Blog : Is the MG3 the new beginning?

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Keith Adams

MG3 Euro (1)

After months – nay, years – of waiting and speculating about every aspect of its make-up, the MG3 has been revealed in European market form. Well, we say Euro-market form, but really that means the UK, as currently we’re the only EU market that you can buy a new, British-engineered MG in (yes, you can buy MGs in Belarus, but those are, of course, Chinese-spec cars).

And as correctly predicted on AROnline many times in the past, the MG3 goes on sale in lightly modified form over its Chinese (and RoW) counterpart, featuring a new bodykit and swanky new daytime running lights (DRLs). I had a good look at the MG3 in both China and Longbridge last year and have to say that I rather like the thing. The styling is a good effort for the company’s first attempt at a supermini while the interior is more integrated and tightly screwed together than the naysayers would have you believe. Looks are, of course, subjective and there are many who don’t like the way it’s styled.

In terms of overall appeal, think Skoda Fabia or Suzuki Swift, rather than the brilliant Ford Fiesta, and you’ll not be a million miles away. In short, it’s a British-designed and assembled supermini with showroom appeal which, in line with current market thinking, MG Motor UK promises to be highly configurable.  Interestingly, both of the cars I mentioned sit at the lower end of the B-segment price range – the Swift starts at £10,799 (with dealers punting the 1.2 SZ3 from £9200) and the Fabia comes in at £9130, with not much room for negotiation. Both have been around for a while now.

MG3 DRL

Clearly, the MG3 has a bit of a power advantage over these entry-level cars, sporting a claimed 105bhp from its 1.5-litre engine. However, with no smaller option – or diesel – on the cards for at least the next couple of years, MG will need to price at this level for its basic ‘3 if it’s hoping for any kind of volume. Word on the street from those who really know about the UK model’s driving and dynamics is that it’s tidy on the road (thanks Andy Kitson), but the 1.5-litre engine still needs work. It’s clearly not going to be a sub-99g/km car or, indeed, particularly economical, so showroom appeal is going to be ultra-important in order to win over less demanding customers in search of a stylish small car.

Will it sell? Yes, it will sell better than the MG6, but then that’s an easy prediction to make. I think it’s unlikely to set the market alight, but slowly, surely, the ‘3 will begin to establish some much-needed credibility for MG Motor UK in its home market. They need showroom footfall and this car will deliver that – assuming it comes in at a £9000ish start price (if it follows the unsuccessful MG6 business model, it’ll cost more than £10,000 to get one on your drive, which would be a shame), and the dealers (of which, we need more than 31) can throw in some good finance deals and perhaps free insurance (unlikely), the momentum should start to build up here in anticipation of the 4×4 arriving in or around 2015.

We know that SAIC Motor is a serious company, with 4,000,000 cars built globally last year, and it’s in strong financial shape, but MG Motor UK needs to butter its own bread in order to attract more juicy marketing budgets. And to do that, it needs to sell in reasonable numbers – maybe something in four figures per annum would be a nice start. The Sales and Marketing Team has recently been bolstered by the arrival of Sam Burton and we hear that the PR Department will also get an injection of talent soon. That will help raise awareness.

At the top of this blog, I asked if the ‘3 is a new beginning for MG Motor UK. My hunch is that it won’t radically change MG’s standing in enthusiast circles, such as ours (so many have already made their minds up), but it will represent an interesting new choice for supermini buyers. The company needs more visibilty and, to do that, it needs sales. It’s no MINI, DS3 or even Fiat 500 for that matter and we’ll keep our fingers crossed that MG Motor UK prices it accordingly – in a nutshell then, this won’t be a make-or-break product for MG Motor UK, but it does represent the point at which we hope it begins to turn the corner.

That’s because, whatever your opinions, one more company investing in the UK’s economy cannot be a bad thing right now.

MG3 Euro (2)

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

121 Comments

  1. A good point of view …..
    the matter of foregin investments and new jobs is damm important but the fact is that is the same if there is a foregin investment on car industies, mobile phones or spoon making industry-important is that they are so in GB as here in Slovenia or everywhere

    the second point SIAC MG have as the filosophy no relation with the Cecil Kimber MG-is just a brand….

    3rd point why the chinese bought the ashes of the Phoenix MGR-simply beacouse in my oppinion of a great lack in development. They took a shortcut in development, their venture is differet as is TATA in JRL or even Protons in Lotus, and is nothing wrong in that but were concerned a bit cos no serious development from that point is seen…seen in metal not on web pages. For now they just packed the Longbridge facility and transfer it in their homeland.

    4rth as you gently suggested a lack of dealers 8they are not stupid, they have to survive, they have to work) and lack of engines (just one displacement in the MG3 is not enough)
    and the f500, MINI and ADAM (look at he possibly combination that this car offer….) are moving foward quickly and will not wait for SIAC

    if they want to catch the other and began to be real players in the world market they have to be better that the others not just above average……

  2. Some android problems……arghh!

    Fabulous car, with a world beating design team working hard to ensure that it will be a success. I would prefer this over the MINI anyday, the engineering team who developed the Zed cars are also devloping the 3 (check out the SAIC website).

    There are few superminis that look this resolved, well done to the UK team. The successor to the Metro and ZR is here.

  3. Look what Hyundai brought to the UK market all those years ago with the Pony,then Kia with a reheated Mazda 121/Ford Festiva.
    A good first start,now let all the know it alls that know nothing dog the car now,it wont take too long……

  4. @3 – How right you are, some of the negativity from posters on this website is truly horrible, not too much the racist undercurrents from some posters.

    It doesn’t matter who own MG, the fact is that SAIC are investing in the UK, and have serious plans to be a world class manufacturer. They deserve more support than they get.

    Go SAIC!

  5. Looks like a good replacement for the MG ZR class. with those dark alloy wheels it bears some resemblence to boy racer versions of the Corsa. This might attract buyers wanting “that look”. I have a feeling this car will sell better than the 6 – time will tell.

  6. It may do well in the pacific rim, but in the UK and the rest of Europe it has no USP at all as far as I can tell. If its cheap, in a Dacia Sandero type way it may make an impact but its hardly the stuff of dreams.

  7. 31 dealers says it all. It’s plain and simply not enough, and as it was 35 until recently that is yet another massive worry for the brand here in the UK.

    It has to start at around £9k or it’s dead in the water. If they try for £10-£11k start price, it just will not sell, mainly because for that money you are talking some serious competition, with a very good spec, 5-7 year warranty, and in the zero VED band, and most superminis are bought by private buyers who don’t just want these things, they demand them.

    I know Mr Brett & co will hate it, but MG really need to look at how Dacia have done. They advertised for a good year before they launched, and then as it got closer, every newspaper had full page spreads, and then there was a flashy primetime placed TV advert with punchy headlines. It’s got them the footfall in the showrooms, and each dealer is shifting on average 2 cars a day. They should be plugging the 3 now, but they aren’t. They should be shouting it from the rooftops. Even a spotty YTS lad at Tesco could do a better job at selling MG’s than MGUK could

  8. Couldnt agree more with Yorkie about the bloody advertising, but I don’t think it’s a case of skill, any company that big could do a decent ad campaign its more staff and allocated cash. I was talking to Keith Harris of MG and every question I asked, like accessories, paint, touch up pens all the answers were the same they haven’t got the staff and that more points towards SAIC not “not caring” just not focusing on the UK. We like to think the car market revolves around us and Europe but for them it’s China, I’m sure they will pick up but lets hope they do soon or they are going to get a reputation. Though Yorkie I can’t take your advice about cars anymore so far everything you’ve said the obvious has happened eg the skoda rapid selling well or Dacias selling like hot cakes. 😛

  9. The British assembled bit is a massive exaggeration of the truth there Keith as well. Just like the 6, it will come 80% ready built, and just the parts that are to ‘euro spec’ will be fitted, which is to be honest where MG are slipping up, as it bungs up production costs massively, as it requires the expensive to run ‘Wongbrige’ factory. I hate to say it, but that needs to go straight away, and the production cost savings can be passed on to the customer, with a slash of the list price. All they need is like their rivals, is an import centre, and that is it.

  10. Sadlyfor you Mr 109, Dacias are selling very well! 2 per day per dealer from nothing is very good to be honest, so eat humble pie!

  11. I suspect MG is more a thorn in the side for SAIC and was pretty much forced upon them by the Chinese government. If anything they really don’t need the production facility but could keep open the technical centre (although if they hadn’t been stitched into the long term land lease deal by NAC, they could have, more prudently, built the new facility at or close to MIRA’s new automotive hub.)

    I think it’s still make or break for them and they need to push their range through harder and faster, globally, than they have until now. Sadly though, China is their centre of the universe and developments abroad certainly won’t count for a lot right now.

  12. They seem to have built a car at least closer to being worthy of its badge this time, if the drive is up to it.
    Sadly it’s probably going to be a waste of time as nobody will advertise it or get any dealers to sell them.
    Since they love the BTCC so much, how about an MG3 support race like the Clio Cup?
    The sight of a load of 3s racing plus advertising aggressively and cheap insurance and 0% with a low deposit am they could have a big success.
    OH MG.

  13. You might want to moderate your language there, Yorkie. Saying it’s a ‘massive exaggeration of the truth’, implies I’m telling lies.

    The term ‘assembly’ is open to interpretation of course. Clearly it’s not ‘production’ I’m talking about, because very few car factories work on the old steel in one end, motor vehicles the other any more. Most gather sub-assemblies and put them together factories. Bentley does, Vauxhall does, MINI does, Rolls-Royce does etc., etc.

    The other point of note is this. None of us actually know how much local content is in the MG3; and neither do we know just how much assembly is involved. Once we do, we’ll be able to make a more informed judgment – so the interpretive statement ‘assembly’ holds true, as that’s what they’ve said they’re doing at Longbridge.

  14. Thanks for this strong reply, Keith. We need to read positive posts to support Longbridge, its workers and its future developement !

  15. I do wish someone could give a reasonable figure as to how much the assembly and ‘home’ content bring into the UK money wise. One things for certain, there are quite a few people in the environs of Longbridge that are very thankful of it and that’s all that matters really. What the future holds, only SAIC knows. Please remember, the Chinese do have an entirely different outlook than us in the western world and how to go about things.

  16. From the pictures, images I’ve seen I like the look of the 3 – it’s got a similarly pleasing snout as the 6; the rear is attractive, a tad distinctive; there’s something
    surprisingly appealing about the small wheel, tall body side view.

    I think the smaller, cheaper 3 may be a better way to re-start MG. People after such a car will perhaps be less ‘brand orientated’. With the right price, some advertising and, in due course, an expanded dealer network I think the 3 could see a significant increase in MG sales here in the UK.

    If the 3 is promoted and gives rise to greater showroom traffic then 6 sales will also benefit.

    The fact that the UK is the only EU market you can buy a ‘British engineered MG’ in confirms SAIC’s approach, strategic plan in terms of World sales. Europe is not yet their priority ,so perhaps we should stop questioning, criticizing the low sales here in the UK.

  17. In less than a fortnights time it will be 2 years since MG launched the 6, they said they wanted to sell 2000 in its first year, they haven’t hit that figure yet! They refuse to do any mature or credible marketing of the car, they advertise for staff and you end up giving them free advice on how to bolster sales, advice they don’t take. Dealers have been begging for support and they don’t get it and end up throwing in the towel. They take forever to launch the diesel and its ‘impossible to recommend’ according to What Car? magazine, bearing in mind people buy this publication before parting with £16-20k so it would have made sense to get them onside in the same way every other manufacturer allegedly does. The 3 keeps getting put back too, and the 5 has fallen off the planet!

    Launching the Euro spec 3 at a Chinese Motor Show tells us exactly what they think of the UK market. The Chinese already have this car, why do they need or even want to see the Euro version and the only people from Europe who saw it in the flesh are journalists who went on expenses. Not a single ‘prospect’ would have flown all the way there!

    This is what MG needs to do

    1. Slash the price of the 6 by £4k immediately
    2. Launch the 3 by August in time for 63 plate from £8895
    3. TV campaign for both models throughout the summer
    4. Stop the silly and puerile Facebook campaigns and employ a professional media savvy person, Angie Voluti?
    5. Organise a facelift of the 6 for 12 months time
    6. Start working on replacements for the 3 and 6 for 2016.

    This is how the ‘big boys’ do it. Why MG feels it is different I don’t know….

  18. We must not forget that the MG3 is a new car and it is being powered by a new engine, designed and developed here in the UK with some very strong links to firm engines of old.
    I’m excited by the MG3, the next few years can hopefully be very different to the previous few with the hopeless exploits of MG UK and the MG6…

  19. Imagine this for one minute the car above is the new/facelifted Skoda Fabia (or Dacia Sandero for that matter)
    It would be getting rave reviews about its value proposition, simple robust styling, perky engine, entertaining chassis etc. etc.
    The reason why the MG will get a mixed response at best, is that it has no percieved engineering input or association with an established, mature, and therefore credible brand, that Skoda or Dacia enjoy.
    Even Kia/Hyundai in the early days, got moving on the back of being Mitsubishi or Mazda technology.

  20. Yorkie read what people write and you wont irritate everyone! You said like hot cakes 2 per dealer isnt many when you price a car like that!

  21. I think there is scope for the 3 to do well if MG get it right. Sub-£10,000 entry price (with a good specification) and it being launched in time for the plate change would be a good start. They need to create a buzz between now and then as well. Announce prices early and create a buzz around the car with a marketing campaign would be a good start. Get the orders in before it goes on sale.

    One thing that worries me is the emphasis from Guy Jones on the DS3, Adam and MINI as competitors. I think the cars Keith mentions in his article such as the Swift and Fabia are the more viable targets. I think the 3 holds enough showroom appeal to compete with the Swift and Fabia but not the MINI et al.

    The $64,000 question is whether MG Motor UK will get it right.

  22. I’m confused as to why Jones is even still in the business, its meant to be about success and sales and growth and he’s delivered none of them. His appearance on Midlands Today was woeful at best. Jones is delusional about the 3’s position in the marketplace. It will be fighting against the Fabias and Swifts and the smallest Chryslers and he needs to forget about power, panache,legacy or whatever reason he comes up with that MG is best at. In that sector its all about PRICE and VALUE. If the MG3 doesn’t deliver any of those in spades he might as well just leave now.

  23. Now that’s much more like it. There are echoes of MG Metro in the front/rear aspects, wheels at the corners, rear spoiler, and wheel to body ratio. The R8 Rover glasshouse with the blacked out A pillars is neat, and the modern touches (DRLs and rear lamp clusters), are all very nicely resolved together. The design language scales down from the 6 to the 3 so much better than it scales up to the SUV/crossover concept. It’s good enough to convince me that SAIC actually started here and got distracted on their way to market.

    To offer a different perspective on what SAIC is doing with MG: at heart, I’m still a Triumph guy. It galls me no end that Triumph is hanging stuffed on BMW’s trophy wall, but I do nevertheless run an M3, because it’s a great car. I take some solace from the fact that the M3 would not have been so great today, if it were not for the fright/inspiration that the Dolomite Sprint gave BMW back when.

    So, the moral of the story is: I really don’t care who owns MG, or where they are based – I do care that they respect the “brand values” they purchased along with the Octagon and evolve them carefully. This “3” does that – kudos. IMHO, the SUV/crossover concept, as it stands today, does not. That’s ham-fisted, hurried and clumsy in execution and they should simply try harder.

  24. @20 – Agree, some humility wouldn’t go amiss. I always try to think of Clive Goldthorp as a benchmark when posting. He is a true gentleman, who is able to engage in debate whilst respecting others’ views. It is a shame that certain posters aways drop to the lowest common denominator, it shows a lack of RESPECT to others and just as importantly to themself.

  25. After seeing how the afore mentioned had changed by original posting – Lets get behind SAIC – I have decided to copy my response here, as I have no doubt that he will ‘moderate’ my response, and I am aware that he cannot ‘moderate’ in this section:

    Yorkie – I have no ‘bile’ as you put it, I used the word ‘hater’ and not ‘realist’ for a specific reason. There is a significant amount of ‘blind prejudice’ from certain posters and some moderators, and you are one such perpetrator. For a moderator you have a very aggressive style which an increasing number of people are beginning to find irritating. The word ‘hater’ was chosen with that in mind, unless you have an MSc in business studies or equivalent, I am not sure how you deem yourself to be a ‘realist’ and comment on the business strategy of SAIC. I have no doubt you will modify this post, as I have witnessed you do with other posts (Francis Brett – most recently).

    Please show humility and accept that you do not always know best.

  26. As far as I am concerned, and I will put my twopeneth in, the MG6, althought very good, I was at the Prodrive launch event, with Clive, and we both threw that car around the test track like a couple of old boy racers.

    But the issues are,

    1 lack of credible advertising.
    2 Overpriced – Start low, like Kia and Hyundai and creep up
    3 Inefficient engines – there is no excuse these days
    4 Lack of models, where are the frugal diesels and Auto’s
    5 Rubbish dealers – i registered an interest in the 6 with the local dealer on launch, for both petrol and Diesel, NEVER heard from them.
    6 Stupid Facebook – how many people spend all day on there waiting for MG to place a post, I don’t, and the failure for answers to be given to questions is another failure.

    With regards the MG3, I like it, alot, however, for a car to succeed in this segment, where the class leaders are are Fiesta an Corsa, you need an advantage, I cant see one for the MG3, unless they price it accordingly to draw attention, and then advertise it, ok, have a striped out model with nothing but a radio and sell it for £7999, and then price the specified models higher to tempt the buyer, it does work, Peugeot and renault have done this very successfully.

    The main issues of lack of advertising and PR has always been an issue, but stating that Fred Bloggs has joined the company might be great, but if the budgets are not there to actually do any advertising, makes Fred Blogg’s job irrelevant.

    MGUK needs to advertise, simple as that, draw funds from somewhere but get the advertising started now, for the MG3, and MG6, if you don’t, believe me the MG3 will sell as well as a chocolate fireguard.

    And finally, I used to frequent this site multiple times daily, now it is once in a blue moon, why, well, the rudeness, racist and downright pathetic behaviour of some people, if you don’t like the product and thinks it is that bad then don’t come here, this is supposed to be an enthusiasts site, not a site for people to slag off others.

    Constructive criticism is fine, and dandy, but not the slagging off of others for their thoughts, a six year old has more manners.

    • Jagboy, Ianto, Francis et al.,

      I have reviewed the situation and removed said poster from the site. I think the final straw was broken last night when he said ‘f*ck you’ to me last night, as well as other various slanderous things, when I asked him not to moderate posts. I cut the guy as much slack as I could, but as most complaints in my direction were about said person, I was left no choice.

      Shame, but there you go.

  27. An interesting article and associated comments my main concern is echoing some of the thing others have said concerning the lack of support. I for example live in Kingston upon Hull which is rather enclosed i.e.. I don’t need to go to Leeds etc. shopping but my nearest MG dealer is a good 20 miles away, so if iIwas in the position to buy a new MG it would pray on my mind regarding things such as servicing and repairs having to that distance to travel when I can drive 5 miles and pick from virtually any other brand

  28. I wonder just how much manufacturing power Longbridge still has? I always thought it seemed strange keeping so much of it to basically install engines, gearboxes and bumpers. Surely that could be done with so much less space? So why keep so much of Longbridge if you weren’t going to do some serious manufacturing?
    Hmmmm…

  29. Was CAB2 not operational (I’m assuming it stands for Car Assembly base 2) or just closed to the public?

  30. The car looks good. Lots of options and choice of trims – good. Will they price it right? That is the question and on past form they will not. Will they give it 5 years warranty – they need to. But they DO need a smaller engine – 1.2 petrol and a small diesel. Buy the 1.1 from Kia and get it launched SOON. Auto is becoming more popular and do a nil deposit with Motability customers. I think it will sell in small numbers. My prediction is 3-5 thousand per year and 1000 MG6. In other words about 1 in every 400 new car buyers will be heading to an MG showroom. With 31 dealers they may as well sell direct to the public via home visits, test drives and delivery from Longbridge.

  31. Now most of you know I’m not a modern chappie but I have to say the MG3 looks as least as good as anything else out there – and a heck of a lot more stylish than many!

    With Plato wizzing about taking honours (apart from when he had a flat tyre on the race I just watched), all a good looking car like the MG3 needs is dealers, an advertising budget bigger than mine (I spend at least £8 a year) – and some sales.

    You lot are always telling me I’m old fashioned and it doesn’t matter who owns the company as long as their investing in the UK – so come on MG, get out there. Lets go go go!

    Oh’ and a big thank you to all those who support polite and respectful comment on these posts.

  32. MG have done a far better job with the 3’s styling than they did with the 6. Price (and promote) it right and hopefully it’ll sell. It certainly looks the part.

  33. Talking about CAB 2 reminds me that on a clear day you can see it from the top of Bredon Hill, south of Evesham, as clearly as anything. That’s about 25 miles away. Seeing it from afar gives me a warm feeling and some hope that one day it will be fully utilised in the production of MGs.

  34. I think the main difference is the frontal impact tests are done at lower speeds than Euro ncap.
    I also have a sneeking suspicion they don’t cover pedestrian impact tests.

  35. sorry boys, call me nasty, i google the C-NCAP and now will do some conclusions.
    difference on the test
    Front impact
    the euro is performed at 64km/h the chinese at 56 km/h (both 40% frontals) both to simulate an frontal impact with a equal weight veichle (3. Newton law) whats the difference???? we can confront the two test as what kinetic enery it perform. The formula say that the kinetic enery is the result of the mass of the object per the square potency of speed divided all by two (correct my english if im wrong)
    so having only the speed as a factor of difference we can index it as 1,143 (64 kmh is 14,3% more than 56 kmh) and 1,143 x 1,143 makes 1,306……..so we can expect that there is 30,6 percent more energy in the euro ncap test than in the chinese…..correct me if im wrong.

    so we cant compare the results of the two tests cos there is such an kinetic energy diference

    side impact is both at 50 mph (euro ncap have also a pole impact)

    so ill take the chinese tests and get cars with the similar score and hope that the same structure cars was used in the Euro version…..although dont beluve that constructors are not using prepared cars (like we saw in the consumption tests….)

    MG total chinese score was 47,1 in the year 2011
    same chinese tests in 2012
    get the hundai xi35 (47,6)
    VW passat(47,4)
    chevrolet aveo (47,7)

    http://www.euroncap.com/results/hyundai/ix35/2010/406.aspx
    http://www.euroncap.com/results/chevrolet/aveo/2011/437.aspx
    http://www.euroncap.com/results/vw/passat/2010/415.aspx

    what can be very positive about the MG but….but a strong chassis can easily past the more than 30 percent easier test so i dig deeper to get a more real value for the chinese test
    and that i get
    http://www.euroncap.com/results/landwind/cv-9/2010/409.aspx
    http://www.c-ncap.org.cn/app/cncap/eng/pzsj_eng.jsp?pzid=1127

    conclusion, a good score in the chinese test ….really dont get any relevance in the european one

  36. I think we can deduce its a fairly safe car,not something we aim to crash and die in,nobody bought a Rover metro worrying about offset impact but it did show excellent full frontal crash results-not until the offset test did sales start to tail off,but not a very steep decline.Crashes are a very funny thing…

  37. I just hope they don’t do another City Rover with the pricing, although aiming at Dacia just cheapens the MG brand. I genuinely hope it does well but can’t help thinking of the Proton Savvy which also has “distinctive” angular styling, few dealers and a relatively uneconomical engine.

    Talking of styling, I wonder if whether the 6 looked more like the just-facelifted Roewe 550 it would improve its UK acceptability?

  38. The MG 6 test drive video was very interesting in regards to the euro component content of the vehicle,the electrical infrastructure,brake rotors and Pierburg and Behr parts-and £1.4 billion spent on high tensile fastenings.

  39. I drove a Dacia Sandero the other day. AN interesting drive but really did feel cheap and was very rattly for a sub 1000 mile car. It’s cheap yes and has a good warranty but personally not a car I would buy. I’d be fairly confident that the MG will be better made but the Dacia though a budget car has Renault’s latest petrol and diesel engines, the MG comes to market with an uncompetitive setup.

  40. I’m no fan of the Dacias any more than I’m a fan of a Toyota,although a parts bin car its an honest dressed for work type of car,not quite suited to UK tastes-it will appeal to the few as we have mostly been conditioned to be aspirational through consumerism.

    The 3 looks better inside and out and seems more cohesive – if Perodua or Proton pulled this car out of the bag there would have been raised eyebrows.

    It says a lot on how far Renault’s share of the market has collapsed when its vans outsell its midrange car and has had to introduce a budget brand.

  41. Why can’t they build a worthy successor to the MGF/MGTF that would give the brand more panache than let’s say just another family car.

  42. Is the Fiesta that brilliant? I had one as a courtesy car for a few days, it drove nicely but the steering was way too light (I realise its aimed at the female market) and that bloody dashboard with all the fiddly buttons would drive me nuts if I had to live with it. The quality of some of the materials left something to be desired too. I like the look of the MG3 (especially the rear), hopefully they get the pricing right. They need to sort out the engine choice as well.

  43. I really like this car , I hope it gives MG the gee up it needs to slowly build sales , and who knows , Longbridge might finally awaken from its slumbers and be fully utilised once more. You can but hope!

  44. I believe Chinese MG3s only have two airbags, expect to see quite a few more to get a half decent EURO NCAP score.
    With luck it might do better than the Citan…

  45. The Fiesta (Circa 2007) was noisy inside I didn’t like it at all… and cheap plastic, I thought the older Rover 216 was a much nicer car all round. which does make me think there is still market for a modern Riley Elf (aka ladies rolls) eg a nice small car with good handling, performance nice and quiet inside and comfortable. you don’t see much of that in small cars. this is where the Rover – Elf or Rover Lite could come back I think. alex

  46. PS I thought the City-Rover Looked nice but apparently it wasn’t otherwise good but it was a good shaped and styled right for a small car. alex

  47. I don;t know why everyone gets so excited about NCAP results, it’s far better to avoid accidents in the first place. In pandering to NCAP cars have become far harder to see out of, heavier on the brakes and less agile, and thus more likley to have a crash in the first place. Although the resulting weight gain has lead to higher fuel consumption and so maybe now we cant afford to drive them it has reducced accidents

  48. Dacia, not only had a good marketing machine, but also had an established dealer network in place.

    The other day I was eyeing up used cars at a multifranchise dealer, a Laguna coupe in ‘Monaco GP’ spec caught my eye. The salesman was slick and if my wits weren’t about me I’d have driven out in it that day. When he gave me his business card though, it was titled Dacia and not Renault.

    I don’t think I’ve seen a Sandero on the road, but I’ve seen plenty of Dusters. These are what sell – SUV Crossovers.

  49. @11 Ross A The Longbridge assembly plant works for duty reasons – non-EU or Turkish cars attract a 9.7% customs duty. Great Wall has a Bulgarian assembly plant for the same reasons.

    @59 Alex Scott I thought the CityRover looked great too. Pleased I’m not the only one! The MG3 looks far more “solid” though.

  50. I have heard that MG only shifted 13 cars in April.The MG3 cannot come quick enough and MG need to get the MG5 and SUV here asap.

  51. I spoke to the MG sales team at Pride of Longbridge recently. They will take a car to your door (including Cornwall and Scotland) for a test drive and then deliver it to you and collect it for servicing and leave you with another to use whilst it is away.

  52. @63

    Yep, 13 MGs registered in April 2013, compared with 16 in April 2012. And this in a strongly growing UK market with private registrations up one third on last year.

    Dacia managed 2016 units; even Perodua managed 24, Ssssssangyong 48 and Lotus 16. Even Saab managed 2, having been bust for 2 years.

    Well done MINI: 3350.

  53. I fear that the situation is hopeless. The Chinese government have now entered the fray throwing their weight about over Cameron’s meeting with the Dalai Lama . It seems to have escaped their notice that we are not part of their putative empire . If people have been wary of goods with a mainland Chinese connection so far , this sort of behaviour will only increase the perfectly understandable tendency to avoid dealing with any company in which the communist Chinese have an interest . Good bye MG

  54. @66,How will anyone manage that? no one gives two shits about the regime or organ harvesting as long as they get thier iphone and ipad…..

  55. Please guys! A bit more positive!

    Of course we have to be realistic, but killing MG with words does not bring us anything.

    Buying a car is not only a price thing. It’s emotion and feel-good. Thankfully we have dealers to get buyers in the right mood and the majority of the dealers is very enthusiastic, so that is good. Dealers can advertise themselves as well and the ones that now sell well do this more than others.

    So… What we need is a good aftercare and good parts and knowledge availability, so when isues arise, they can be dealt with promptly. Of course the cost of parts is high and will be relatively cheaper when covered by higher sales volumes.

    So… to get a better MG business case… Market your cars by being visible. Hire some students to drive arround in city centers. Sell the cars for higher volumes and make the organisation more mature in the service department.

    If we want to go ahead… go for it. Our Chinese friends prefer to see money being earned, so don’t only point at them, but change the world yourselves. With the right ideas MG can and will grow.

  56. @ 48 francis. That’s an excellent point. I’m sick to the back teeth of folk complaining about NCAP ratings and how they will kill sales. If that was a deal-breaker in folks’ car buying decisions we would all be driving Defenders and the like.

    As much as I am unimpressed with MG UK’s dire activity and sales, I think this car is more likely to have market appeal than the 6. If they can get the ‘sporty’ styling right, it can be an attractive option for supermini purchasers. MG UK have to see this car as an ill-deserved second chance for them and learn from ALL the mistakes they made with the 6 (after which they should be the most knowledgeable car company in the country…….).

    They need to go very high profile with this car, market it at under £9/10k and give the dealers something to shout about. The MG name SHOULD have an advantage over the likes of Dacia with its heritage (forget all the crap about K-Series HGF etc etc etc – old hat 5 years ago) but if they fail on this one some P45s should be in the post…..

  57. Just a quick point of information – Autocar’s Editor, Jim Holder, visited China for Auto Shanghai last month and spoke to SAIC Motor’s Global Corporate Communications Director, Zhu Xiangjun – she confirmed that “MG in the UK is a key part of our long-term strategy – we are not focused on short-term sales. We know we must keep Longbridge at the centre of our global expansion plans. That means we will build up Longbridge and be ready to bring the lines back to life when we have enough demand to build cars there.”

    However, I reckon that, in taking such a long-term approach with an established and much-loved marque like MG, SAIC Motor runs a real risk of doing possibly irreparable damage to the brand’s credibility. The Chinese Automotive Industry still seems to be learning about the concept of brand-building – just, for example, note that Chery Auto has recently axed two (Rely and Riich) of the three brands which the company launched in 2009 and the Chinese Government’s requirement that all JVs between Chinese and American, European or Japanese OEMs must create their own, new brands. I believe that a total of 94 different automotive brands are on sale in China…

    Oh, and Ianto thank you for the compliment at Post #24 above – I recall being described as a benign autocrat and a Monitor Evaluator by an Occupational Psychologist many years ago and reckon that probably explains my approach to mature debate! Incidentally, in case any of you are wondering, the term Monitor Evaluator is used to describe one of the Team Roles identified by Dr. Meredith Belbin. in “Management Teams: Why They Succeed or Fail” – that book was originally published back in 1981.

  58. As an interesting footnote, the Dacia Duster’s three star N-Cap rating dosen’t appear to be damaging it’s sales- I’ve seen a few around.

  59. @ mark
    a odd question, do you think that a negative sale number mean that they are buying their cars back???

  60. @73 .. that last sentence made me laugh,

    ‘‘MG6? What the f*ck is an MG6?’ said a man who later turned out to work for MG.’

    Having said that I saw one today – the fourth one I’ve seen since they first went on sale! Didn’t realise the traffic light had turned to green I was so in shock of seeing one…

  61. Under 20 cars a month, how many people work there?

    It probably would be cheaper to import them fully assembled and give them away on the dock.

    This is not a serious enterprise, after 8 years there is nothing to see here.

  62. Sadly, last time I visited CAB1 was full of ex Avis cars being refurbished. I wasn’t aware of this practice beforehand, as I thought ex hire cars were offloaded through auctions. That said it is positive that MGUK are taking care to make sure that each used 6 is in good order before it is offered for sale to the general public.

    I can’t see the same scenario presenting for the 3, blogs all over the web are alive with speculation and excitements about the car. And MG have even launched a facebook ad campaign this weekend. To borrow from Hutchinson mobile ‘the futures bight, the future is the MG3 1.5!

    Go SAIC!

  63. Dear Ianto, is strange how you see all this optimism i a product that is in fact not so bright when you look the numbers…..

    The MG6 is a total comercial colapse, the number say that not negativity….if even Lotus (one of my favourite brands, but now in bad waters and bad management) sell more.

    About the MG3-what is in your opinion in that car so eceptional that will make that product a sell numer one….and fact please with figures, not things like i like the style cos its opinionable

    then if youre in the mood to compare MG to other cars 8your other post) compare MG with same era other manufacturer cars not different time same brand cars……it will be more honest

    and FYI:- the first car i bought with my money was an MGF, still have it, still drive it, still love it, still repair it, but an octagon with the letters MG on the boot dont make a car a true MG….there is something more behind.

  64. The wait for this car to launch has been excruciatingly long and still it is not here.
    As an older type buyer all I can say is I am disappointed that the 1.3 engine is absent as it would be more economical and less polluting and cheaper to buy. The Sandero has the new Tce 90 Renaut engine so trumps the MG3 on economy and emissions, is much less money and it’s here!
    I have lost interest in the MG, and as to the hocky stick lights they are way uglier than the earlier design.

  65. Well, I checked some more “press” photos.
    I looks to me like a slightly up sized Kia Picanto.
    It not a compliment, sorry.
    A 1,5 L engine with 104 HP sounds ancient.
    Erik

  66. @82,But you can buy a Transit 2.2 TDCi with 85 PS,but loads of torque? There is obviously a reason for this engine,maybe primarily the home market comes first.
    It is what it is,if it had a 100hp three pot with 89g Co2 folk are still going to find an excuse not to buy this chinese car as is always evident on these posts.

    Personally,if a car looks and drives good and i like it i would buy it.I always use my own mind and eyes when making a choice,balls to emmisions and ball to the enviroment-money making cons.

  67. @84,I would pay these extortions dressed as taxes if they said this Carbon tax was renamed pothole tax and it went on renewing our roads-you can link a nations prosperity to the state of the roads.

  68. Could not agree more. I’d like some money from the government for wrecking my suspension no thanks to their negligence towards keeping our roads drivable.
    What they fail to point out when pushing “green” cars is that making them is a filthy business in the first place.
    How “green” a car is really down to how much of it is recyclable at the end of its life. Ask Volvo!

  69. Just had a look at the MG website.
    Clicked on “MG3” and seems as if it was written by a school child.
    Fun this and Fun that.
    Race style rear bumper (er…looks like a rear bumper to me…why is it race style).
    Fun wheels.
    More fun this and fun that.
    It has a rear spoiler (yes I can see that doh!).
    PATHETIC effort MG. Could you not employ an adult to write the info on your website.
    Its a car bought by intelligent adults. Its not a kids toy!
    No technical spec either.
    Not impressed by the MG website at all.

  70. @89. Oh dear. Not good.
    Gill Martin tells us why she loves her MG6 so much.
    “I love my MG6 because it depreciates so fast and I’ve got a car nobody else owns.”
    “I love the gadgets on it because MG don’t usually have any.”
    HAHAHAHA Do I laugh or cry?
    Great way to promote your cars MG!

  71. [youtubehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mi2rvplW1Lc[youtube]

    A charming piece MG, but at least use decent equipment!

  72. Oh dear. Oh dearie dearie me.

    MG Motors’ website is an absolute travesty.

    ‘Hear the fun roar and sparkle with the chrome exhaust finisher’…

    Say what? Has their advertising copy been translated from the Chinese by Google?

  73. @92. Yes could you imagine the German brands using a 60something woman to promote their cars? And then to boast that she loves the gadgets because they don’t usually have any!
    Its all very early 80’s top-gear rather than sophisticated teutonic German style promotion.
    Gill Martin is a very nice lady but I’m wondering if she is the mother of the cameraman???

  74. OK – I’ve just been on the website.
    The whole thing is a joke. You cannot tell me that this is serious marketing.
    I won’t have it. No no, absolutely not!

  75. Its only been up and running well over a month and some of you have only just checked it out? Are you enthusiasts or moaning mary annes in the mould of Norris out of Coronation st? Just wondering….

  76. I love it, and can’t wait for the launch.

    There are already some great adverts out there for the MG3 – just enter ‘a new journey of MG3’ into youtube and you will find a fantastic heritage advert which demonstrates MGs commitment to their history, including references to it’s illustrious forebearers. The new generation of the legendary british car looks amazing to my celtic eyes.

    Also there is a great ‘you’ve giot mail’ type ad with two upwordly mobile types falling in love through their common interest in coffee and the MG3.

    I haven’t been this excited since the metro launch, this is going to be EPIC!

  77. @96 and 97
    I admire all your enthusiasm (supported by my contribution for the car a few nights ago) but it does not explain the childish apparently genuine website I and many others have visited.

  78. @98, I am forced to agree its fairly shite advertising,i almost thought it was for our benefit,but sod it,lets see the car in the flesh.

  79. I wish MG UK all the best with the MG3! Decent styling, and if the build quality is like the MG6 diesel I test drove early this year it should be Ok, provided – as so many others have said, not over priced like the MG6. I buy a lot of Chinese engineering components in the line of my work, and am often shocked by the high quality and low prices, so I really think the MG6 is over priced.
    However, on the subject of buying the MG6, I was very tempted at first to buy one, then thought about it a bit more….
    100 mile round trip to the only dealer in Stirling Scotland, no thanks. Loose my a**e again on residuals after my beloved ZT? No way. The total lack of marketing makes the car virtually worthless, as who, other than an MG enthusiast would but one? So, a lovely car was not purchased (back to a VW again), and I cant help feeling this will happen for other potential purchasers for the MG3 – unless miracles and some real investment in advertising and brand awareness is made. I hope so. But I’m not holding my breath. I cant get my head round their ethos at MG, absolute business madness of non communication with their buying public.

  80. I keep saying there is a method in thier madness and all anyone can do is speculate.Something must be Brewing,maybe like a single malt i dont know!

  81. MG owners
    From political figures to fashion godmother, MG, with its unique charm won the favorite of many celebrities. Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, Victoria Beckham, Kate Moss, they are all MG fans can be said that Churchill and four MG owners, MG brand is the most realistic portrayal from them, you will find that the MG distinctive personality, temperament and creativity.

  82. Not every legendary cars, dare to be so confident: each generation, an era!

    1924, to rewrite history for the design, the birth of the first generation of the legendary British car AUSTIN SEVEN!
    This specifically for the British royal family’s car, opened its legendary era!

    In 1948, the practical performance at an economical price and noble enjoyment for the concept of the second generation of the legendary car-Morris Minor 1000 stunning debut London Motor Show, and became the first British car sales of over one million models!

    1962,2001,2008, … MG 1300, MG ZR, MG 3SW …
    Until today, in 2011, the sixth generation of the legendary British car-MG3 new debut, writing a legend!

    Touch with your fingertips fine old classic cars in the booth must let each MG get excited when they touched not only handed down masterpiece after years of sharpening, and they are willing to love and a lifetime to pay brand ideals and pride ……

  83. @97 – If I was looking for a car in this class I wouldn’t know to search YouTube for some vague video, or look for two mobile phones sharing a long for a supermini over a coffee or whatever, the first thing I’d do (and I’m assuming anyone else looking for a car) would be to go to the manufacturers website to see what they have to offer. And judging by the pathetic attempt at trying to ram the fact that the car is apparently ‘fun’ down our necks it really wouldn’t make me consider waiting for more information, I’d look elsewhere.

  84. 103 and 104 . Please can someone tell me what information these two posts are intended to convey ? I suspect there is a proper point being made, but they read like a bad Google translation ( and quite what the Austin 7 had to do with Royalty escapes me )

  85. 103 and 104
    Ianto I’ll try to be polite, get a book about MG before writeing or translating or reporting such nonsenses, about an auto brant I love and SIAC is getting deep into the nightmare of making from my beloved car bran a piece of crap.

    To be sarcastic, who the ……… (gentelmens are asked to fill the correct word in) are Victoria Beckham and Kate Moss,please get the difference between Morris Garage and Morris (no its not the same)and please Ianto before you make more fool of yourself get 2 minutes and i suppose you can google better things. Look in 15 sec i found that and is much better of all you wrote in those 2 posts
    http://www.mgexp.com/phorum/read.php?1,2253405,page=1

  86. @Ianto,

    The MG3’s ‘heritage’ is tenuous at best- its a bit like someone you know down the pub who’s dad once shared a lift with Winston Churchill.

    The only ‘British’ input into this car was a bit of fettling to make it (slightly) more acceptable for the European market. And that is a long, long way away from the classic Abingdon- made MGs from the Cecil Kimber era, or the more familiar MGBs etc. This car is no different from so many ‘branded’ electrical goods these days in that there may be a familiar name on the label, but it is really a rebranded Chinese product marketed (very ineptly in this case) towards European tastes- although with its limited choice of engines its not likely to make much impression compared to other brands with a more consumer focused offering.

  87. @105- 108

    Sorry, I would have to agree with all of your comments. The ‘new journey of MG3’ ad is a real shocker, and as for the garbled and factually incorrect historical references on the ‘ilovemg’ website – well that is plumbing a new low. The fact is Chris, that your assessment is spot on, this is a white good with an MG brand stuck on it. It looks like an old punto which has been tarted up by max power, and as for the engine – well it looks as if they may as well shut up shop now. Cynical marketing of a once proud brand, very sad day.

  88. MG’s of old died with the B,But the ZR/S and ZT sold well enough,and kept the company afloat a lot longer than would otherwise be the case.
    All this heritage bollocks needs putting to sleep,you cant compare a 3 series with a 1602 turbo,a Mondeo with a Cortina Lotus or a Focus with the ultra rare RS 1800.
    MG died in the 80s,you say this car is white goods? What was the MG Metro,Meastro and Montego? purebreds?

    And then you get talk of MG using GM/Vauxhall platforms and selling them here,why would Vauxhall want to have another brand nibbling thier cheese? And ianto why the sudden split personality?

    Car makers make cars make money.Heritage is a marketing ploy or dont anyone know this? Oh my 2013 Pyrex pan reminds me of the 1967 Pyrex pan my nan used to piss in.

  89. Oh dear Oh dear. You can always tell when the frustration has set in – we get huge long paragraphs with no punctuation and lots of wild accusations and statements – not to mention vulgarity.
    I am a confirmed nostalagarist but hopefully a realist as well and Chris is quite right – the MG3 has as much to do with MG as we knew it – as it has to Francis’ nan’s Pyrex Guzunder.
    As has been said by others – this isn’t new. Wolseley was one of the oldest and at one time most successful British car manufacturer’s – but the Wolseley Hornet (mini) had nothing whatever to do with it.
    Sad but true. I think it was Churchill who said “that a nation that forgets its past will have no future” – gosh! Hope that doesn’t apply to car companies!

  90. The MG3 website design isn’t my cup of tea, but that’s neither here nor there. What concern me is the lack of attention to spelling, grammar and punctuation. But that’s OK: the 3 offers you countless personalisation options, you can be sure to stand out from the crowd in your very own FUN style, with the race-car-style rear bumper, rear tail spoiler; and with FUN front LED daytime running lights the MG3 owner will be seen and envied! MG seems to be very keen to push the point that the 3 is FUN. FUN! FUN! FUN! Fine. It is fun. But is it any good?

  91. @110
    Francis

    not to argue with you but in my oppinion last of the pure MG is the F (not cos of owning one) but have a own body , the well critisized K type engine and the never enough understood hydragas (same sistem thet this year runs on mercedes F1 cars….) for the other points i agree perfectly agree

  92. @115, You are 100% correct Simon,somehow i always forget about the F/TF.This really is an important car in the history Of MG and almost a miracle that it was designed and developed on the budget it had.

    @113,Agree with whom you like but the MG3 was not simply fettled,it was designed and engineered here regardless where on earth it was built.

  93. Hey get a reality check. MG was always a sports car brand with saloons/sedans as a secondary market. The worlds biggest MG buyer was and still potentially is the United States of America. So MG is NEVER going to be able to volume sell Korean/Japan lookalike small hatches and saloons/sedans and SUV’s when the market is already taken. MG has to build a 2 liter twin cam with at least 17BHP and a 3 litre V6 with 275BHP TWO seat roadster to regain that nostalgic niche market. Give America what it likes.

  94. @116 Thanks Francis.

    I agree that this and the MGTF are the most important MGs ever made, and as 118 says once the traditional MG V6 option is available these will sell like hot cakes (cookies?) in America.

  95. I meant to say made in the last ten years. Obviously the MG1300 is also a very important model, not forgetting the Montego and Maestro.

    Top sporting saloons with the traditional british V6.

    Lovely stuff.

  96. Hi all, have had a good read of all your comments. Very interesting. I am currently a Kia Soul owner. 2009 reg 1.6 Crdi (2). Reason, long warranty, (but you have to work on them to get things done). Good economy with my diesel. Ved tho high at £125).
    Servicing not too bad stuck with dealer because of warranty. Good drive, bumps around a bit on naf roads. Road and wind noise. Anyway I luv it. Plastics not up to much really, looks good tho., easily marked, newer models greatly improved. I am looking at my next purchase and the MG 3 fits that bill. I like it a lot and they have certainly got their prices spot on. Other engines coming both turbos 1.3 petrol (and another not sure of) and 1.4 diesel, these hopefully will have lower emissions. For me they should have had the diesel out alongside this one on launch. I like it and hope it
    will thrive. I have back problems so hope it is easy to get in and out higher up like my Soul. I would have the top of the range. Maybe I will wait to get a demo with a few
    miles. Servicing and long warranty offered which is good. Who is servicing them
    Halfords? Well its good looking, sporty in its own way, great kit, fantastic price. Fiat
    500 nah, Ds3 nah, Fiesta no chance, Mini no way, Adam naf, no way, Rio too low and
    costly. Skoda Fabia no kit, Citigo too small. The MG3 has every chance especially at
    these prices I wish them well. Fergot the Dacia using old Renault parts, engines etc, all
    the models share components, dashboard etc better than Renaults and proven across
    europe but are cheap rent interiers and ride. Best model Step way diesel laureate. So still the MG3 for me. Enjoy all. Got everything crossed.

  97. I saw one the other day for the first time (Nov 2014)! It looked OK and I was interested to know what it was good at. But it’s not especially good at anything is it? Just like the Vauxhall Adam! – in my opinion.

    Given that it sells in small numbers, they could be a bit braver in differentiating it. If it did ONE thing better than the rest it would be a selling point.

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