Blog : They’ve rebadged it! Who’s the Fool?

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Benjamin Adams

MG6 Turbo D
Then…

Yes I know that’s a terrible misquote from the Sainted Coogan’s Alan Partridge but its very relevant here. As some of you may know, MG has finally launched the diesel version of the MG6, the car that will put MG back on the map, save the factory, blah, blah…

It’s not a bad unit – a 1.9-litre turbodiesel developing 148bhp and 259lb ft of torque. A massive increase from the L-Series, which it’s bound to be compared with, and not too far off what MGR was aiming for with the stillborn G-Series engine. Yes the CO2 figures aren’t brilliant – 139g/km isn’t a class leader, but remember what MG is aiming for here – the sports saloon/hatchback market.

People who buy these – wouldn’t they be more interested in a spirited drive than free road tax? Anyway, I was told recently that VED might be heading the same way as the dinosaurs (see Car Mechanics magazine for more details). However the reason I am writing this blog is because of a rather interesting situation that’s arisen, see this picture above, one that Keith took when he tested the MG6 Diesel. It says Turbo D on the badge. It’s a nice way of putting it, and reminiscent of the Maestro, Montego and R8 days when they had that badge on the bootlid.

Yet, the one they sent to Apple MG this week has this badge on it (picture below supplied by MG Motor Birmingham’s Facebook page). I’ve asked twice on their Facebook page what’s going on, and have been deafened by the silence. Not even an email for a discreet private answer which I would have accepted if they wanted to keep it ‘offline’.

The new badges don’t even look like they’ve been made to the same spec as the originals which were nice and similar to the petrol models, sometimes people don’t want it to be obvious they’ve bought a diesel!

Now don’t get me wrong, I love MG, I love Longbridge. I’ve owned a fair few of the cars that came out of that place. I’ve even done the factory ‘tour’,  and dearly want the new operation to survive and thrive – but I cannot see its future when it fiddles with things like this, and doesn’t work on the bigger stuff – such as, er,  Marketing, Sales Technique (that’s a whole separate ‘blog in itself) as well as dealer retention.

I know it’s an old wives tale to look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves – but it really doesn’t apply to car manufacture.

MG6 DTI
” …Now

End of Term Report

Pupil: Morris Garages (likes to be known here as MG)
Effort: Morris puts his efforts in the wrong places at times and his work, good as it is, can suffer as a result
Achievement: Morris when he puts his mind to it can achieve and needs to prioritise his workload.
Score: 6/10
Teacher’s Comment: MUST TRY HARDER NEXT TERM.

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

Latest posts by Keith Adams (see all)

31 Comments

  1. A bit silly really. As if the badge saying “DTi” in instead of “Turbo D” or visa versa would put someone off buying a car!

  2. Frankie, it may not even be noticed by the car buying public but it warrants questioning, how much time and money was spent on this, which could have been diverted elsewhere. I can see nothing wrong with the original badge!

  3. Does the badge really matter when nobody will buy the damn thing anyway, since MG Motors don’t seem to want to tell the public that they exist?

  4. Car Mechanics – the only read you need. Quite frankly any other motoring monthly is just a waste of money.

    MG should just rebadge the CancerCausing Six the TurboD and utilise all those N/O/S Nonego badges.

    Quite amusingly in the ’90s to thwart TWOC’ers we used to routinely remove ‘Diesel’ and ‘Turbo D’ badges from Maestros, Montegos and the commercials to stop the thefts, such was their desirablilty.

  5. As I’ve said elsewhere it is the same name used by Vauxhall around 10 years ago. As changes go, it is ultimately pointless. Maybe they think Turbo D is old hat and wanted a trendy acronym (that is the same as on 10 year old Vauxhalls).

    What is most surprising is how quickly this change was conducted. When I toured the factory a few weeks ago all the cars were badged Turbo D. These were probably cars destined for the dealers (this was after the press launch) so they must have changed the badges on them.

  6. “Yes the CO2 figures aren’t brilliant – 139g/km isn’t a class leader, but remember what MG is aiming for here – the sports saloon/hatchback market.

    People who buy these – wouldn’t they be more interested in a spirited drive than free road tax? Anyway, I was told recently that VED might be heading the same way as the dinosaurs (see Car Mechanics magazine for more details).”

    Its effect on RFL is almost irrelevant in comparison to the CO2 figures effect on BIK (or “company car tax”). If they want to get into the fleet car / user chooser market, this figure would have been quite acceptable only 2 years ago. But now, it needs to be somewhere between around 104g and 129g (at the absolute worst) to be in with any sort of chance.

    To give an example:

    Take modern day Ford Cortina 1.6L, such as the Audi A3 2.0 diesel, with a RRP of £22,085 and a CO2 figure of 106g. At the 40% tax band, the BIK charge will be charged at 15% next year, or £110.43 per month for the default choice from Germany.

    Compare it with a cheaper MG6, with a RRP of £20,195 and a CO2 figure of 134g. At the 40% tax band, the BIK charge will be charged at 21% next year, or £141.37 per month for the Chinese alternative.

    These are typical of the sums being done by business users every time the contract hire contract comes up for renewal…

  7. The calcs detailed in number 9’s post say it all really! would you want to pay an additional £30.00 in tax per month to drive a MG over an Audi? I like the MG6 and wish it well but bigger strides are needed to get it into the fleet market, what is it like as a private purchase proposition?

  8. “Take modern day Ford Cortina 1.6L, such as the Audi A3 2.0 diesel, with a RRP of £22,085 and a CO2 figure of 106g. At the 40% tax band, the BIK charge will be charged at 15% next year, or £110.43 per month for the default choice from Germany.
    Compare it with a cheaper MG6, with a RRP of £20,195 and a CO2 figure of 134g. At the 40% tax band, the BIK charge will be charged at 21% next year, or £141.37 per month for the Chinese alternative.
    These are typical of the sums being done by business users every time the contract hire contract comes up for renewal”

    you have absolutely hit the nail on the head as to why the 6 Diesel will have little success in the fleet market whichever badge it has on the back

  9. I suspect that the Turbo badging remains an issue with insurance. Also, IIRC the Turbo D badge got slagged off. Damned if you do, etc…

  10. Why should MG have to answer questions as to why pre-launch cars have slightly different badges to the launch cars? So what? Maybe they’re just held on with VELCRO anyway.

  11. turboD badges are so 90s, when an old school diesel engine had a turbocharger bolted on to give it a bit of get up and go.

    Since the late 90s/2000s, the trend has been to put the ‘i’ into the badging to indicate common rail diesels.

    The whole situation is almost like the petrol trends of 20 years previous, in the 70s it was all Turbo v 90s diesels, in the 80s it was all injection v 2000s diesels.

    So in the 2030s we can expect tiny diesels with huge turbos and hybrid diesel-electric drivetrains to be the norm.

  12. What’s in a badge? Personally I am not bothered whether it’s described as a Turbo D or DTi as the engine’s the same anyway. But they should decide which badge to go with before a proper sales campaign, rather than changing specs & descriptions every other month.

    Bit like doing a facelift on any car in less than a year rather than the usual 3 year cycle.

  13. They wouldn’t know a “proper sales campaign” if a 100 foot high, neon pink proper sales campaign wearing a massive badge that said “I’m a proper sales campaign” turned up and took a dump on the plinth outside of gate Q.

  14. I’m always slightly nervous of me being a mere motoring enthusiast and criticising decisions made by major industrial organisations – well, MG anyway.
    However, not wishing to actually criticise, can anyone up at Longbridge just explain to us why MG are not promoting the car?
    It’s a simple question……..

  15. Does this subject really warrant space on the internet? If they had left it the same someone would have slagged it off on here how it sounds like an montego badge.

  16. 21 – do we have to put up such vulgarity on here? can the mods please delete, it’s not what I want to see or read.

  17. @ Ben Adams. I wasn’t saying your blog was silly, rather the fuss MG were making about badging was.
    “fiddling while Rome burns” comes to mind…

  18. @ Frankie

    You have hit the nail on the head, and the point that some of the more vocal members on here could do with realising. The car needs MARKETING, it needs a nationwide advert campaign and this has to come from the top.

    Spending hours playing on Facebook and racing toy cars round a plastic track won’t sell cars.

  19. I think pretty much everybody has been saying that the car isn’t being effectively marketed since the 6 was launched Ben. I don’t see your point. I doubt the marketing team are distracted from the task at hand by being sidetracked into deciding the badges on the car, they’re just useless.

    To be honest someone in “manafacturing” (ha!) has probably engineered the badge swap to give people something to do.

  20. On Friday morning I saw a grey MG6 in my local town. It’s the first time I have ever seen one on the road since the car has been launched. I think I’m entitled to lots of points in my ‘I Spy Rare Cars’ book

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*