As usual, some excellent questions get posed by our readers. Take Ianto’s point in ‘Ask AROnline‘ – ‘I love Roewe! The cars, the adverts and the amazing website… There is something about the Chinese interpretation of all things British that brings a smile to my face.’ It’s probably an ironic question, as I remember the outcry from many Rover fans when the 750 was launched, and it came hand-in-hand with a toe-curlingly awful faux-English advert…
…but it does beg the question: are we ready – perhaps – for an influx of Roewes in Europe?
I’ve already stated in a previous blog that the MG marque is in very real danger of being tainted globally by the cynical badge-engineering that’s going on. The rebadged Roewes masquerading as MGs – with their octagons resting in Roewe-shaped indents – just aren’t good enough. The ability of the MG6 is in no doubt and I am sure that the Roewe 550 is just as good (but with a cool digital dash to boot), so why blur the lines overseas? Why not just send out Roewe 550s, 750s and 350s and forget the unnecessary badge-engineering? Is Roewe (as pronounced by us Anglophones as ‘Ro-vee’) that bad? Really?
Here, in the UK, the MG6 as been criticised for not being sporting enough. Okay, it’s quick enough across country and capable on the motorway, but you’d not get up an hour early to give it a damned good seeing to. In time, with the 2.0-litre engine and six-speed ‘box which are coming, you might change your mind. However, until then, maybe they should consider introducing the more vanilla Roewes as a way of protecting MG’s sporting ‘specialness’. Maybe that’s already gone? But perhaps there’s an opportunity to establish a relationship along the lines of MG Rover’s demarkation, back in 2001-2005?
Personally speaking, I think, with the arrival of Geely around the corner, SAIC might consider heading for the same market arena – but not with MG. And Roewe might be their answer. Perhaps…
Of course, it’s also worth bearing in mind that, with marque names such as Austin, Morris, Sterling and Wolseley in the bottom drawer, there might be some special bespoke English-based brand trickery on it’s way, anyway. Maybe an Austin Sprite (based on the MG3) might just be the perfect value alternative to BMW’s forthcoming MINI-Metro (oh, did I say that? You didn’t hear that from me… shhh!).
After all, as they say, fortune favours the brave…
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.
Latest posts by Keith Adams (see all)
- The cars : Austin Ambassador (LM19) development story - 19 January 2019
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- History : The Rover-Triumph story – Part Seventeen : 1975 - 16 January 2019