If the relationship with TATA has not soured too much following the CityRover debacle, do you think it is possible to open up a dialogue about the Aria concept car? You see, quite a few of us out here seem to think that it would form the basis of a rather good MG Midget. And we also think that you would be able to sell a few MG Midgets on the side…
I can completely understand why you are feverishly preparing for the next step of the RD/X60 programme – the very future of Rover depends on the new car hitting the market and taking it by storm.
However, we also know, that this is a risk. And if the RD/X60 crashes and burns (and I don’t think it will, given the engineering team’s talents to put something special togther with little more than the spare change found down the back of Toyota’s sofa), we all know that Rover (as we know it) goes with it. And if Rover goes down the tubes, MG is bound to follow (and do you really want the badge to be sold with the fixtures and fittings at a Longbridge closing down sale?)
But what about MG? Would it not make sense to have something in hand as a back-up? Something that can be rolled out rather quickly and maintain sales for the Oxford octagon. I’m constantly being told how wonderful MG is, and how there are millions of customers out there, who still have warm fuzzy feelings for the company. And how they would buy a new MG sports car like a shot if they could afford it. Would all of these less loaded MG fans buy a new Midget – something that would sit way below the Smart Roadster in terms of price (how does £8K grab you), but also offer fun in an environmentally acceptable package? You bet your pensions they would!
The time is absolutely right for a new MG Midget… speed is anti-social right now, and as the Midget would major on low cost topless fun (like the original one), sticking a lumping great K2000 engine in it would be totally unneccessary. In fact, all it really needs to be is cheap, good looking and reasonably dependable (spare us the oil leaks, though… things have moved on). If it has these qualities, it would sell in bucketloads.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, of course, so we’ll not comment on the failure of the first TATA collaboration, but we should certainly look forwards to the next one. CityRover is more than likely inoperable now, so why not give it back to the Indians (who love it), bung Pune a few (Chinese provided) quid, and get the Aria in production quick sharp.
I bet it could be in production in no time.
Then all you need to do is watch the money roll in. If RD/X60 doesn’t work out, let SAIC do what it wishes with it, keep bunging the Indians money, and make sure those new Midgets keep coming through.
And MGR, I bet you a tenner that the new MG Midget sells more in its first three months than CityRover does in its first full year.
Think about that.
Your biggest fan,
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.