Blog : Photoshop to MG6’s rescue?

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Philip Crewe fires up Photoshop to make a few cosmetic tweaks to the MG6 – and reckons it’s far from a lost cause in the UK car market.

MG6 remix - Philip Crewe

With the imminent UK launch of the MG3, I was thinking about what could be done with the unloved MG6. It’s unfortunate that it was the first car to be introduced by MG Motor UK in its ‘home’ market. It straddles the C- and D-sectors (something Rover and its antecedents were guilty of time and time again) – these areas of the market are both declining in popularity in Europe and are hugely contested.

In reality,  the MG6 never stood a chance. Maybe in five or ten years’ time this won’t matter at all. By leading with the MG6, MG Motor UK ironed out all the issues surrounding its manufacturing process before trying to become a really serious UK and European car company with the MG3.

That’s not to say the MG6 is a bad-looking car. I had a quick play around with a picture of one on Photoshop and I think it wouldn’t be too difficult for MG to transform it from being a rather generic design and, indeed, make it quite handsome. Actually, I would go so far as to say it’s a much nicer car than the RDX60 that’s currently adorning the top image on this site’s homepage.

It’s never going to be a major seller but, based on MG’s success in the BTCC and using one of the UK’s many specialist tuning companies,  maybe it could move it into the market space vacated by the much-missed Subaru WRX and the Mitsubishi Evo? Just a thought… What do you think?

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

35 Comments

  1. I like the CS face on the MG6, it’d work well. Only thing is, I acn’t see MG changing the bonnet like you’ve done.. after all they didn’t change it from the Roewe550 to the MG6. The main thing that would help its cause is a basic trim level with a low price and more engines. Mraketing wouldn’t go amiss.

  2. Looks good.

    The RDX60 looks a little too Vauxhall Signum like.

    Straddling the C/D segments was never too big a deal for the Octavia – VW got the pricing right and used tried and trusted TDi engines for the most part.

  3. I thought the 6 wasn’t a bad looking car already, despite its lack of popularity. This photoshop image is a slight facelift improvement although I prefer the day running LED’s to be in the headlamps.

  4. Keith that’s a good start 🙂 It is interesting thought that the Chinese haven’t had a go at tweeking it. You would think that they would be able to put together some alternative spoilers and lighting options themselves without too much trouble. I think what you’ve done with the front and side spoilers is good – what about those awful tails lights on the car can you fix those too? alex

  5. Bearing in mind the MG6 has a modular front end design, it wouldn’t be difficult(or expensive) to redesign the front bumper moulding and the headlamps units as well, to create a more inspiring front end. This, together with some suitable secondary trim applique for the sides such as thin colour-coded door moulding strip, might give it a more assertive (and memorable) profile. After all if MG Rover Group could achieve this with their facelifted cars in their financially strapped final year, then the deeper resources of SAIC should easily be able to achieve something with similar success and in a short time period.

    Philip, your efforts are very encouraging. However, for me, who has a keen eye for unforgettable stylish design and a recognisable ‘face’, it needs more than just subtle tweaking. SAIC, please take note…

  6. The recently facelifted Roewe 550 looks good. Part of the problem with the 6 may be that it’s a Rover/Roewe pretending to be an MG and falling between two stools. When originally launched it was good for the Chinese market, OK for Rest of the World export markets but not competitive for Western Europe despite good dynamics and feature list.

    Given how fast the Chinese are coming on, the 3 should by now be production engineered to be competitive in Western Europe. I just hope MG UK are totally clear on their target markets, which I think should be a modern 25/ZR rather than a BMW Mini. (BTW, how popular are Vauxhall Adams proving to be – only ever seen one?)

  7. Nice render. I like the more aggressive sills, which is something that I think would improve the 6 by making it appear less slab-sided. I also think bigger wheels would help? Aren’t the wheels on the picture from an XF?

    Sadly, I understand that a refresh for the 6 is some way off as things stand. I agree with Will M above at post #3 about the positioning of the 6 not actually being the big problem. Sure, the D-sector is in decline but things like the Octavia sell a lot more in spite of this decline. The 6 should have done better than it has and a more aggressive or sporting style as has been adopted for the 3 over the Chinese versions would have been something that would have helped, IMO.

  8. http://bestsellingcarsblog.com/2013/06/16/china-5-months-2013-vw-lavida-and-ford-focus-double-sales/

    I was going to say that MG probably couldnt give a stuff about how few cars they are selling here, because their core market is China. But then I saw this. Its in 175th place in the sales charts, selling less than 5% the number of Ford Focus’s and outsold by amongst other things the Shanghai Englon SC7. A real no hoper.

    Ford seem to be doing very well there however. Couple that with recent success in the States and you start to understand why they seem content to let their European arm wither.

  9. @ 10 – interesting statistics indeed. However as the Ford Focus is a strong worldwide product, I hope they wont let their European arm wither.

  10. Interesting!! I like your styling tweaks Philip.

    However, the MG6 ain’t a bad looking or a bad car in general just as it is. It was never going to be a top seller, especially given the market segment it’s in, but again its extremely low sales are ultimately down to the minute marketing push.

    If the sales effort now starts with the MG3, 6 sales will increase markedly without any further promotion of this car. The extra showroom traffic resulting from people viewing the 3 will make people aware of the 6 for the first time.
    Subura WRX type versions on the back of BTCC success are a great idea!

  11. Sydney @9

    “Don’t waste your hard earned, by something Korean”

    Another needlessly negative comment!

  12. Car needs some bling and that’s what’s missing from the current range. Look at how the X300 Jaguar XJSport (about 1996) does it.

    Chromed or ally’d grille inserts as well as those side vents in the same style are fine but I’d stick with black surrounds for the door posts and frames.

  13. The MG6 doesn’t need Photoshop, it needs a more heavily taxed, less affluent, practicality over status driven buyer demographic and automotive market. The car itself is fine and looks good.

  14. How the MG6 looks is not the problem.

    It needs to shed about 300kg in weight and £7000 off the list price.

    If the first figure seems absurd, the Dacia Duster has almost identical principal dimensions – wheelbase, tracks – to the MG6. It weighs 1200kg in 2WD petrol form. The petrol turbo MG6 weighs 1480kg. MG would no doubt argue that theirs is a quality product, whereas the Dacia is an “affordable” car. That’s nonsense – ending up with a car so heavy, despite having the lightest 1.8 litre engine available, is just ineptitude.

    Building an MG6 successor on the much lighter and not much smaller MG5 platform (engineered by Ssangyong)would make sense as a starting point.

    MG’s only hope is to start from the bottom and work up. Placing their products at the same list prices as the market leaders hasn’t worked, and nothing’s going to change that.

  15. @7 Chris C asks – how popular are Vauxhall Adams proving to be – only ever seen one?

    Well, I’ve seen two. Both rooted to the local dealer’s forecourt since launch. Now sporting various money off and 0% finance stickers. Why do highly paid marketing professionals fail to see why a car lacks appeal in its target market when it’s pretty obvious to mere mortals like us ?

  16. I’ve seen several Vauxhall Adams on the road. As with most good GM Europe cars, I can’t help but think they would do well badged as Opels in the UK. The determination to hang on to the Vauxhall brand seems bizarre when GM themselves marketed Opel as the ‘sporty’ or ‘premium’ marque and sporty/premium is what sells these days.

    The Cascada was the perfect opportunity to bring Opel back to the UK, being as it is a bizarre orphan SAAB 9-3 convertible follow up.

  17. Last weekend Vauxhall were giving away 500quid of free petrol to anyone who bought one of their vehicles.

    We had a brief look at the Adam financial options, it is keenly priced compared to the likes of the MINI/DS3.

    However I think the badge did put us off, memories of boy racered Corsas, rusty Astras, Vectra minicabs putting out blue smoke.

    We would see past the Opel name over here too, as they are often grey imports / hire cars from the Republic/South of Ireland, you’re almost as likely to see an Opel as a Vauxhall especially in border counties.

    With the UK obsession for German brands, I don’t see why GM doesn’t do an ‘Opel’ – keeping ‘Vauxhall’ as a sports brand such as VXR / Holden imports like the VXR8. Bit like Rover and MG….

  18. Richard @ 19 and Will M @ 20 above,

    I totally agree with you about the Opel(Rover/Saab) and Vauxhall(MG) suggestion.

    I always thought of Opel as being a more Premium brand back in the day when GM sold Opel and Vauxhall through separate Dealer Networks here in the UK.

    Indeed, now that Chevrolet has been positioned as GM’s global Value brand, surely commercial logic dictates that Opel should be firmly positioned as GM’s European Premium brand – Opel would then occupy the same slot in GM’s brand portfolio here in Europe as Buick does in America and China.

    Unfortunately, if memory serves, some quite recent Automotive News Europe articles have given the impression that GM does not currently have quite such a clear perception of where Opel should be positioned…

  19. All i see is Adams in manchester,and i cant believe how many Cascadas i now see too, is there really a bad Vauxhall?

  20. @17 An MG ZT 1.8 160 weighs in at 1440kg in a car that has a lower body structure? Surely the greater premium feel of the ZT is not likely to add substantial mass, so one must conclude that it’s body is relatively heavy in relation to the size of the car?

  21. Spec for spec the MG6 is cheaper than a Focus-itself not a small car,only gripes being engine choice,the keyfob being the same weight as a fifty grand X5 (try them,i have)and most importantly the fact that its chinese-why that is a problem is beyond me. How foolhardy to state this car should be £7k cheaper,cringeworthy.

  22. @21 Clive Goldthorp

    Indeed, Buick traditionally had an Opel link, with Opels being sold as Buick-Opels such as the Kadett and Mk1 Manta.

    The Kadett C / Chevette-based Isuzu Gemini was sold in the US as the Opel Isuzu/Buick Opel.

    The Insignia is sold as the Buick Regal, the Mokka as the Buick Encore and Astra saloon as the Buick Verano.

    They did try and sell the Omega as a Cadillac once, it didn’t go down well due to being overpriced and relatively small in comparison to other offerings.

    And the Astra/Vectra were sold as Saturns (The Vectra getting a bit of a rebody).

  23. @25. Overpriced. The clue is in 13 UK registrations last month, notwithstanding the launch of the much-needed diesel.

  24. @27,That comment must have come via your rusty bullet hole.
    Its not the price its because it is chinese made and poorly marketed.

  25. @Andrew McCheyne

    Yep, GM really milked the J car platform.

    American nameplates:

    1982–1988 Cadillac Cimarron
    1982–1988 Oldsmobile Firenza
    1982–1989 Buick Skyhawk
    1982–2005 Chevrolet Cavalier
    1982 Pontiac J2000
    1983 Pontiac 2000
    1984 Pontiac 2000 Sunbird
    1985–1994 Pontiac Sunbird
    1995–2005 Pontiac Sunfire

    International J-bodies include:

    1982–1988 Opel Ascona C (Europe and South Africa)
    1982–1988 Vauxhall Cavalier Mk II (United Kingdom)
    1983–1989 Isuzu Aska (Japan) (originally called Florian Aska)
    1982–1989 Holden Camira (Australia and New Zealand)
    1982–1996 Chevrolet Monza (Brazil)
    1995–2000 Toyota Cavalier (Japan)
    1990–1997 Daewoo Espero (South Korea)

  26. Will M @ 26 above,

    Interestingly, Automotive News Europe has just run this story today:

    Opel-Buick link to grow stronger

    GM therefore appears to be moving back towards positioning Buick/Opel/Vauxhall as the company’s Premium-sector “hybrid global brand” with Cadillac as the Prestige marque and Chevrolet as the entry-level Value brand.

    However, for me, that still leaves a doubt about the long-term prospects for Vauxhall…

  27. @Clive Goldthorp

    I think the Vauxhall marque is safe, it is a cheap and trivial rebadging exercise that convinces a surprisingly large amount of buyers that the company is still a domestic car producer…

  28. @31, Its not a backward step for GM, Opel and Holden have long been recognised as excellent engineers in platforms and chassis engineering,ever wonder why the Cadillac STS got Rave reviews for its handling or its other muscle cars?

  29. Vauxhall is a domestic car producer. Go to Ellesmere Port and have a look.

    Why retain Vauxhall? Vauxhall does better here than Opel does in Germany. Which is the weak brand then?

  30. Graft the front end of the face lifted ZT onto the MG6 and loose the Nissan Primera rear lights. MG Rover cars were not ugly if you ignore the hatchback 45.

    MG, if you really do read these posts from potential customers, in fact fans of the marque who are more likely to buy into brand than anyone else, please listen when we say the styling of new MG’s just don’t look right from a European point of view.

    I fear there would have been more sales if the MG7 was imported back into the UK and offered instead of the MG6. Still a fine looking motor. Those lines were just right.

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