Blog : MG gets serious… or is that fun?

Keith Adams


Back in September, when I first drove the MG3, I came away feeling cautiously optimistic about this little car’s chances. The conclusion reflected these emotions – or, at least, I hope they did. ‘Overall, the ’3 is a likeable addition to the market that’s quick, stylish and cheap,’ I said. ‘Without sounding harsh on MG Motor UK, it would be a sure-fire hit if it was being sold by, say, Ford or Vauxhall. As it stands, it’s a good car that’s not perfect but, at the price MG is flogging it for, you can more than forgive its faults.’

The product is on the pace and its pricing is spot on. For me, this car has many of the required ingredients for success – it’s nice looking, goes well when you push it and can be bought for a very modest monthly outlay – as well as offering cheap insurance. Yes, there’s no ultra-low CO2 option, but as an honest, mildly sporting hatch that can be bought on a happy deal, the MG3 is a slam-dunk. Think of it as 2013’s Citroen Saxo VTR and you’re there.

However… The main reason I was optimistically cautious instead of ecstatic about the car, was down to getting the message out. I said in my original review: ‘The car needs marketing and needs a tangible, desirable image setting out from day one.’ The guys in PR and Marketing told me that was going to happen, but the proof of the pudding, and all that…

Well, 1 November is going to be considered day one for the MG3 – and here is the first TV advert for the car. Okay, it’s already been on sale for a little while and the first deliveries are now exiting the showrooms, but TV advertising is the only way that the message is going to spread further than the enthusiast and trade crowd. TV will bring real world punters – those who judge a car on its marketing, not its bore x stroke measurements. Currently, the people who buy dismal 1.2-litre Corsas with Viper stripes. Considered in that context, the MG3’s a slam-dunk, surely…

Here, then, is the first TV advert, due to start airing from Friday – do you think this advert has what it takes to pull them in? It looks good from where I’m sitting…


Keith Adams


  1. was actually surprised to see an ad for the MG3 in Auto Express last week.
    I like the TV ad, it not quite to my taste but then I don’t think i’m target audience, but i’m sure it will do the trick for those that are.

  2. Looking pretty good – I just wish they would be doing an automatic – seems odd for a small car not to have an auto option especially given that it is available in China. Auto drivers particularly at the city car end are less fussy for class leading gearboxes.

  3. I’m not that taken by the ‘British’ theming. I don’t think it’s particularly relevant or indeed interesting to most buyers.

    I wish the car well but to me the ad does not convey any particular USP or create desire to me.

    I have driven the car and confirm it’s good albeit the engine has no torque whatsoever. I actually thought it was much better than the MG6 diesel I drove which I was not that impressed with.

  4. Well, the ad is very much to the point. It will attract a lot of interest I think – “Ooh that looks good. New MG???! Only ten grand!”

    The discovery that the nearest is 50 miles away will end a lot of possible sales. Let’s hope those living close to a dealer will be enough set the ball rolling.

  5. “Yes, there’s no ultra-low CO2 option, but as an honest, mildly sporting hatch that can be bought on a happy deal, the MG3 is a slam-dunk. ”

    Which is absolutely going to kill it in the market place. If you are looking at a budget car, you don’t choose the one with poor MPG and tax rates. Even worse for younger drivers, who might be tempted by the sporting image. After being robbed by insurance companies, a car that is expensive to run has no chance.

    This isn’t a market you can survive in with an inferior product, and the MG is an inferior product. Slapping a union jack on it doesn’t get round the fact it is flatpacked from China.

    Yes engineering and chasis tuning is done in this country, which is good. It is still less British than the products produced by Honda and Nissan in this country.

  6. I quite like the MG3 styling if it drives as well as the Suzuki Swift and feels ok inside, Then I say its better looking and therefore a Hot little Number. alex

  7. As they seem to be aiming at a young(ish) buyer, it might have been worthwhile saying something about who MG are. To many potential customers today, the name MG will mean nothing; they will look at this advert and think “who makes it? It must be a new Ford/Vauxhall called the MG3”.

  8. the advert, although a welcome shock, alienates a vast majority of the buying public, and those are the ones with spare money, the ad places the car firmly in the market for young buyers, you know, the ones with no money, yet older people that want a nice run about with lots of floating pennies will be put off by it.

    And before anyone asks, yes they are, I have asked a few pensioners that love to drive if they would buy the car based on the advert, all said NO, it is a car for the young.

    SLAM DUNK, no, home run, no, caught out, yes, they need to sell as many cars as possible, so alienating a vast swathe of the buying public does no favours, my local dealer, still has sold NO MG’s new, and they have been advertising it locally, I get the feeling that again, the lack of engines and gearboxes will do for the MG3 that the MG6 has had to put up with…..

  9. Rover catered for those ‘old people’ and they repaid that by buying FOREIGN tat. It always amazes me that people can fight a war (or two) and then happily buy German or Korean cars yet won’t sit next to them on holiday!!!

    The advert is a disappointment its full of too many distractions.

    “poor MPG and tax rates”

    Seriously how tight have people got? This car returns well over 45 mpg and costs JUST £135 a year to tax.

    This beats every 25/ZR/Streetwise petrol model and when you compare petrol/diesel prices it even beats the L Series on running costs.

    A recent test of the 3 even suggested it returns decent mpg because it isn’t weighed down by pointless eco technology.

  10. Not a bad effort – quite memorable if they show it enough times and on the right TV channels. Interior shot is a bit poor/gloomy. They could have mentioned the lowest price too, eg if anyone was comparing it with the new more expensive i10.

    What’s with the blue faces of the soldiers – suspect there’s a homily there somewhere.

  11. Ahhhhh This hacks me off. Its NOT British and they fly our flag and we look on as Feckless fools….Buy a Nissan, Honda or Toyota they have cars that are more British. Why don’t they sell these as their own brand of Roewe and drop the Jack from the campaigns, I would have more respect for them.

  12. Good advert, good car. We need them in France to shake up the struggling car market this side of the channel!

  13. Doesn’t surprise me. SAIC promotes MG because of its British image, albeit a really hip, mod one. The importers in Colombia pulled a huge hit in the Bogota Automotive Expo, a year ago, with a “British High Street” stand full of red phone booths, Union Jacks and even a pub for closing deals.

    This is how the MG3 looked there:

  14. @22 You’ve got to be kidding me!
    The headquarters of MG are NOT in the UK, they only have a token assembly, which fits, bumpers, wheels, finishes to the interior and fit a Chinese engine in a pretty much already assembled Chinese car!!!!
    They design and engineer it hear but that does not give them the right to con everyone into thinking it is a British made car unlike Honda, Nissan and Toyota who actually do Manufacture in this country but don’t wave around the Union Jack and abuse Britain’s Heritage.
    Yes it is an Historically British Mark and they are abusing it under the noses of the Feckless British.(Yes that is what they think of us by the way). If they want to CLAIM it as British why don’t they bring the headquarters to the UK…… but why should they when we are so stupid and feckless about our own heritage!
    You will never see the Germans with that attitude which is why their Manufacturing is so much stronger than ours.

  15. Actually they don’t call us Moaning W***ers. The Call us FECKLESS! Which is an accurate description.

  16. Joey’s ‘lipstick for men’ aside, I suppose it’s a decent advert for the car and the target market. I just hope that they’ve bought an adequate amount of TV time for it. I recall the MG6 one wasn’t on that much – a week or two wasn’t it? If they are aiming for the young, then I expect to see it on E4, ITV2 etc. for the next few months at least. Fingers crossed their advertising campaign isn’t just a flash in the pan!

  17. Really impressive… Nice bit of design work, appealing, and a flip of the usual trend of advertising the lowest, most basic model’s price.

  18. Well the ad is not to my taste to much like a dodgy 60’s sergant peppers copy but it gets your attention and if they get some decent airtime then they may shift some.

    I do find it funny about people moaning about British link. Think most people forget that Jag and LR are owned by Indians, MINI by BMW, Lotus by Malyasians but all push britishness (especially MINI whom is not designed here, and in case of the 4×4 not built here). And the Japs do promote the built in briatin badge – Nissan Primeras built in the uk were shipped to Japan with a union jack attached and had a huge waiting list for!

  19. An excellent advert with a Communist cap and a picture of what looks like General Cluster in the side window at the end.

    Totally bonkers.

  20. #31. The point you make is precisely why the “British” connection is criticised in the case of MG. In the case of all the other examples you give, the cars are made in Britain ( 4WD Mini excepted )

  21. @31 Know one forgets that all these companies are owned by foreign firms but Jaguar Land Rover and Lotus have their headquarters in the UK and are British firms with overseas owners and build their cars here. The vast majority of Minis are manufactured here. The Japanese MANUFACTURE here so if they want to wave the Jack and promote British Build quality then Fine but they don’t ram it down our throats while pretending to be British which is exactly what SIAC do. It exasperates me that so many don’t have any pride in what is British and allow this type of flagrant abuse to continue. Before anyone starts on the “design and engineering”, that simply isn’t enough without true manufacturing or a UK headquarters before claiming to be BRITISH!
    We must Protect the “British” Trade Mark as Germany protects the “German” trademark.
    Made in Britain is Valued throughout the world and we need to wake up because it certainly isn’t “funny”

  22. I like that ad! Now, if they ran that here in Oz with a $14990 drive away price, they’d be run out the door.

  23. @18 – poor mpg and high tax rates are amongst peoples concerns when buying a new car, you can buy a brand new Suzuki Alto, for less than £6k, with co2 levels at 99g/km and at nearly 70mpg, so all the figures are in the right places.

    The new engine is not at all refined, and nothing like the old K-Series, however, you can not compare it to the K-Series (mpg/co2), as they do not exist anymore, so please dont compare a near 10 year old engine with a modern up to date unit, the MG is out classed by nearly all its competition.

    Like I have said before, it would be interesting to know, how many cars have been bought from people who frequent these and other Mg related forums, and those that bought the car, because they needed a new one and just chose that, i feel that the fandom out weighs the true customer.

  24. Why do people seem obsessed with ‘Britishness’ when it comes to MG?!

    I dont care that it is Chinese owned or Chinese built – just that it is a sporty little, affordable car that stays in line with the MG ethos – which this and the MG6 both do.

    People watched BMW asset strip Rover (which was British) and then became loyal BMW customers?!!

    Yet the Chinese buy a defunct British brand and market it as British and its as if theyve committed a heritage crime?!

  25. …….I forgot to add whilst I was replying to the mindless negativity that the MG3 is a fantastic little sporty car and drives ‘like an old school warm hatch’ (in the words of Autocar).

    The advert seems directed straight at the heart of the target market and should hopefully start shifting some metal.

  26. From the MG Facebook page, ‘Our national MG3 TV ad will appear from today on selected satellite channels, and on mainstream terrestrial and SKY channels from Monday. This weekend’s début, expected to reach the most viewers, is the ITV2 Sunday night family movie, Dragonheart. From next week the ad will appear in breaks on The X-Factor, Emmerdale, Coronation Street, Grand Designs, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Celebrity Juice, Doc Martin and I’m a Celebrity.’

  27. @37 & @38 “I don’t care” then go and live in China if you’re that unpatriotic and feckless…. BMW didn’t “Asset strip” they just cocked it all up. I think Sir it is you that is MINDLESS and incompetent at understanding the economic situation. The Country cannot run properly without manufacturing and Heritage is one of “OUR” assets. SAIC wasn’t the only offer on the table.
    ….Although I now wonder if you are a SAIC employee on this website.
    Glad to hear you admit it is Chinese built!… lets wave the Union Jack.

  28. @40 whats your problem mate? You seem to dig way to hard at anyone that says anything other than your party line! BMW did asset strip Rover group! all there 4×4 use tech taken from Land Rover! They took the only mark they really wanted, MINI!

    If you don’t like anything other than british built goods, I bet your house is really empty!!

  29. @41
    Taking Tech From Land Rover isn’t asset stripping. You don’t understand what asset stripping is.
    BMW didn’t go into buying Rover to get mini or they wouldn’t of invested millions into the Rover 75. They just messed up and came away with what they could and left MG Rover with a £500,000 loan, which basically amounted to a gift.
    If “party line” means being patriotic against people in this country who couldn’t care less about British Manufacturing and abuse of our Heritage and our Flag then so be it.
    I dont mean to be offensive but I’m digging hard because I’m so fed up with British apathy mate and the complete lack of understanding in this country of what Chinese opinion is of us is. When you talk to them and the Germans for that matter they literally cant believe what we have given away and believe me or not, they do think of us as Feckless…..I don’t seem to be able to get this through to people and yes I probably am going in too hard at people through frustration. That’s my fault and I apologise.
    Its not about buying British its about manufacturing in this country and what a British tag means. What do we have if we let that go too.

  30. Time to get up to date mate, the car industry is global now.

    Vws aren’t built in Germany, Hondas aren’t built in Japan and MGs aren’t built in Britain (although they are designed and engineered here at the European head office in longbridge).

  31. @42, What British manufacturing? get real pal, we have a handful of car plants with a fraction of the manpower of car plants of thirty years ago never mind the record output.

    If you want to see proper industry try Germany or china, our politicos and spivs spunked our industry away.

  32. @42 so taking patents away from a company so they can’t use them isn’t asset stripping!?! So I know what it is! Yes BMW f**ked off and ran when there stupid plan went south!

    I care about UK manufacturing, but there is no money in low end manufacturing, fact! Look at what Dyson did, cut manufacturing from wiltshire to Malaysia for 2 reasons, 1) he was refused planning permission to increase the factory size, and 2) the money he saved could go to R&D. He now employees more people in the UK doing marking and R&D work than where lost in manufactring!

    The manufacturing world is global now! Let China and the like do the low end, and we’ll stick to high end goods.

  33. @41 The only way BMW could have used Land Rover technology in the X5 was with a time machine as the car was already signed off by the time they bought Rover. If you look at the facts by the time BMW, BMW money had bought Land Rover left they had a state of art production line for the Freelander rather than having the bodies made in Finland as Rover had planned and a new Range Rover signed off for production which was based on BMW technology and evolved out of the X5. The only bit of Land Rover technology they took was the hill decent system.

    As for the Mini it was all but dead by the time BMW turned up, the concept of a new Mini Cooper came from the BMW studio, Gaydon wanted to replace it with a small city car.

  34. KC @14

    I think even to a 19 year old whose never heard of MG, it’s fairly clear from the advert that MG are the maker. The MG logo at the start, a couple of reasonably clear shots of the MG badge on the car and showing at the end.
    Either way, the ad will attract interest amongst potential (young) buyers. Hopefully, they will be keen enough to investigate who MG are now ( if not who they once were )

  35. Graham @ 46

    Interesting point – I’m no BMW supporter but I guess their handling of Rover is sometimes too critical, ill informed.

  36. @43
    Stop writing you’re making me laugh too hard. vW don’t make cars in Germany…..its not worth saying anymore to you.
    Now I know you know Francis that we have British manufacturing and JLR have become very succesful, man power isn’t the issue and the point I’m making as you know. Giving up because a bunch of idiotic poltitians isn’t who we should be as a people.I totally respect the German and Chinese people as they back their manufacturers and support their industry. We can learn much from them.

    Dave @46 has answered most of your comments with his knowledge.
    I’m very glad to read you care about UK manufacturing, its a relief in fact that you do. Dyson cut and ran with excuses about planning, the British executive usual lack industrial pride and just filling their own pockets instead of builing a future for our children. Striking use to be the British disease but that has now replaced it. Bosch wouldn’t of done that with pride in their own countries capabilities.
    Yes let the far east manufacture the low end goods, couldn’t agree more but don’t let them abuse our British tag in the process, as I said in a previous comment why don’t Saic just sell it as a Roewe and fly the red flag, I wouldn’t have a problem with that. If they want a believable MG the headquarters need to be here or its just a uncredible joke.

  37. @45, There is no shame in stamping spoons out anymore than its high end nanotechnology we may be good at, call centers for drones isn’t any good at all.

    Why should we leave small industry to anyone? why do you think Germany is the industrial powerhouse it is?

    Their economy is booming like nobody Else’s,and credit and cadging is shameful.

    Funnily enough why is “Great” Britain the dumping ground for payday lending companies that are banned in a lot of EU countries?

  38. An essay published here in 2004…

    Why did BMW buy Rover?

    This is a very interesting question. For a company with the prestige of BMW to have purchased a car company and then dumped Rover after such a short time, questions must be raised as to why exactly did they buy the company in the first place, and did they ever really intend to keep it?

    BMW had a highly developed and nurtured image. However, they also had a very limited market into which they sold cars. BMW had been described as a company that ‘made only one saloon, but in three different sizes’. Although their market was expanding, global consolidation of the motor industry threatened either their independence or their ability to continue to make cars competitively, depending on how you viewed it.

    BMW therefore needed to expand their market, and thus their product base. However, to do this threatened to destroy their carefully nurtured image. If they were to develop a cheaper range of cars to compete with VW, Ford, Fiat and other mass market players, surely this would devalue the BMW brand. Other companies had already seen it become increasingly difficult to have a brand stretched between the extremes of a small budget car and a large luxury car. Ford failed to achieve a quality reputation with their Scorpio when they also produced the Fiesta. Fiat’s Croma was a dismal market failure, whereas their small cars like the Uno were market successes that sold extremely well. Where companies have had successes in both of these market areas, they have achieved this with multiple brands, such as the VW Group’s use of Skoda at the lower end of the market, going through Seat and VW up to Audi at the premium end of the marketplace – as well as owning exclusive brands like Bentley. Ford now have multiple brands as part of their ‘Premier Automotive Group’ (Jaguar, Lincoln, Aston Martin, Volvo and Land Rover) and have all-but abandoned the high end of the market under the Ford badge.

    The options that faced BMW were to either buy an existing brand (or brands), or to build a new brand from scratch. The latter option, the route taken by the Japanese with Toyota creating Lexus, Honda creating Acura for the American market and Nissan creating Infiniti, also for the North Americans, was initially the route that BMW appeared to be taking. Spy shots and leaked information showed that BMW were at least investigating, if not actually developing for production, front-wheel-drive technology. Front-wheel-drive is something that would never appear in a BMW-badged car, as rear-wheel-drive is a core value of the brand. However, this is not the route that BMW eventually took.

    The opportunity arose to look at Rover when BMW were to supply diesel engines to the Rover Group for the new Range Rover. The Rover Group had recently had a huge upswing in sales to continental Europe when the market there was contracting, Rover being the only company to actually grow their sales at that time. Furthermore, their sales were actually on course to overtake BMW’s.

    When BMW looked at Rover, they were impressed. Their opinion was that in terms of quality, Rover were as good as, if not in some cases better than, BMW. Rover appeared to fit perfectly with BMW. There was very little in the way of overlap. Rover cars would be able to fit below BMW in the line-up. Land Rover did not compete with BMW at all, and yet had a luxury image that complemented BMW’s perfectly, and an under-developed, ‘latent’ brand of Mini (Bernd Pischetsrieder, BMW’s chairman was the nephew of Sir Alec Issigonis, the Mini’s designer). However, best of all, there was a cupboard-full of heritage that BMW could exploit (MG, Riley, Austin-Healey, Triumph, etc) – and to an Anglophile like Pischetsrieder, this was manna from Heaven.

    The deal to buy the Rover Group from British Aerospace was completed in a whirlwind 10 days. BAe were keen to dispose of Rover, as the company did not fit well with their core interests of Aerospace and defence. The high capital-consuming business of long-run, mass production of low-cost consumer products had little synergy with the low capital-consuming, build-to-order, niche production of high-value items such as Airbus wings or military jets. BAe were keen to sell, BMW wanted to buy.

    Honda were the only problem. Honda, Rover’s partner for over a decade, were deeply entwined with Rover’s fortunes. Rover cars were not only heavily dependent on Honda for their engineering, but the company was 20% owned by Honda (the Rover Group owning the remaining 80%) and the Rover Group owned 20% of Honda’s UK manufacturing facility in Swindon. Honda, however, were not interested in working with BMW. They did not want to retain their equity stake in a Rover now owned by a competitor and they wanted their 20% of Swindon back. The cross-holding was quickly unwound.

    However, this background does not tell us exactly why BMW shelled out so much to purchase Rover. Did BMW buy to expand their portfolio and manufacturing base or to thwart their competitors? Although at the time, it was seen as the former, the latter objective cannot easily be dismissed as fantasy. If, as was believed at the time, Rover were on course, with their Honda-derived vehicles, to overtake BMW in terms of sales volume in Europe – and Rover were definitely trying to become “Britain’s BMW” – was strangulation from inside the only way of stopping this threat? It was also the case that killing the Honda-Rover partnership would set back the European plans of Honda – another “quality competitor”, as viewed by BMW.

    Did BMW ever really mean to keep Rover?

    Since Day One, BMW were very specific about where they spent money on investment. Those areas in which they invested were either kept after the sale of Rover (Cowley, Swindon, Hamms Hall etc) or sold for a big profit (Land Rover). The cars they were developing, but which were not launched, were retained. As was the Triumph marque. There will be massive capacity at Cowley for making these cars, as there will be at other BMW plants around the world.

    The engine for the new Mini was never intended to be built by Rover. Very early on, it was decided that it would be made for BMW by Chrysler, in South America, so BMW was never going to be dependent on Rover facilities for making this vital part of the new Mini. At the time, the strange decision not to use the K-series engine was never explained or understood. In the light of later developments, a possible explanation becomes clear. It was also possible that BMW viewed Chrysler (prior to its takeover by Daimler-Benz) as a possible purchaser of the parts of Rover that it did not want to retain.

    Under BMW, Rover’s dealership base was drastically cut. There was very little in the way of new models coming out (The 400, 200 and MGF were already substantially developed when BMW purchased Rover. Only the Rover 75 was developed and launched under BMW, in a period of five years.) With this in mind, is it surprising that there was a sales decline – induced by BMW’s management?

    Rover was Honda’s partner and also its foothold into the European marketplace. By killing that partnership overnight, Honda were set back in Europe by anything up to four years. Did BMW see Honda as a significant threat that had to be stopped?

    It could be argued that BMW wanted a quick start in 4×4 to be able to compete with Mercedes-Benz. Once the X5 had been developed and launched (with Land Rover technology, know-how, etc for sure), BMW no longer needed Land Rover. It has been said that Land Rover was raped and pillaged by BMW and that without it BMW could not have produced the X5. It was also questionable at the time as to why BMW developed the X5 when they had the Land Rover brand in their portfolio. Looking back, it could be argued that they never intended to keep Land Rover, only to gain the knowledge that this world leader possessed.

    The Rover 75 was launched – a car that competed with BMWs, remember – with the same high-tech diesel engine as the BMW 3 and 5 series. However, it was in a lower spec than that available to BMW customers. BMW launched this car and then tied one arm behind its back. They would not allow it to take sales from BMW.

    When the Rover 75 was launched at the Motor Show, BMW executives stood up in front of the new car and said that they were thinking of closing down the Longbridge plant. As marketing initiatives go, this was a pretty bloody stupid one. It was no wonder that the car – What Car?‘s car of the year – was a slow seller. However, despite how it might appear on the surface, BMW are not stupid. They are masters of the marketing machine. This can only have been a deliberate ploy to give BMW the ability to exit with the assets they had invested in.

    So let’s have a look at exactly where BMW invested, and ask the question:

    Did BMW lose money on Rover?

    Publicly, yes. Privately, probably not.

    BMW did invest in Rover during it’s ownership. However, the vast majority of that investment they either still own or sold at a fair value or a vast profit.

    · They purchased the whole Group for £800,000,000, then sold Land Rover alone for £1,800,000,000. That is a £1bn increase on its own.

    · The vast majority of the investment in plant went to Cowley (or Rover Oxford as BMW called it). BMW retained this plant.

    · BMW invested in a new engine facility (Hamms Hall). BMW have retained this plant.

    · BMW retained the Longbridge Engine & Transmissions facility, thereby forcing Rover to buy components from BMW to be able to make cars. The same goes for the Swindon panel pressing plant. BMW made money out of Rover car sales, even if Rover were making a loss. Eventually, they sold these facilities to Phoenix, but it was for a fair value, and not included in the £10.

    New models developed or in development were:

    · The Rover 75
    · The Rover Rover 400/45 replacement – development retained by BMW
    · The Rover Rover 200/25 replacement – development retained by BMW
    · The Land Rover Freelander
    · The new Mini – retained by BMW
    · The Range Rover replacement

    During BMW’s ownership, it is questionable that Rover were making the huge losses that BMW claimed. Since Rover’s accounts were not open to public inspection, several questions remain unanswered:

    · How much was Rover charged for BMW’s management time?

    · How much was Rover charged for ‘BMW Training’ of Rover technicians in Germany, when in reality, Rover employees were put on the production lines to make BMWs.

    · How much work did Rover do on BMW products, like the BMW X5 4×4, which was not cross-charged back to BMW?

    If all of these factors were in BMW’s favour within the BMW Group, Rover would have been a dumping ground within the BMW Group for excess costs to inflate the BMW side of the business’s apparent fortunes.

    When BMW sold Rover, they included the following assets…

    · Most of the Longbridge plant (anything that had received investment, BMW retained to sell later on.)
    · The Austin brand
    · The MG brand
    · A licence to use the Rover name (but not to own it)
    · The stock of unsold cars
    · The drastically weakened dealer network.

    …plus the rights to produce:

    · The Rover 75, 45 and 25.
    · The old Mini for a short while
    · The MG-F

    But this lot is still cheaper than making everyone at Rover redundant and paying severance payments etc. Also, actually closing Rover would have been very unpopular – and the UK is BMW’s second-biggest market, after all.

    BMW have retained the following:

    · The Rover brand (this was a condition by Ford to stop Rover producing a 4×4 and branding it as a Rover, thus confusing the marketplace with regard to Land Rover)

    · The Triumph brand

    · The Riley brand

    · The Mini brand

    · All of the cash in Rover, as well as the debtors and creditors

    · The Cowley facility

    · Parts of Longbridge (engine & transmissions production – even though these engines and transmissions are not used by BMW). This was sold later to Phoenix.

    · The Swindon pressings facility

    · The Hamms Hall engine plant

    BMW sold the following to Ford:

    · Land Rover, including its dealer network

    · The Rover Group’s development facility at Gaydon

    · The Heritage Motor Muesum at Gaydon (including Rover’s Heritage Collection)

    It could be argued that BMW purchased Rover for a bargain-basement price in order to stop it from becoming a competitor to BMW itself. They also put back Honda by four years, preventing another competitor from stepping on their toes. They invested selectively, only in the areas that they could sell on at a profit once they had acquired capability in those areas themselves. The crippled Rover that was left was ‘set free’ as a manufacturer with no development facilities or on-going development to use, with a largely outdated model range and, initially at least, dependent on BMW for the purchase of components (engines and panels) without which they could not build any cars. Leaving BMW with the modern facilities, the products in the pipe-line that it had wanted all along (ie: those which complemented the BMWs rather than competed with them), and a marque that they could resurrect – Triumph – and were not dependent on an outside supplier to be able make.

    The overall cost of the excercise, once fully adjusted, was possibly minimal. Certainly a lot cheaper than creating a new marque from scatch. And a new marque would not have had the world-known abilities of the “MINI” brand which BMW are now actively exploiting.

    This could be seen as a cynical view. However, in the cold light of day, the facts fit the theory. Personally, I am inclined towards this theory more than against it. BMW learnt a lot from Rover about what they can and cannot do in the mass market.

    It is still to be seen whether BMW will launch a new product range by resurrecting ‘Triumph’. There is no other reason for having the Hamms Hall engine and transmission facility built (especially if the currency issue was as bad as they tried to claim when they ditched Rover); for retaining the Triumph brand; or for retaining the new model developments and continuing to work on them as was reported after the abandonment of Rover.

    It is also possible that the events that took place were an exit-strategy that BMW had planned all along. It may have been one route out of many that they considered (ie, if Rover was a success, they might have continued with it.)

  39. And the response…

    Motoring journalist Mike Duff explains why he feels that much of the anti-BMW feeling following the sale of Rover to the Phoenix consortium is completely unjustified.

    BMW lost much in their six years controlling Rover – enough for the controlling shareholders, the Quandt family, to push through the sale of Land-Rover to Ford, following huge inward investment in the Tempest (facelifted Discovery) and 2001 Range Rover (Wolfgang Reitzle’s “company” car). BMW also learned an important lesson about UK politics after the huge frustration suffered by Bernd Pischetsrieder at the hands of New Labour.

    BMW were so weakened by “The English Patient”, that there was a very real danger of the company being swallowed by Volkswagen if they didn’t jettison Rover when they did… Pischetsrieder wanted Rover to flourish under BMW; Wolfgang Reitzle did not. It caused a boardroom war and, in the end, both top men lost their jobs.

    If BMW truly planned to use and dispose of Rover, would they really have planned to sacrifice the CEO and his deputy in the process?

    Surely BMW were less than committed to Rover because they used a Chrysler engine in the MINI

    The K-series is already life expired, and was meant to die with the 25 in 2005, the 75 going over to 1.8 and 2.0 litre ‘Valvetronic’ transverse fours at the same time or earlier. It is a perfectly adequate engine, of course, but lacks torque and is not certified for US emissions. Indeed, but for some very nifty spadework by post-split Rover, it wouldn’t even be certified for Euro IV. The Chrysler MINI engine, although a fairly rough old lump, is lower (making for easier packaging) and has good low-down torque – vital for selling cars in the USA and its emissions were (easily) certifiable there – including California LEV – which there’s no evidence a K-series could pass, however hard it was twiddled with.

    Rover was never a viable BMW competitor.

    There was minimal product overlap in very few markets. Even by the mid Nineties Rover’s sales were little more than nominal in all European markets except Spain, Portugal and Italy. None of which were big BMW markets at the time. The only real overlap was with the 600 and the BMW E36 3-series and possibly the 400 tourer with the E36 estate. Rover was also marketed in Germany, and I think also in France as a mainstream rather than a premium brand. The idea of Rover taking significant sales from BMW with any of its mid ’90s on products is – frankly – laughable.

    Land Rover involvement in X5:

    No, no, no… The X5 is based on the existing four-wheel drive 5-series ‘X’, the only technical transfer is the lifting of Hill Descent Control. (Which, incidentally, Toyota now offers a copy of on the Land Cruiser). There WAS substantial BMW engineering in the new Range Rover, but that’s a radically different argument. And before anyone says anything, the X3 is based on the 3-series ‘X’. While the Freelander is based loosely on various bits of Maestro.

    Land Rover engineers might well have been shocked at the lack of off-road kudos of BMW’s X-products. But they certainly weren’t as shocked as BMW engineers were by the utterly terrible build quality of Land Rover products. Hence the introduction of QZ, BMW’s biggest gift to the company…

    The dearth of new models pre-Rover 75

    This is very true. But Rover’s far from overwhelming management was very much running the ship, coming from a basis of lightly re-skinning Hondas. The big question should be WHY the 75? It was already obvious that the Gen II 200/400 were rapidly going to fall behind class standards – and yet they were always supposed to be soldiering on until 2003/2005. The 75 was a vastly expensive project (not based on the 5-series – rather a unique platform) going into a market segment where the company was already having difficulty gaining ‘brand credibility’ with the over-priced and over-marketed 600…

    The questionable marketing of the Rover 75

    The 75′s misguided ‘Englishness’ was entirely a Rover call, as was a deliberate effort to market the car as being upmarket. Journalists were told when the 75 came out that it was ‘categorically not’ a rival for the Peugeot 406 or VW Passat! Shorthand to fleet buyers: go away, we don’t want you. Quite why BMW Group needed two upmarket brands, esp. as Rover had been bought to provide mass-market cars, is a mystery.

    Land Rover gained so much – would this be so if BMW intended to sell it?

    Land Rover gained an enormous amount from BMW. Indeed, without BMW, it is highly doubtful whether the company would still be around in present form (Rumours of an as-yet undisclosed ‘black hole’ in the finances still persist) BMW lost a vast amount on the engineering of new Range Rover, money it will not get back. Similarly the re-engineering projects for Tempest and Freelander don’t suggest the actions of a company intent on asset stripping and fleeing.

    BMW invested a great deal in the UK – why do it if it wasn’t intending to stay?

    And – of course – if BMW had been planning this all along then why on earth build Hamms Hall? Its very location was because the majority of valvetronics were meant to be going to Rover, Land Rover and possibly Mini 2… Instead of which, like the E-series, they’ve now got a state-of-the-art engine plant destined to run at below capacity for the rest of time…

    MINI stayed with BMW – surely that was exploitation?

    Taking MINI? Why not? How on earth was Rover supposed to market MINI around the world, with no proper sales network outside parts of Europe? Cowley certainly wouldn’t be working three shifts if it was knocking out MG Rover MINIs….

    Reitzle’s plan?

    The alternative for Rover being considered by BMW seems to have revolved around building MINI and R75 on one site (probably Cowley), farming R35 and R55 out to low-cost foreign production and closing other site, sacking all staff there. R&D would have been mostly moved to Germany with just limited ‘optimisation’ staff in the UK – as with Seat in Spain or Skoda in the Czech Republic. Would Rover workers/supporters really have preferred that to what actually happened?

    There IS a case that Rover’s hands are being unfairly tied in terms of limited market sector presence and the rights to the various brand names. But my personal take is that BMW acted very honourably throughout. During the period that certain people at Longbridge were scrawling swastikas over German-export Rover 45s (the logic is just SO incredible…) BMW AG was negotiating contracts with various stranded Rover Expats in Munich, including a close friend of mine who was offered extremely generous in-lieu-of-redundancy package funded entirely by BMW, which could have just bought him a single on Ryanair if so minded. He’s still over there.

    And finally – BMW is not working on anything based on the aborted R35/R55. There might be some ‘technical leak’ into the forthcoming 2G MINI, but very little as the car will be based closely on the current model. 2G MINI will also be bigger, lapping perfectly against the BMW 1-series, which will make BMW a full range maker for the first time. Outside of MINI and MINI variants, the company has once again stated that it will not be moving away from rear-drive cars…

  40. Funnily enough I did the Solihull tour last week…
    The guide stated that the B*W and RR models were developed side by side and only the First Unpleasantness split them…
    Anyway, I saw an 3 on the road earlier this week, and it looked pretty good. Shite in pictures, but on the road, in real life, like the 6, it looked far better.
    Ignore the stupid stickers and choose a good colour and its a decent looking car.
    If they had dealer coverage, and I was totally sure they werent going to balls it up again and I would be supported and looked after properly, then I might have a look at one.
    As it stands, MG are like an alcoholic begging for another chance.. “We promise this time will be different, we won’t screw up again…”

  41. Just read my comment 48 – Oh dear, I am tired! Hope everyone got the point but it should have read like this –

    I am no great BMW supporter but comment on their handling of Rover is often a bit too critical, ill informed.

  42. I’d like to see the MG3 do well, B** cocked up getting rid of Rover, they are having to introduce front wheel drive to the 1 Series and vastly expanding the MINI to make it profitable to build in the UK. Had they ran Rover better and not left it to sink I think they would be in a better position actually and I’m sure many owners of Rover products of old might even be tempted to own one, but as it stands myself and many other followers of the venerable old Rover company would quite like to see B** wiped off the face of this planet.

  43. I am saddened by the level of whinge in this thread. It looks like MG is finally beginning to get its shit together here, and all many people seem to be able to do is bleat about BMW and whine about China.

    Such a shame!

    I know it’s not perfect, but we had our chance and blew it. Just be thankful our now foreign owned car industry is doing so well. If MG does well, builds cars here and creates jobs, why would that be a bad thing? Why do so many people come here – and keep coming back – to complain about BMW and China. The world moved on – thank goodness we’re still playing a small part in it.

    Someone also made the point about Nissan, Honda and Toyota in the uk. I do support them through aronline, and more often than not, there’s dollops of whinge on there, too. Take a look at the current Qashqai story to see what I mean.

    Such a shame.

  44. As far as China is concerned we are lucky they both want to invest in the company, here in the UK and lucky they don’t need to sell thousands of MGs a month here in the UK, otherwise we would have nothing.

  45. @57
    What I find a shame is that you winge about people debating an article you post and say people are complaining about valid points.AROLINE is about “made in Britain”. The MG isnt. I do back you however on your point about Honda Nissan and Toyota.
    I do hope that SAIC do eventually manufacture here too and don’t continue to pretend…….

  46. It isn’t yet made in Britain. If they decide to go against their original statement that they would put it together here, I’ll happily drop the MG3 from the site. I’ll take out the Leyland P76 while I’m at it…

    And, I’m not whinging and whining – I’m stating my disappointment, to be honest. A very big difference.

  47. So if people are going to whinge about SAIC using Britishness to sell MG, then they should be moaning about HP Sauce, Cadbury’s, Dyson, Ford Transits etc. None of these great British products are made here anymore but keep their British image. What about Reebok as well? Reebok Classics have a union jack on them, are owned by a German sports brand and are made in China!

    Sorry but the world is now global, and the MG was designed here (except for that engine) and we should be backing it, cos if it does catch on SAIC will build them at Longbridge, just as Hyuandi/Kia now build in Europe.

  48. Oh and forfot to say the reason Britain does not have a great industrial base is the poor British management, greedy investors and unions that are run by left wing fruits who are more interested in their own power than the workers they represent – Grangemouth proves this.

  49. I’m not Whinging either in that case and being accused of it is frustrating. My objective and so should everyone else’s, is to keep pressure on SAIC so they do eventually manufacture or assemble cars properly in the UK. If they think they can get away with wheel fitting etc then they will continue to do that while claiming its British and to me that’s not fair on JLR, Nissan,Toyota and Honda and all other British manufacturers. My point about headquarter would add credibility to the Marketing of MG, something they don’t seem to get.
    Surly you understand and take my point and please continue to post good articles Keith!

  50. @61 Cadbury is still British and do manufacture in the Uk ,they’ve been bought by Kraft as many companies have. Dysons headquarters are in the UK. ford sell the Transit just as a Transit? No idea about HP sauce. There is an issue with the manufacture of most sports goods and ethics surrounding it, thats a global fact, union flag on it, yes, irritating to me anyway. only because one does it doesn’t make it right.
    Absolutly correct greedy short sited investors but there is a growing desire to manufacture in this country again. Unions are nothing like they were in the 70s and 80s, the idiots at Unite have been put back in box with serious egg on their faces.

  51. HP was moved from Birmingham to the continent some years ago, Holland possibly.

    All Ford have done over the last 10 years is move production abroad and close factories. Yet mug punters still buy their tat and refer to it as British!

    If you want to support UK PLC with your car purchase then I suggest an Astra or a Note. Both excellent family cars and they are made here.

  52. I refer to my earlier post @26.
    All we get is reheated nonsense about China and JLR and BMW.
    Is this section about the MG3 or a twatting Massey Fersuson? If you want to seperate the ice cream from the bullshit buy the books on the collapse of Rover before becoming an armchair authority.

    For me, ARonline which i hold in reverence is made in Britain- by people that love cars.

  53. And there is no such thing as UK plc its waffle repeated from politicians, i dont think they have a clue what it means either.

  54. @67 Here, here! UK plc is utterly meaningless, we live in a global economy and we all need to understand that.

    @60 I hope it doesn’t come to that, just because a car isn’t made here it would be a shame not to see it covered on this site. Full marks to SAIC for getting the pricing and advertising right, the engine can always be perfected. There are many examples of new cars being launched with sub par engines, which were replaced over the lifetime of the car.

    If this car is successful here it could lead (eventually) to some level of local EU production, and that has to be good news for Europe.

  55. A digression, yes, but I’ve read and thought more on the whole BMW, Rover issue.

    The fact BMW, when selling Rover, kept the bits they had invested in or sold at a profit (Land Rover) does suggest it was all planned from the start. The fact they saw Rover and Honda as a threat also suggests there was never a long term plan to keep Rover.
    However, I do think there was an initial desire to see Rover succeed. The exit strategy was pure business – make as much from the situation as you can. That said, I do think Rover could have been left as a car company rather than a car plant. BMW ‘made good’ by selling Land Rover and keeping Cowley & MINI. Did they really have to deny Rover development facilities, R55, engine production, its own name (!!). Did they have to cripple it so much?

  56. @69, Interesting point Dave, the 75 was stronger torsionally than anything BMW had in their stable and it never ceased to amaze me how brilliant some ARG/Rover engineers were given little resources, so in a small way did they see Rover as a threat if they enjoyed a resurgence?

  57. I have discovered I am the MG3 target audience. Saw the advert for the first time on gold in the middle of 2.4 children. Love B
    elinda Lang

  58. Keith @57

    See your point entirely, Keith. There should be more talk of now, the future and support of MG UK. I am very keen to see MG UK succeed and glad that there is at least something left. The 3 and the 6 won’t be perfect but I’m not going to criticise them. I probably have questioned SAIC strategy too much at times but overall I’m an optimistic supporter.

    I think the BMW era will always pose me questions, however. In 1994, Rover was on the up, aspiring to be ‘a BMW’. It seemed a perfect scenario when BMW actually acquired Rover. The ‘how could it all go so wrong?’ question still intrigues me.

    But, you’re right Keith – let’s look to the future !!!

  59. @66
    I refer to my post @27
    One of the point of existence of ARONLINE is debate about the past and the future. Everyone on here is an arm chair authority including you on many occasions?
    You need to visit countries around the world to understand that made in Britain does mean something instead of sitting in your armchair and yes Politician Politicise it but doesn’t mean its not worth something. If people on here wish to draw similar comparisons to other countries and companies who are you to criticize them, its part of debate. If you want to stop people from doing that start your own blog and may I suggest you stop the foul language in the process which almost everyone else does. It make you sound like you’re trolling.
    Most people on here enjoy ARONLINE and Keith’s posts so you’re not on your own.

  60. @73, I will be straight with you, you are talking out of your chocolate starfish. WE are the joke of the world now, no army,no navy and industry hardly worth a mention when compared to Germany or China, our economy all built on a credit bubble is a basket case -even the Polish are going home in their thousands despite what the Sun and Star say.

    Troll? whats next racist bigot?
    Travel the world? i have been in a wine shop with Chinese buying bottles at £20k a pop and it would taste no better than a tenner bottle of Bulls Blood,most see the the flag and think oh great without thinking, they have new money and are blowing it on alsorts of nonsense. Crass.

    What importance does the UK hold in the world? Only a couple of months ago those cheese eating surrender monkeys – The french, suddenly become the USA’s strongest partner, and the Russians? they openly mock us now.

  61. I sympathise with Slartybartfast, and am as patriotic as the next man, but unfortunately these days it’s not so clear cut as to say ‘this car isn’t British’ or ‘this table sauce isn’t British’ because it is owned/made in another country.

    After all, BMW is German… isn’t it? Well it originated in Germany yes, like Rover originated in Britain, but these days it’s not quite so simply. The company is owned by investors from many different nations:

    Quandt Family (German): 46.7%
    North America: 15.8%
    United Kingdom and Ireland: 11.8%
    Other Europe: 5.7%
    Germany: 4.8%
    Rest of the world: 2.5%
    Other: 12.7%

    So us British are the THIRD largest investors in this supposedly German company.

    People moaned when HP Sauce manufactoring moved to the Netherlands. Quite rightly if you care about British jobs. But who knew that Danone (French, originated in Spain) had owned the brand since 1998?

    Globalisation, multiculturalism, whatever, it’s a fact of life and I bet few of you can name any common item which can be bought and is 100% British-derived. The reason for this is not only for the reasons above but because it’s so much cheaper to make things abroad where they work for peanuts.

  62. Aye the Quandt family with 46% with the voting rights and all the power so what? nobody is begrudging their position.

    Its a German company full stop. Headquartered in Germany.

    The thing i admire about the Germans is they want to protect their industries and rightly so.

    So globalism and the ethics (my arse) are good? Kraft bought Cadbury, shut a plant used one in Poland and headquartered in Switzerland -one wonders why.

    Then we have our foreign owned energy companies almost ripping our rings out, how is that good for Britain?

    I would like to see real jobs, real skills, real education and a real manufacturing industry to rival the world .

  63. Didn’t say they were good!

    We do have real jobs and skills – in key sectors – but mass manufacturing is no longer one of them. We’re a small Island predominantly made up of middle class types who will not work for a pittance per hour! Where once we had a huge working class we now have a vast population of willing factory workers in India, China, etc to do our dirty work for us.

    Again, not good but that’s the way it is. We supply the brands, the ‘history’ and the consumers, they supply the product.

  64. Dave@72
    “I think the BMW era will always pose me questions, however. In 1994, Rover was on the up, aspiring to be ‘a BMW’. It seemed a perfect scenario when BMW actually acquired Rover. The ‘how could it all go so wrong?’ question still intrigues me.”

    I keep asking myself the same question. Why BMW didn’t invest in the small/mid-range immediately I’ll never understand. Instead BMW invested in a large car (Rover 75) at a time when that market sector was declining before torpedoing the car’s launch at the Motor Show.

    BMW didn’t become a successful car manufacturer for nothing. I find it hard to believe that they couldn’t turn Rover around. I think the truth is they deliberately allowed it to wither. The only other reason is incompetence and BMW didn’t get to where they are today through incompetence.

  65. @75
    A highly interesting response. I new the Quandt family owned 46.7% of BMW but didn’t know who owned the rest. Its one of those items know one ever talks about… interesting.
    I agree it is complicated in the world we live in today but rightly or wrongly I set myself guidelines as to what is British and for Me this vehicle just isn’t. Yes many probably couldn’t care less.
    The interesting thing is that China values British goods, Thats shown by their attempts to sell MG as British with all the stereotypes seen in this advert.
    We have something, we invent so much, but taking advantage of it is like picking up a bar of soap we just don’t seem to be able to do it. British apathy doesn’t help either.
    The political and economic civil war of the 70’s and 80’s did that to us…..many just gave up.
    Thanks for the educated response.

  66. @78
    You and me both. My conclusion….Just bad strategy, they new their own product but not Rover Group and all the history, complexities and pain that went with it.

  67. It’s no less “British” than a BMW Mini……….perhaps they could do a “Werthers” limited edition for the more mature market……………

  68. It’s worth looking at what happened to Goggomobil who they took over in the 1960’s and subsequently wound down. Having worked for BMW, they do tend to have a “not invented here” syndrome, finding it hard to accept that other people can do it better.

    The MG3 seems to be getting good reviews apart from its engine – is the 1.5 an old Nanjing/Fiat lump? There is a turbo version on its way and there is talk of a diesel – anyone know when they are due, also the minor facelift recently shown in China?

  69. @colin clarke

    I still maintain that a Morris/Austin brand of the Roewe badged vehicles, with an emphasis on comfort over sportiness, would sell well to certain sectors of the market.

  70. @ no 9

    Don’t forget about MG2U. if you’re not near an MG dealership they will arrange to bring one to you at a time that suits you so you can test it out.

  71. Having been pleasantly surprised to see the MG3 advert on TV a couple of days ago I came on here to see what the reaction had been and ended up slightly depressed by the all the anti-Chinese and anti-BMW stuff.

    Personally, I think British Aerospace and the Thatcher government’s decision to sell the Rover Group to them rather than to a foreign car manufacturer had much more to do with Rover’s eventual failure than anything BMW did. The Germans were struggling manfully to overhaul years of underinvestment (and partial asset-stripping) by BAe then got caught out by an unfavourable exchange rate and bailed. I think they behaved honourably – BAe by contrast simply took advantage of all of the government investment that had happened during the 1980s and then grabbed a quick profit in 1994.

    The whole ownership question is a massive red herring IMO – what matters is the design heritage. The MG3 is a much more British car than the new Mini, in spite of where it is built. The Mini is marketed as a British car, but draws on none of the BMC/BL engineering tradition. The MG design team inherited and developed Rover tech like the K-series and are pushing their designs forward.

    Ultimately it’s more important for the future of the UK economy that we retain and build on our huge multi-faceted design heritage than that we seek to throw cash at retaining manufacturing jobs.

  72. @85
    Anti Chinese? Not anti Chinese. This car does not qualify for a made in EU tab under its regulations, never mind made in Britain.I agree, we defiantly need to keep on developing from our design heritage and the design/engineering team at MG need to keep on doing a splendid job but we also need manufacturing for a strong economy, these last few years have shown us that much, our economy shrank by 2.5% while Germany’s grew by the same amount in the same period during recession. They understand, why don’t we….the service industry cant support us on its own.
    The Industrial revolution started here we have plenty of manufacturing heritage, we’ve just got to regain our confidence. Jaguar Land Rover are showing that we can.

  73. @86, I agree, it will be uphill but its blue collar that is the engine room of the nation not some spotty twelve year old in a call centre swerving folk for a payday loan.

    That we have JLR and the like growing is not because our politicos are doing a grand job either, they are no friend of industry,just the thieving scum banks.

  74. Talk about going around in circles. I thought this thread was solely about the MG3 and the news that MG Motor have finally got off their arse and commenced marketing the car to the masses.

    In my view the TV ad is 2 months too late, but I suppose it’s a case of better late than never. Likewise with the delivery of customer cars, which should have happened much earlier to generate interest from people actually seeing one being driven on the road.

    To date, I have yet to see one on the road which isn’t a positive sign but it’s not a surprise either considering just 36 new MG models were registered in October (and that includes any sales of the MG6).

    The MG3 is perhaps worthy of success, but I fear that MG Motor are not on course to deliver that success in the UK. I personally think we will have to wait for the new registration figures for March 2014 (the busiest month) to see exactly where MG Motor are at.

    Off topic, but related. It looks like the sell by date of the MG6 has already expired and I really don’t see how MG Motor are going to shift them.

  75. The only way that Saic will increase the content of work produced or assembled at Longbridge, is for MG to prove to them, that it can produce and sell cars in sufficient numbers to justify a larger percentage of the work being done in the UK. I am sure that this can be achieved over time, but time is of the essence. This requires a rapid expansion of the dealer network.

  76. Its great to see a TV ad on this car,hoping this will tempt the buying public and perhaps the younger people too. Its a shame and I know it been mentioned before that MG didn’t have a TV ad for the MG6, perhaps they learning from their mistakes. Its is a nice looking car, and I hope it will sell. Regards Mark

  77. As a new member to AROnline I thought I would make my first post to your great website as positive as it can be about the MG3.

    This is based on the fact that I’ve actually bought one for my wife to replace her old Rover 25.

    In broad terms it is a cracking car for the money and, so far, we’re extremely happy. The specification of the 3 Form Sport is excellent, the build quality looks very good and, although the engine is a bit tight at the moment, we’ve got high hopes that this is going to be a great little purchase that will do us proud for many years to come.

    Talking to our dealer, MG Cardiff, the MG3 is selling extremely well at the moment and I hope they continue to do so in the future.

    It great to have the MG badge back on the forecourt; let’s hope it’s the start of things to come and not a one success wonder.

  78. I ain’t spotted a 3 out on the road yet. Sales will obviously be concentrated around the 30 or so dealers but as my nearest dealer is only about twenty miles away I thought I’d have seen one by now.

    Is the TV ad still running? – don’t watch much TV

  79. @ Dave Dawson:

    Yes it is, albeit from 11PM onwards on the Sky channel CBS Drama (when there is a commercial break in Knots Landing).

  80. I’ve heard talk of full quotas being sold, better sales than the 6 BUT I ain’t spotted one on the road yet. I’ll have to take a trip to Chester – may see one here as the City has a dealer. I only live twenty miles away though……

  81. Saw my first 3 on the way home tonight. A very quick sighting as we passed on opposite sides of the road. My immediate reaction “an MG!” then as it drew closer “it’s a 3!!!”
    Looked fine!

  82. Haven’t spotted a 3 but so far have spotted 2 6s. In silver, the 6 really does look like a saloon car from any premium manufacturer.

  83. Can this be true?! Pulled out of my work’s car park tonight and what’s parked on the side of the road? Not another 3, but a 6. Just a coincidence, two sightings in two days, or are sales growing a bit? (Nearest dealer 30 miles away, so not two test drives).

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