Blog : Throwing down the ‘Swiss’ gauntlet… Updated

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Mike Humble

MG Motor UK: Does it have a long-term future in the present shape? I’m deeply worried.

Well, there I was wandering out of Sainsburys* in Godalming when I spotted something rarer than a four-leaf clover – an MG6 was swinging into the car park, looking pristine in metallic Union Blue. Wandering over to the owner in a nonchalant kind of way, I remarked how bonny the car looked and innocently asked him what the ‘6  was like to own and drive.

I certainly wasn’t prepared for the mini tirade of complaints and grumbles that came from the fairly dignified-looking, mature gentleman. He, quite literally, went off on one, as t’wer. He barked: ‘nice car so long as you don’t break anything’. I quizzed him further and it seems the experience was wholly flawed in his view.

The gentleman concerned had some minor gripes such as poor fuel economy and juddering wipers (which were only cured after a trip to Halfords owing to the OE blades not curing the fault) but was now almost at the point of wishing he had kept the Rover 75 he formerly piloted. He told me that his wife had accidentally smashed the door mirror assembly, misjudging a gap in tight alleyway, causing him to contact his Dealer for a replacement.

After waiting a month, the new one arrived – in orange. It was a further fortnight before that issue was resolved. Expanding on his concerns about the car, I listened worryingly as the chap also remarked about a Dealer who seems to be beyond caring and the cigar lighter that ejects when ready… and flies into orbit, before dropping onto the floor mat.

So I asked him.. would he recommend the MG6 to myself, the answer was, ‘what do you think?’

However, it doesn’t end there either – a fellow resident of my part of West Sussex has just contacted the local Brighton dealership with a view to booking a test drive in an MG6. He was initially told that there was no one available to handle his inquiry and someone would call him back but eventually managed to secure a demo after calling them back – a further three times.

Obviously, they are so busy with sales enquiries they are snowed under – I think not. However, before some of you start clucking on about an AROnline MG witch-hunt – this is so far from the truth. It simply seems that either MG Motor UK or the Dealers – or both – appear to be incapable of providing an experience, or level of customer care, that this great brand deserves. If it’s not poor, it’s bordering on the comical.

Some very talented people work with MG but, sadly, in the wrong offices. I am now starting to come to the conclusion that the Sales and Marketing and PR Departments, are verging on a shambolic disgrace. After every scenario, with every previous incarnation of either MG or Rover, one would think that some very hard lessons in how to market or, indeed, manage a long-established and world-regarded brand, would have been learned.

MG has even stooped to a sad level of peddling toy (and full-sized) models of the MG6 on eBay. Just what the hell is going on up at Longbridge? Where is the diesel, where is the MG3 – and, more to the point, where is the vivid advertising shouting proudly that MG is here and for the long term?

I experienced most of the above angst first-hand when I desperately tried to sell the Chinese King Long range of coaches. Not a bad product and very cost effective – but let down by awful importers and built in a nation that’s quick to learn, yet seemingly incapable of listening. Strictly in my own opinion, I am coming to the conclusion that SAIC Motor should either make a determined effort with MG Motor UK or simply switch off the life support and put a dying animal to sleep – it’s the kindest thing.

None of us want that and, regardless of who owns MG, I want the marque to succeed. The ‘6 is not a bad car but, there again, it’s far from being a class-leader. However, it does have a place in the market but, while they faff and mess around stalling new engine and model launches, any potential customer will become bored and stumble into a showroom selling Korean cars. And once they are there, you will have lost them for good.

But, hey, I’ll throw down the gauntlet… Let me take a look at the Sales and Marketing/Business Development side of things and I’ll guarantee there will be a noticeable difference inside, say, six months. There you go, MG Motor UK – you know where to find me!

mhumble@aronline.co.uk

* Other leading supermarkets are also available

UPDATE  – 29th September, 2012

MG Motor UK kindly took time out to contact AROnline after publication of the above article in order to investigate matters further and also to assure our readership that any Dealership problems or disputes are dealt with quickly and efficiently at all times.

Mike Humble

Upon leaving school, Mike was destined to work on the Railway but cars were his first love. An apprenticeship in a large family Ford dealer was his first forray into the dark and seedy world of the motor trade.

Moving on to Rover and then PSV / HGV, he has circumnavigated most departments of dealerships including parts, service and latterly - the showroom. Mike has owned all sorts of rubbish from Lada to Leyland and also holds both Heavy Goods & Public Service Vehicle licences, he buys & sells buses and coaches during the week. Mike runs his own automotive web site and writes for a number of motoring or commercial vehicle themed publications

72 Comments

  1. This is really disappointing.

    No matter what is happening in China the UK end of the deal should be working well independently of it.

    There is so much latent good will for MGR and so many former MGR dealers and other small, family dealers who lost franchises over recent years there is no reason why it can’t work.

    There is an obvious answer – give Mike and I salaries that would make a banker blush and we could sort everything out.

    I do worry that what we have here is, in the words of Yogi Berra – “an insurmountable opportunity”

  2. A fair and undeniable representation.Who knows the answers?is it the UK end of things? it is pretty much where the buck stops,and the parent should kicking someones arse’s.
    Lets face it,its a low volume product that is relying on goodwill and things should be better.I’m a vauxhall man through and through and when i was 17 onwards i owned every 70’s Leyland car bar Jaguar and Triumph and every single last one of them was dog shit,yet there is a place in my heart for the things which borders on the reverentialand im not alone-move on a generation or two and we have ARG/MGRover cars and whilst these cars are a million miles away from the crap of the 70’s they are good if not some of them great cars.Step forward SAIC,i hope things improve and i am nowhere near writing this firm off,not one bit,parts supply should not be causing issues and why is anyones guess.
    I am not looking through rose tints,i dont think the firm is going to crash and burn,if anything its closer to the alchemy business model as matters stand,lets just see.

  3. While I would agree with the comments about the current Sales and Marketing department (see my comment relating to the MG TF on another link) and press office, I would add that I had nothing but praise when I dealt with the press office at MG Rover Group, who were the previous custodians of the MG brand. There were some very experienced and professional personnel in this department who always had time for me and the many eleventh hour enquiries I would throw their way.

    Indeed, the Media website they offered, together with the vast array of images it offered (incidentally, heritage images borrowed from the Heritage Motor Centre even had to be paid for by MG Rover Group!), was the best I had ever experienced from a car manufacturer. And I used to have to visit many of these websites! The increasing role of Newspress in the last six years has definitely brought the media communications of some other manufacturers up to a higher level, rather than it being down to the manufacturers’ own efforts…

  4. Why didnt the dealer just repaint the orange mirror back? or take one off a showroom car ? I hope that when the diesel and the Mg3 come out Mg will get tough on these dealers and tell them to pull their socks up, If their not going to do the job right then why take MG on in the first place??

  5. You, me, Keith – probably half of the readers of this site could – in theory – do a better job of marketing than MG have.

    In theory. We don’t know what their resources are. So whilst I’d love to dive in there and pull the whole lot apart, I suspect it would be frustrating, soul destroying, and I’d end up weighing up the passion for changing and improving MG vs. the fondness I’d have of being paid every month.

  6. “Mg will get tough on these dealers and tell them to pull their socks up”

    MG needs the dealers more than the dealers need MG. They need carrots, not sticks, at this point.

  7. What a shame. Between this blog and the one on the MGTF, MG dealers seem to be worse than Vauxhall dealers in that they really don’t seem to give a damn.

    My own local MG dealer closed a month after opening. We are likely to be looking for a new car (for the other half) sometime next year. I was hoping the MG3/6 would’ve been a consideration.

  8. Chris, you can – it’s just that once all the old stuff is written up exhaustively… there’s got to be something new to cover!

    I don’t think any MG dealers are getting the volume (or margins) to really care about their customers. Just how much time can you have in your dealership for one customer of one car? I doubt any dealer has shifted more than one a month, and you’d hope they’re really expecting three years of trouble-free motoring, not regular repeat visits…

  9. Go Mike Go!! Very worrying report. I always thought I would like to buy another MG one day after my MG ZS but not so sure now. Still only seen three MG6’s since they launched.

  10. yes an interesting couple of points made in the above article…..yes we want MG to succeed , of course we do!…but you would think that MG-UK would be taking a lot more care…..It seems there is a theme emerging here….I was starting to come around to replacing my Wifes 318 with an MG…..but perhaps I would be better buying another used BMW. I was getting keen on a Silver MG6…..I was starting to think it acutally looks ok (compared to some of the other new cars around)….alex

  11. I know my local dealer has thrown tens of thousands at PR, because MG in Longbridge have done absolutely bugger all, and they simply haven’t had many sales at all, in fact, they have had to resort to stocking more used stuff from the mainstream brands like Ford & Vauxhall, just to keep the showroom ticking over. I can guarantee all their existing dealers are wondering why the hell they signed up to the franchise, and are regretting they didn’t look at becoming Kia or Hyundai or Skoda dealers.

  12. I think the wing mirror issue goes to the heart. It’s not beyond the wit of man for a dealer to be able to order a wing mirror for a car in current production. It wouldn’t surprise me if the cockup was at the factory and not the dealers. And as for painting the mirror to match then that’s going to involve a delay and the fun and games of getting the right paint.

  13. Whilst it’s terrible to read this story along with the one about the TF, another thing surprises me more.

    This site is full of BL/MGR enthusiasts & a lot of goodwill towards their future success. So why haven’t they enlisted someone from their PR department to post on these boards? Of course we don’t want the site to become a propaganda site for the new MG company, but a little interaction & some comforting words about improving things would be most welcome.

  14. Maybe MGUK PR believe in the old saying “If you can’t say something good don’t say anything at all.” which would explain their silence. Also I am still waiting in eager anticipation to see my first MG6.

  15. I would think that if I were in sales (and I’ve been in sales for nearly 20 years!) working for a MG dealer, I’d be much more interested in enquiries for used vehicles of other makes. Usually, these kind of “sub prime” dealerships are taken on to give a used car dealership the credibility of being a main dealer for a marque with little intention of making a living from new car sales. This used to be the case with Kia, how times have changed!

    I wouldn’t be too surprised if they didn’t actually have a demo MG6, having possibly managed to sell it for a loss on eBay and then been unwilling to get another one.

    Poor chap, having parted with a 75 for this. He’ll certainly be stuck with it now.

  16. Like a few others here, I was re-reading the story of the CityRover the other day: cheap yet over-priced, shoddily built Asiatic tat, sporting a badge totally unsuited to the type of car and its market.

    Fast forward 7 years and… yep, you guessed it…

    For what it’s worth, I think the problem goes way deeper than just marketing and PR. As I hinted above: the car’s a lemon, badly made, boring design and with a badge that the British buying public do not associate with that type of car. As for the MG3 (from little photos of ‘real’ cars we’ve seen) – waste of time, forget it.

    I hate writing this, not least because several hundred people currently owe their livelihoods to MG in B’ham, but if this is the best they can do, it’s time to abandon the manufacturing side of things and the UK market and just maintain the technical/design operations. Back to the drawing board – literally.

  17. In the seventies, when BL woes were at their worst, there was definitely a reason to persevere. After all, it was creating/maintaining hundreds of thousands of British jobs, and the cars themselves – whilst built very badly – were often exceptional designs. There was a sense that by keeping faithful to Leyland, the company could one day pull out of its trough and rise again. And indeed it did; the 1990s were a great time for the marque.

    Sadly, there is absolutely no reason to be faithful to MG, or SAIC, or Roewe. They’re Chinese built tat that will profit no one but a Chinese company that took over MG Rover – I think – in rather dubious circumstances. The MG6 is quite a nice design, but nothing exceptional in the way that, say, the Rover SD 1 or Princess was in their day. There are British designers working all around the global car industry, MG is no exception.

    Sorry to say it, but MG is now a chimera, a fuzzy, ghostly shadow of what once was. Better to buy a used, British made, ‘real’ MG and spend some money keeping on the road, preserving it for posterity I think – or buy a Jag.

  18. @ Magnus (19)

    MG6 is badly built? Utter bunk!

    It’s quite nicely nailed together and the bodyshell feels almost as torsionally strong as the R40.

    I have driven them and worked on two of them, both were rattle free and as good as mainstream rival’s… If not, better than some.

    Another thing… The engines are bullet proof too, something you would NEVER have seen in the MGR era!

  19. @22 Francis, it’s irrelevant that the mirror was broken by the customer. the fact is that MG or the Dealer “f**ked up” somewhere along the way! The Chinese are sitting on huge wads of cash at the moment and if they seriously intend to make headway in the UK with a “UK” brand then they need to pull their collective fingers out and do it properly or just don’t do it at all. The whole scenario, to me, is akin to watching a train crash in slow motion….. very very sad.

  20. @24,which dealer does’nt? having said that why are X-part not running the parts operation?they can get you nearly everything for MGR ere cars so why not let them seamlessly handlee things? As for headway kieth,as i have said before look at Hyundai at the beginning of thier U.K enterprise when the pony was introduced- a car for people whom could not afford socks or realising they were driving at all,now look where they are now.
    Whatever is happening at MGUK right now obviously concerns people whom are interested/care about the marque,that also apllies to the folk that cannot wait to stick the boot in.
    The rover days are long gone and not coming back,its MG now and for all the people from the now now now sect you are going to have to wait,PSA are in shit street,renault only sell a few models in the U.K and factories from most euro car makers are going to close,its not all doom and gloom though,but the economic demograph is changing fast and SAIC being a cash rich company are sure to exploit this.You cannot predict what is happening at MGUK on a story by story,week by week and month by month basis.This new brand is going to take several years to nurture and develop the brand and not the time i take for whatever shitty iphone is being released.

  21. oh and apart from my terrible grammer,im typing one fingered because i crushed my right hand when a freelander slipped the jacking beam and fell on my right hand-rear drum 1st!that was not as impressive as seeing my workmate lift the thing up single handed like it was a chippy tray!

  22. @23

    Oh, come on, Mike – how many people these days would spend up to £20k. – TWENTY K – on a car that’s only “quite nicely nailed together”?

    I should rephrase that: how many people ARE spending…? We all know the answer to that – although I do appreciate that MG is not the only car manufacturer finding things tough.

  23. He should tell his wife to be more carefull and stop smoking !!!! then he wouldnt need a new mirror or the cigaette lighter lol

  24. Somethings never seem to change!

    I wonder exactly how the dealers were sold the deal to become a dealer. Were they ‘promised’ anything in stone or were they made aware that it would be a slow drawn out process, with many frustrations along the way. Any dealer showing the commitment of these two, needs to no longer be a dealer.

    SAIC are still finding their way really, like so many Chinese companies and indeed the Chinese themselves. SAIC have sold how many MG’s in this country? Answer, a few hundred. How many have they sold in the markets that really count to them? Answer, probably enough and more than likely within their targets.

    It’s too simplistic to think that SAIC bought MG/Rover just to please us in the UK. They have a much bigger plan than the UK and when one compares how far and how quickly they have come in comparison to the Koreans, or indeed the Japanese in the very few years they have been doing it, then one can understand why the rest of the world are so worried.

    The MG’s that we are talking about, are light years better than anything the Koreans offered when they started and that was 25 yrs ago. Remember, it’s really only in the last 5yrs tops, that Hyundai,let alone Kia have been accepted into the mainstream.

  25. I can understand this guy being unhappy with his 6, the overall buying experince. The bit with a replacement mirror must have been infuriating and on the this front I’m sure improvements, more effort could be made. However, mpg not at the top of the league must have been expected. Surely, he knew the engine isn’t quite state of the art. Other problems seem very minor and certainly would not detract from an otherwise happy experience.

    In the early months, years of MG UK I must admit that I kept thinking ‘what the hell are you playing at?’ Recently, however, I have felt much more confident in SAIC, MG UK. I think they know what they are doing, have a definite plan, are playing a long term game. Others, people in the know, must also have confidence in the firm. For example, the stylist ( ex Nissan? ,can’t remember how to spell his name!) would not have moved to MG UK if he could not see a future for the company.

  26. Very true David, and following a conversation with Keith Harris at MG Motor UK, some of worries and doubts have been put to rest.

    Lets hope the strategy and future plans of mice & men & MG UK come to some kind of fruition – we need some UK Manufacturing good news!

  27. I saw the sales figures for August. 6 cars I think? I know that Proton sold nearly double that of MG – And they’re made by a nation not normally associated with motor manufacturing.

    Starting to lose the faith now – Ideally they should have had a set-up more similar to TATA and Jaguar. Despite the old sheds that they were using to build the machines, investment should have come in the same direct way with quality directors appointed to turn the division around.

    I think that SAIC still don’t understand how to run a company that caters to European tastes – and why should they?.. like they say, ‘willing to learn but not willing to listen’….

  28. I agree with Ezeee more or less Nanjing would have been to better to do what they could at the time, to restart the R75 Production, the MGF and the City Rover assembly (and Maybe two R25 variants 3 door and 5 door) and forget the rest, But I guess Honda would have prevent the R25 variants from going forward. none the less it would have kept the brand alive. I was thinking about the paint falling off issue…on the mGF on the other article. this is possibly similar to the problems TOYOTA had here (NZL) in the 80s. it came down to the not having oil taken of the body pressings before painting….the cars rusted away in no time at all. alex

  29. The more marketable cars would have been MGZT, MGTF, and MGZR – All of which were the ‘younger’ members of the band. No matter how you look at it MGZS was long in the tooth, even if it was a fully capable car, the age of it would have been unmarketable. They’re suffering with the MGTF as it is.

    SAIC would have done better to let the firm go bust, take it over and restart production and banging out the old unproductive parts of the factory.

    A cash injection would have seen new facilities, the kinks ironed out of the production process and loan guarantees (not grants) would have given then a chance to invest in, not only a new model but to also push forward the replacing the current engines.

    A mirror site could’ve been created in China for the Asian market with common parts imported to the UK and MG parts created here.

    To me, the European operation seems like a dogs dinner but I shall wait for the MG3 launch first – That is when they really need to ramp up the chatter and get the company and more specifically it’s models sold.

    At the moment I’m simply not convinced.

  30. My concern is that MG have gone the way of Bush Radio. Remember Bush Radio? Manufacturer of high quality British products in their day who eventually went out of business as they couldn’t generate the cash for new market leading products.

    Now the name is used on appalling low quality tat from China that you simply would not have in your house. I hope MG have not gone the same way. Let’s face it, the words ‘made in China’ are usually stamped on terrible rubbish…

  31. Beats me why people are so concerned about the fortunes of this car. At a time when the new Range Rover and F Type are being launched and when the British Motor industry is building more cars than at any time in the past 40 years and exporting more than it ever has whilst attracting massive levels of investment, this cheap and nasty CKD Chinese car is of absolutely no consequence. Its a bit like ignoring the E Type, the Rover P6 and the Mini and only being concerned about the prospects for the A30 van!

  32. @34,the Z’s for all thier virtues are old hat now-from someone whom reveres them,they would simply not cut it in 2012.The 6 is a good,modern car which is very agreable for £16k onwards,ok its a one engine range at the moment and when the diesel and auto arrive someone will find something else to criticise the car for,all things considered when compared to Protons first U.K introduced car it is light years ahead and from that “backwater” China,the country that many on here quite simplistically infer that its some shithole banging out snide watches,deathtrap motorbikes and of course the must have ipad and iphones.Did anyone see the BBC programme about China? it showed the Great Wall car factory and to say it was state of the artis an understatement,folk need to rid themselves of the misconceptions of the chinese-they are having thier industrial revolution which started many years ago.

  33. @35 Paul
    I could not agree more with what you have said.
    The only folks I have any sympathy with are the peole that have to whatever to build ’em, over here. Also the customers
    This reminds me, I must get in touch with my cousin who last year bought a MG6. She is a bit batty 🙂

  34. @ alexscott

    It was the R45 that Honda had hold over rather than the 25. They released an MG version of the Streetwise in China, which I think would have sold over here along with the MG7 (ZT). The Streetwise is still a frequent sight on the roads around us, and the number of 75’s and ZT’s are also swelling. If they had sold these earlier, they would not have lost ground, or indeed profile, and might have given us some confidence they were keen to get into the UK market as quickly as possible.

    As others have said, sadly, they are looking more and ,ore like they have missed the boat.

  35. Nanjing were building the factory in China as they was doing “the lift and shift” why re-introduce a car that was not selling and thus not making money? the death knell that sped up the collapse that was coming anyway was when an outside supplier refused to supply bumpers for the cars which stopped the tracks…..in thier tracks.It was over.Done.
    All nanjing had to wait for is PWC to do thier bit,in any case they went tits up and now its SAIC.
    In the meantime,we will all go round in circles gleefully predicting another failure because thats what we are good at,and when Longbridge is turned into another call centre filled with brainless drones maybe we can all say i told you so while driving our BMW’s merrily downloading app on our chinese made phones.

  36. Mike humble has managed to create such a fuss over a broken mirror and a cigarette lighter, Keith Adams is teaching you well Mike!!! Im looking forward to a different brand of car being highlighted on here with a few faults or dealer problems !! but hey we all now that wont happen.

  37. When it comes to customer service failures like this and the MG TF one the company has two options:

    1: pull out all the stops and dazzle the customer with efficiency and effectiveness

    2: Pretend there’s no problem and leave customers fuming

    Considering MG have but a handful of customers to keep happy they should be able to sort it. Hiding stories like this would be worse, as MGR found out with Watchdog

  38. Hey Eirug,

    Just worked out what your comment meant on FB. You think I’m anti-MG! That’s funny on so many levels, and so far off-beam it’s almost tragic.

    1) I’ve coolly and objectively covered the Chinese assimilation of the marque from the moment Phoenix folded in May 2005. I’ve been excited by SAIC’s plans, told the guys all about it in China.

    2) When the NAC-era TF was launched, I visited Longbridge, tested the car, and absolutely enjoyed it. I waxed lyrical about the SAIC-era TF 85 in Octane magazine as well as on here, and have recommended one to countless people.

    3) When the ‘6 came out, I visited the factory, tested the car, and concluded it was a good piece of kit. In fact, I was so surprised by how good it was (in places), I conflabbed with my colleagues at CAR and Top Gear, and they concurred. When I published my findings, I was accused by people of being *pro-MG*. Oh, the irony.

    4) I lost patience with the absolute lack of advertising, promotion and PR for the company in October 2011, and decided to blog about it. You can read that here:
    http://www.aronline.co.uk/blogs/2011/10/21/blog-mg-uk-so-long-and-thanks-for-all-the-fish/
    MG responds by saying things are getting better, and that they are doing so much to rectify the situation.

    5) ONE YEAR LATER, Mike Humble does the same. One year. In that time the company *still* failed to launch its TD ‘6, we’re no closer to getting the ‘3 in the UK (which won’t be built here, so therefore is as relevant to this site as a Unicorn), and the ‘5 I sat in and played with in Beijing had similar levels of tactility as a 1993 Toyota Carina E.

    6) When there’s good stuff to say about MG, we say it. When there’s bad stuff, we say it too. Either way we have a duty to the readership.

    I can conclude from this, you bought an MG6. Bully for you. I know Mark Mastrototaro (a friend and contributor) likes his a lot, and we report this so. If you like yours, and have had a great experience, but your head above the parapet, and tell our readers – they will value your opinions, and I am happy to give you a sounding board.

    My experiences (anecdotal, mind) are that I wasn’t taken seriously when I spoke to the guys at LB about buying an MG6. So you know what I did – I bought a MINI. And it’s been utterly faultless. If it breaks, though, trust me – you’ll be the first to know.

    Same with the Astra I’m currently running.

    Point is – I’m not biased. I actually would like to see MG do well as the next man. As long as they remain committed to the UK.

    And just one thought, before I go… BMW UK, Mercedes-Benz UK and Audi UK. Wonder how many people they emply here, and how much money they invest in the UK? And how that compares with MG?

  39. The trouble is, I think what Mike has got in reply from MG is just a load of guff to keep him happy, and they will keep on shoving their heads in the sand, and pretending all is sweetness & light at MG

  40. No one can accuse Keith of being anti MG. As I understand it this site started mainly as a pro BMC, BL, Austin Rover and MG nostalgia base and has evolved to cover everything British in the motoring world… excellent it is too. We all want the MG brand to continue and succeed worldwide but particularly in the UK where its roots are, surely.

  41. OT but my real concern is the collaboration Jaguar are in with Chery, and I wonder whether this will have an adverse effect on the brand. Having said that, part of the agreement was to produce a brand under a new name so I’m not entirely sure what effect it might have on Jaguar itself.

  42. @46 i cant see the world waiting with baited breath for a chery xj,all the main players are collaborating in some capacity to cut/share costs or just plain exploit cheap labour rates.TATA has never had a adverse effect on JLR,and the parent is based in for all intents and purposes a third world country.

  43. Paul @36:

    I couldn’t agree more. What is the sentimental hold of MG badge over the likes of Jaguar, Land Rover and Range Rover (all of them also from the BL combine), that means that we concentrate on the Zombie that is MG and largely ignore the much hugely more significant stuff going on at the former?

    I like to think that Rover is alive and well, it’s just that they are now either called Land Rovers or Range Rovers now and that they simply gave up building pure road cars with the 25, 45 and 75.

    Forget about MG, it died in 2004 (or even, arguably, 1980!).

  44. @48 you could say that about Jaguar and Aston Martin when purchased by Ford,next thing you know they have Ford switchgear and Tibbe keys,with astons built on XJS floorpans,hardly a recipe to conjour the senses of purists or enthusiasts.
    Imagine the uproar if you called the L405 RR a TATA loadbeta? So write MGUK/SAIC off as piss takers and lets see where we are with the perpetual arguments in say five years time,its the only way i think lets just see.

  45. Just had an email from my cousin. The only person I know who has/had a MG6. She hated it. (could not get on with the gears?) She’s given it to her daughter who’s had no major issues with it

  46. MG6? Sainsburys? Godalmng? What is the world coming to? If you could find a place where expectaions of a product should be higher – it’s gotta be there.

    In fairness though, there’s this “coudldn’t care less” (or maybe it’s a “I don’t know how to care more” attitude with a much-loved (at least on here).

  47. ITS no better here in New Zealand . We have been waiting with baited breath for the MG6 release for months and months and when they finally release them to the press for a test drive , there is no auto, no finalized pricing and best of all no indicated dealer network , LIKE WTF ?????

    I think they could sell ok here, if priced right , but they need an auto from day one and that dreary black interior needs the option of the cream/wood interior from the rowe 550 which is more appealing/ same car , but really what a shambolic exercise, no dealers LOL !!!!!

  48. Its a bit of a disgrace to the MG Name, the 75/ZT was and is still a better car to own. Having inspected the MG6 at POL I thought it looked great from the outside, but the inside was cheap and nasty, and not offeting a diesel in todays market is a school boy error, and the petrol is a derivative of the “K” which is over 20 years old and its reputation proceeds itself, yes I know its been fixed they say but sadly people remember.

    Things move on and people will not accept poor quality and shoddy aftersales anymore. I’m glad I got out in 2005 when MGR went pop, I now work for VW, ok they are a bit dull and I dont have the passion I did for MG but we have mainly happy customers.

    On a positive note our 10 year old R 25 still gives great service and my 33 year old Sd1 gets prettier with age! My best mate has just bought am ex MGR demo 2002 ZTT 190+ which I drove last week, fabulous to drive and looks great.

  49. Have you driven one and read the test reports? Yes, they are cheap, but for a reason. You will need to keep it though as it will be worth nothing in 3 years and will be hard to sell.

    The Koreans are coming on leaps and bounds, some of the new KIAs are very good cars although getting pricey but the Protons are about 10 years behind.

    If it were me I would buy a used Fiesta or Polo or dare I say it a Honda!

  50. Ah.. yeh the earlier ones were pants but the later ones were not that bad.. the interior improved, the ride and handling were fine.. about the main problem is basically with the engine – it’s as refined as a cement mixer and just as gutless.

    The styling is great though – the interior, with the leather option, is superb. I wonder why MG never styled it like this.. might hanker after a second-hand one 🙂

  51. I still wouldnt put my money into one sorry. I would check out a low miles 2 year old small hatch instead (except a Corsa or French)

  52. from what I see, post 2007 models got VVT that was omitted earlier and the cause of the torque drop in the mid range.. The engine was originally designed with this in mind but it was lauched without it, due to cost.

    The Campro engine rectifies this and the performance figure is better. Certainly styled better and handles well. The feeling is that the MG6 looks like an old car anyway, so I’d rather put my money on a three year old low miler Gen2 than a secondhand MG6.

  53. Want a family hatchback, with really distinctive styling, and a badge with a proud motor sport heritage? Made in Britain? Buy a Honda Civic then!

  54. Thanks for the update from MG, was there any official reason given for the TF paintwork issues? I have had various stories (some contradictory) – maybe the subject of a chapter in MG’s history one day! Sounds like its sorted for the MG6 which is good news, and who knows, if MG build another two seater in the future they may tempt me back – although I may let one or two of you go first and do my research more thoroughly through your website of course!

  55. If these cars were not called MG but given a good old chinese name and priced nice n’ cheap to match their quality, Stack em high at car supermarkets with some cheap finance deals, they would sell loads. Trying to pretend they are something they are not is crap. Get rid of the Longbridge overhead, make em all in China and get a good importer to sell ’em in the UK. This token assembly in UK fools nobody. Might be worth comparing ‘MG’ sales performance with that of Great Wall pick ups, just to compare the two business models – “made in Britain” flag waving bullshit vs honest to goodness made in China.

  56. Oh by the way Mike they can’t be that good if they are nailed together – might have some problems with euro ncap. Not even sure if there are any nails used in Morgans.

  57. MG Motor UK is a design outpost for SAIC, this parent company owns the rights to a defunct British Manufacture brands and designs; they have stated a ‘China first’ policy which is their right to do and if I owned MG I would have a ‘home country first’ policy also.

    The problem is that the insignificant amount of cars sold in the UK by SAIC badged, as MG’s do not command the attention of the parent company, remember this is a tiny outpost of a truly huge company. If MG dies as a sales territory to SIAC, I would imagine that it would not be of a major concern to them.

    Added to this what ‘MG’ sells to the British public are mainstream cars (Austin’s, Morris’s and Standards of old) and have little of the previous MG brand’s dna, dynamics, or charisma. The little marketing effort made is poor, the dealerships seem largely unmotivated and the products patchy (no diesels for example) so it is of no surprise when I read the TF or MG6 issues as written about in these blogs.

    Being a realist, I believe SAIC should, as has been suggested here in a previous comment withdraw from the UK as a sales organization. I would think that they would be well placed to focus on the design centre, this may sadly see some layoffs from Longbridge manufacturing line but may actually be more profitable for the company in the UK and UK PLC in gerneral (if additional engineers are employed) at least until the Chinese master R&D as well as other established mainstream makers.

    The problem with the readers of this site is that you are all enthusiast, historians and torchbearers of one deceased manufacture or another that have a disproportionate view of the last ugly bastard rump of the once colossal BL known as MG.
    I know I fall into this as a ‘Triumph’ man.

    Anyway I would say that many people seem to largely ignore the successes that still exist from our old mate Leyland – Unipart, Land Rover, Jaguar, Leyland trucks, Optare, Swindon Pressings, MINI, Mi Technology, Albion Axles, and whatever ISTEL is now known as and all the host of others that I have missed like Alvis. And yes I know that most if not all these companies are not British owned anymore but they are still inexistence and have an impact on the British economy.

  58. @66, They are nice and cheap to match thier quality,compare a similar priced focus to the MG6 and it would be empty inside,What is the MG6 trying to be other than what it is? a chinese built car.

  59. “Now the name is used on appalling low quality tat from China that you simply would not have in your house. I hope MG have not gone the same way. Let’s face it, the words ‘made in China’ are usually stamped on terrible rubbish…”

    As was ‘Made in Japan’

  60. @69, Have you actually looked inside a Focus recently? They are pretty highly spec’d up now, and the 6 is insanely expensive for what it is, which is one thing hampering sales. It will be interesting to watch what Geely get up to

  61. @71,work on them daily,having some 2300 on the national fleet,mainly 1.6 econetics the remainder 1.0 ecoboost.
    Start adding winter pack,comfort pack and all the other toys and they become expensive,the MG6 is loaded up already,is better looking than the focus,ok ours are fleet cars but they are no better equipped than the i20/i30’s we have on the fleet either.
    I’m using only price comparisons,not value thats another argument altogether!

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