MG6 is as British as you like to claim, why should criticism of it count as Xenophobia?”

    Not odd at all, all the criticism centres around it not being a British car, not being an MG. So i think fear and hatred of foreigners is a fair description of the root of many of the complaints we hear about the car.

  66. Simon: There is casual xenophobia rife in the assumptions people are making about the MG6 – and SAIC’s MG – without having seen one. From “Chinese Takeaway” jokes to the general attitude people have to the expected quality of the car.

    I’ve seen the early one. It was generally no worse than the finish of a current Citroën C5, the door casings weren’t to my taste, and some hard plastic textures felt like they would be a bit brittle, but so do the materials in many cars these days. The Toyota Auris has awful door handles that separate the painted “chrome” plastic from the main handle if any twist is applied.

    The MG6 has many hurdles, but they are marketing and package related, not product related. And frankly, if you consider a 1981 Allegro against a Fiat Strada, Mk II Escort, Citroën GSA, Alfa Sud, any of the other vehicles it was intended to compete with (many of which were of a similar age), BL had some real challenges to overcome. This isn’t new. Good enough is not sufficient for modern consumers.

    Cars these days are more about the brand image than the product, and one of the toughest nuts to crack is the issue that the educated enthusiast buyer simply isn’t going to stump up the cash for a new car. They know better. C6’s only found 1000 homes, but there are far more Citroën enthusiasts waiting to snap them up when they’ve depreciated to the point of banger money (won’t be long now) despite the eye-watering complexity and 21st century cost-reduced engineering. Loads of MGR fans will want the 6 – when it’s £3K in a backlot. You need to make it as affordable as that £3K back lot find.

    Hands up everyone who is interested in the 6, and also owns an expensive watch, brand-name suits (I was reading something the other day about an architect and was amazed at how cheap his tailored suit was, actually), high-end modern HiFi, all that sort of stuff. Even if you have the disposable income to easily buy these things, I bet you don’t have them. The buyer profile for a £16K new “sporty” car which isn’t massively economical, practical or small is left with nothing beyond a brand which they perceive to bestow upon them positive, successful qualities.

    If there is any criticism of MG – and I think MG UK’s hands must be tied somewhat here – is that they don’t understand their buyers yet. Without a dealer network and feedback, that’s a tricky one for them to resolve.

  67. @Dennis

    “…all the criticism centres around it not being a British car, not being an MG.”

    @Richard Kilpatrick

    “Simon: There is casual xenophobia rife in the assumptions people are making about the MG6”

    If you read the news items, blogs and comments on the website and elsewhere, it seems that the vast majority of the (negative) criticism relates to apparently real issues such as uninspired styling, poor build quality and woeful marketing. I find it hard to believe that this has all been invented because of where the cars are made or who owns the company that makes it.

    I do not personally believe that the car should wear MG badges, but this is not a criticism of the car or its chinese owners, only of the (presumably British) people who are looking at the MG badge through rose tinted glasses.

  68. The stylish is subjective. The marketing is undeniably poor. However, where is the evidence of poor build quality? Only the key has universally identified as a genuinely (and inexplicably) poor component. Have any owners come on and specified any parts of the car that have broken, come loose or been substandard?

  69. @ comment 26: me too I am up for one, £ 2K in 4 years time. It’s turned to a joke, a sour one for the unfortunate workers, I guess that some will be shown the door-AGAIN- Has any worker been to the factory and built a car today?
    Some of the comments are so pertinent: Advertisement-awareness- is poor, showing an MGB was a faux-pas, give an MG6 to Kate Middleton or Pippa!!!! which leads to the cheeky ads, I like them, one stated perfect for lads mags (nuts et al), I agree, could work for the 20-something needing to upgrade their warm hatch ( 3door)cos the girlfriend’s preggers, would MG dare?
    My partner brings Metro everyday, it’s read by MILLIONS every day, would bring the awareness so needed.
    Re BBC report: £ 5M of orders is about 250-300 cars at £15-20K a piece…That certainly includes some demonstrators, ties in with sales figures published.
    And the final nail in the coffin, “MGR managed to sell more CityRover!!!”
    Otherwise, the plant will be a new housing development soon…

  70. @didier ziane

    A good point. Advertising in lads mags for those outgrowing their Corsas and Saxos while trying to distance itself from the likes of VW Golf ‘play it safe’ advertising and Audi’s clinical technik advertising would certainly give it a bit of character.

    I still maintain that there is a gap to be filled by the now boring and hatchback Impreza / Lancer for a modern day (but reasonably insurable) performance saloon lookalike (with a high performance halo model and motorsport involvement which helped shift thousands of bog standard Imprezas).

  71. “One line suggestions for the marketing people, please”

    If the budget is tight, get them on TV via. product placement in soaps or a detective series or similar, then lend some out to get some famous people to be seen driving around in them – it worked for the Mini!!!

    If this starts a slow (or dramatic) increase in sales, I’ll let you have my home address for the consultancy cheque!

  72. Ask Richard Porter to write the adverts.

    Be more imaginative about where press adverts are put.

    Offer discounts/rebates for word-of-mouth sales/ recommendations from existing MGR owners – enhanced tradeins for owners of pre-SAIC MG’s and Rovers?

    Show some of the Chinese TV ads on the website.

    Show images of ZR’s ,ZT’s and ZTT’s for those too young to remember MGB’s

    Show how big SAIC is so that buyers have confidence that there are substantial resources behind this operation.

    Get your dealer network sorted out – Birmingham is apparently still an open vacancy!

    Get your mates at GM/Vauxhall to help with professional advice.

    Tell SAIC you want to subsidise a BTCC team.

    Forget Facebook (at least until the MG3 comes along), switch off PC’s and employ experienced non-MGR motor trade people who know how to sell cars rather than inexperienced graduates?

    Try what Mazda did when they caught a cold with rotary engined cars that wouldn’t sell – send otherwise idle employees out to dealers to help sell cars.

  73. move from longbridge and put yurself into a facility that doesnt hold the negative history unfortunately longbridge has been scarred wtih ,

  74. The problem is, that the MG6 isn’t an extreme sporty car like the ZR ZS and ZT were, with it’s restricted top speed and 5sp gearbox, so isn’t going to particularly appeal to the lad mag, boy racer types. It’s main target audience are more likely to be ‘sensible’ Hyundai or Skoda customers – wasn’t there that photo of an ageing rotund gentlemen collecting his new MG6. Maybe they should have brought back the Austin or Morris badge…

  75. move from longbridge as unfortunately the history of longbridge is like it or not scarred through history and without the world class facilities of gm /or ford plants there is no public co9nfidence .in the product

  76. “One line suggestions for the marketing people, please.”

    ‘Group Mentality or Making Goals?’

    Maybe a little verbose and wooly language. Trying to get across that you could follow the crowd and buy German. But don’t.
    Thought as it is a 2 letter acronymn, something similar to the old B&H adverts could be used, with ‘Mxxxxx Gxxxxxxx’ in adverts.

    Perhaps:

    ‘Not Made in Germany’

    I really like James’ idea of ‘5-4-3-2-1 “0%MG!”’

    The new Sweeney film is to have Regan in an XR3^H^H^H RS Focus.

    This is the sort of thing – he should be driving an MG Magnette!

  77. I’ve had a think about this in the last hour. We have all aired our opinions quite openly in here and I have enjoyed/been dismayed at the comments on where the current incumbent of the MG badge have come to.

    But are the professional marketing peeps at MG now ‘asking’ contributors to an internet forum for suggestions? or were you just looking for our views generally Keith?

  78. Mikey are you sure?

    The problem is, that the MG6 isn’t an extreme sporty car like the ZR ZS and ZT

    Sporty, but extreme?

  79. Regarding the build quality of the car, I have driven two MG6s and, keyfob aside, was pleasantly surprised by them. If they market them and price them slightly cheaper I see no reason why they shouldn’t meet their sales target.

  80. @97: MG should not use the Z cars in any advertising. For non-MG enthusiasts, i.e. most car buyers, the Z cars represented the last, desperate throw of the dice by Longbridge. This may be unfair but that is how they were perceived by the motoring public. MG in 2011 needs a clean break with the immediate past.

    I agree with everything else you say though!

  81. Quote Richard Kilpatrick:

    ” The Honda piece has a very important point.

    It started “20 years ago as a pre-delivery inspection facility”.

    Stop thinking of Longbridge as Austin Version 5.
    Start thinking it as SAIC Version 1. ”

    The significant difference that you have overlooked here is that the Honda “pre-delivery inspection facility” was built, not do very final assembly work on a Chinese built car, but to quality check the British built Honda Legends leaving the Austin Rover factory at Cowley. I saw every step of the process of the Hondas being built at Cowley in 1987; I can assure you that, with the exception of the Honda V6, they were building that car at Cowley starting from rolls of sheet steel!

  82. @comment 52 sir,i must doff my cap to you well said and @29 i wish they would use these ads how could they not be a winner and that MG6 in black looks the dogs twitcher!

  83. Quote Neil Turner:

    ” The 4 star in 1999 can not be compared to 4 stars now. The Euro NCAP ratings are changed year no year to bring in new tecnologies. Thats why alot of cars that got 5 starts last year would only get 4 stars this year. The MG6 would have got 5 stars if tested last year…. Thats got to be positive… surely? ”

    Okay, out of the 17 cars tested this year, does coming last in adult passenger protection (even behind a Geely product) not at least rate as significant?

  84. just had a look at the MG site and watched the 2011 brand film which i enjoyed,maybe if it was shown on tv,cinema youtube etc it would raise brand awareness, i take it people are having thier say on the site so hopefully SAIC are listening if not hearing.The more i see the MG6 the more i like it,the dash reminds me of bmw somehow.

  85. “the dash reminds me of bmw somehow.”

    And that’s no bad thing, BMW are well known for their good dash layouts.

    “The problem is, that the MG6 isn’t an extreme sporty car like the ZR ZS and ZT were, with it’s restricted top speed ”

    Well i wouldn’t have called most of the old Z range ‘extreme sporty’, ok you had a couple of fairly hot ones, ZS180 for example, but then consider the similar sized Golf R32 had 250bhp, the ZS seems far from extreme. You also had the ZT260, but then they only sold a few hundred of those, most of the ZT range was sporty but hardly what you’d call extreme. Actually looking back at past MG’s few of them can be called ‘extreme’ although there are a couple of exceptions. The most famous MG has to be the MGB and in the most common form wasn’t particularly fast and had only OK handling. The MG Metro Turbo was fairly extreme at launch, but soon eclipsed by french and german rivals.

  86. It seems no-one can agree what era of MG that the target buyer can ‘relate’ to…..!!

    The Z’s are obviously the closest ‘relatives’ to the 6, 3, 5 or whatever as they are saloons and hatches. The MGB has a vague connection to the F and TF purely by deint of having a soft top.

    The 6 is a natural evolution style-wise from the Z’s to the current array of bland lookalikes that are being spewed out by most car builders today. I kid you not, if it wasn’t for the makers putting their logos on the wheels, you would struggle to tell who built what from Vauxhall, Ford, Kia, Hyundai or whoever as they are all so alike.

    While we are asking what MG can do to get sales of the 6 moving, I think most folk agree that if there is to be game-changer for them it will be the 3. Even its size is going to make it more appealing to the general car buyer and to the warm-hatch owners who are looking for something different. It will be the spiritual successor to the ZR and it is those buyers who would buy a ZR that MG need to be targeting and getting interested in their product.

    And, until they get them to Euro spec (very quickly) and in the hands of potential drivers in the UK, we should not be passing judgement on build quality, interiors, door handles or whatever based purely on half-baked speculaltion from low-quality rags and their half-assed ‘journalists’.

  87. What I meant, was that the ZR, ZS, ZT LOOKED very sporty, being highly decorated with skirts and spoilers, even if some of the lower powered models weren’t actually that fast. Big brothers to the pimped Citroen Saxos beloved by youngsters 🙂

    They clearly targeted a specific section of the market, and while the spoof adverts were very funny, and would have been perfect for the Z cars, the MG6 is much more sober and will attract more of a ‘Rover’ market

  88. Read in a popualr MG mag today that MG have just signed up with a finance house to support a new dealer finance package under the MG Finance name. So they are getting there, just really slowly! Hopefully this will be announced with a new ad campaing in the run up to the Spring registration change. Unlikely they will do much else until then as car sales are dead in Dec and Jan.
    Also has anyone seen the recent picture of the red MG3 on MG’s Facebook page. In natural lighting and a natual setting it, for once, actually looks quite good and so much better than in any other pics I have seen…

  89. “I kid you not, if it wasn’t for the makers putting their logos on the wheels, you would struggle to tell who built what from Vauxhall, Ford, Kia, Hyundai or whoever as they are all so alike.”

    I agree with you there, even as a car enthusiast when you see de-badged cars used in the background of Print/TV ad’s it’s hard to decide what they actually are.
    I think the Fiesta for example does stand out from the rest in it’s class, but the Focus for example doesn’t look greatly different from say the Astra.

    “What I meant, was that the ZR, ZS, ZT LOOKED very sporty, being highly decorated with skirts and spoilers, even if some of the lower powered models weren’t actually that fast. Big brothers to the pimped Citroen Saxos beloved by youngsters”
    No i agree with you, sporty. Just “Extreme Sporty” as you said initially, implies a whole new level. I think the problem is though, all manufacturers are trying to make their cars look sporty, simply because that’s what most people want, even older buyers. Take the Golf for example, even the basic models have similar sporty looks to the fast ones. The Fiesta, in ST form doesn’t look greatly different to the basic one. So how do you style a car that looks ‘more’ sporty without making it become a turn-off for buyers who prefer something slightly more understated. I for example like a sporty car, but can’t stand fat plastic bumpers which scrape every speed bump. Again though it depends on what era of MG you want to look at, the MG1300 didn’t look overly sporty compared to an Austin 1300.

  90. @ Dennis

    A few folk have commented that the new Focus looks like a Kia especially with that new grille, and having made an effort to look closely today, I have to say they have a point

  91. Keith I refer you back to my earlier post 54 RE suggestions for MG

    Oh and your 5,4,3,2,1 offer, Ends 30th November, it needs to a) last longer, and

    b)
    5 years warranty
    4 years free servicing
    3 years free European breakdown
    2 years free VED
    1 years 0% finance

    They could also supply cars for us enthusiasts to drive around for a month to get it noticed on the streets. They must have a few lying around that could be liveried up, and driven around, parked in prominent places other than shopping centres would help to get the word out you can by a new MG again (well if you can find a dealer…)

  92. Product placement, get more on the hire car fleets
    Give some to olympians to use in the run up to 2012
    Offer employee discount to ex MGR staff and relatives, that used to shift loads of MGRs in the midlands.
    Offer £199 lease deals so depreciation isn’t an issue
    Support a one make series on the track
    Certify the diesel now!!!

    I liked the one I drove, it is a decent car and as I have said before the likes of Nissan started small here too.

  93. Mabye when the diesels are available try & get some minicab operators interested.

    I’ve seen Protons used in the private hire trade so they don’t just stick to the bigger names.

  94. “@ Dennis
    A few folk have commented that the new Focus looks like a Kia especially with that new grille, and having made an effort to look closely today, I have to say they have a point”

    Agreed, take the Kia and Ford badges off and unless you know the cars well you wouldn’t know which was which.

    “I’ve seen Protons used in the private hire trade so they don’t just stick to the bigger names.”
    Cabbies tend to buy on recommendation from other cabbies, one day one of them will take a punt on a special deal for something less common and if its cheap to run and doesn’t fall apart then other cabbies will try one too.

  95. As a Rover 25 owner the MG6 is too big for my needs.

    I’m waiting to see what the MG3 is like in the flesh. Ive seen pictures of 2 so far. The ugly looking yellow and black car shown in most magazines and web sites and a better looking blue one I found on Google.

    If its reasonably priced it could be a contender when I have to replace the 25. At present the Hyundai i20 seems most likely. but an MG3 would look better parked next to my MGF!

  96. “I’ve seen Protons used in the private hire trade so they don’t just stick to the bigger names.”
    “Cabbies tend to buy on recommendation from other cabbies, one day one of them will take a punt on a special deal for something less common and if its cheap to run and doesn’t fall apart then other cabbies will try one too.”

    Very true – our local Skoda dealer had an offer on the last of the old-shape bog-standard Octavia diesels (non-turbo) even to the extent of having “IDEAL TAXI” emblazoned down the side of the demonstrator and within a month every taxi seemed to be a Skoda Octavia!

  97. ill tell you all something for nothing-the focus just doesnt look good at all,i wasnt sure about the MG6 when i first seen it but i would have one tomorrow if it had a bigger turbocharged petrol or GM/FPT diesel engine in.

  98. I think Ford’s Kinetic design works really well on the KA, Fiesta and Kuga, but just gets progressively worse the bigger the car gets.

    The Focus looks like someone got a Fiesta then yanked it in all directions.

  99. “Very true – our local Skoda dealer had an offer on the last of the old-shape bog-standard Octavia diesels (non-turbo) even to the extent of having “IDEAL TAXI” emblazoned down the side of the demonstrator and within a month every taxi seemed to be a Skoda Octavia!”

    The old Octavia’s were very popular as Taxi’s. So much so that Skoda actually continued building them in ‘Taxi Spec’ for a long time after the model had been replaced.

  100. The new Mondeo just looks huge and slab sided because of the Ford design. The old one was fairly well balanced looking.

    Octavias were popular as they were a bit of a known quantity ie. Golf chassis, the then-reliable SDi engines, but big enough interior to be suitable in the old ‘large saloon’ minicab class.
    The main thing was the price, VW engines at a budget price.

  101. @106

    OK, twenty years ago Swindon PDI’d what came out of Cowley, so now Longbridge does the final assembly/PDI for what comes out of China. Maybe in twenty years time Longbridge will be to SAIC what Swindon is to Honda.

  102. There’s 2 dealers in Scotland! None in Glasgow! I’ll take one of the “demos” for a month: I drive to college 3 days a week, reminder of the week, I’ll park it in front of my chippie: plenty people to see it, from all backgrounds. It beggars belief if MG asked ARonline to find “THE PUNCHLINE”! Are they too busy looking for a new job?
    The punchline could be as simple as: “Look, we’re back”, on a full page deal with most tabloids, keep broadsheets for the diesel, long to arrive it seems….
    A more sporty looking MG6-Z with bigger alloys, bumpers, skirts and optional “whale-tail” a la Sierra XR4, along with carbone trim and Recaro seats.( Any Chinese tuners offering this already?)Delete the “restricted” top speed, it sounds good on V12 Autobahn munchers only…
    Finance is getting sorted, not too soon! £199 sounds quite good, as long as deposit isn’t too high, that is.
    Can I have my penny now? lol

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