News : The Clarkson review – MG Motor UK’s response

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

MG6 BTCC Edition
MG6 BTCC Edition

According to Jeremy Clarkson, the new MG, designed and engineered in Birmingham, England is ‘as Chinese as Chopsticks’.  To the 300 Designers and Engineers based at the MG Birmingham site who were responsible for the design and engineering of the MG6 this is clearly an insult.

The styling of the car was led by talented British Design Director Tony Williams-Kenny, educated at none other than Coventry University, England and the Engineering Team was led by fellow Brit, Dave Lindley.  It has taken years of hard work to secure over £500m of long-term inward investment into the UK and the creation of 400 jobs (on a site where we all know back in 2005 there were suddenly none) in the Birmingham design, engineering and assembly facility. This new investment in automotive design, engineering and assembly at this point in the economy is something Britain should celebrate.  So why does the Sunday Times promote trying to undermine this?

On 12 June, MG will open its UK design facility for one day to UK Media to see the investment and results of the British Design Team and we challenge the Sunday Times to send a journalist to report the facts and not the fiction from this great British story.

As far as the car goes, according to Clarkson he had to push the car because it was so bad. The car that he drove was on loan to Andy Wilman, Top Gear’s Producer. During the eight days Mr Wilman had the car we were not called or contacted about any alleged problems. When the car was collected from Mr Wilman it drove perfectly. Our Engineers have thoroughly inspected the car and no faults were found or could be traced.

The car Jeremy Clarkson was driving at the time it was on loan was silver – the car on the front cover is blue!  The car is described as stalling at the lights, but [Mr Clarkson] fails to mention that it is fitted with a fuel-saving Stop Start system that switches off the engine in this situation and then automatically restarts using the same logic as most other manufacturers.

The crash test report excludes the rating and is summarised as, ‘didn’t do especially well’. We think your readers may be surprised to hear it scored four stars out of five in the stringent Euro NCAP test, the same rating as the highly acclaimed Jaguar XF.

And then there is the cupholder that Clarkson said, ‘when you push a button your drink leaps out onto your passenger’s leg’. Your drink is not in it when it comes out, which is the same as any other car, so it is impossible to spill your drink in this way in the MG6… or in any other car.

Clarkson says the car is not cheap and we agree. But it is great value.  Clarkson is correct in saying the car is larger than a Focus and with a 258lb ft high torque engine mated to a six-speed gearbox and Stop Start technology as standard on all models for £16,995, it is a lot of car for the money. With insurance at only Group 14/15E it offers the best combination of performance, space and features in the market with the lowest insurance.

So we invite the UK public to look at this with rather more open eyes and really drive the car and then write what they think about it. We are pretty sure they will be positively surprised.

Yours faithfully,
MG Motor UK PR Department

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

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150 Comments

  1. Yup, fair play to MG, going through and addressing the supposed criticisms one by one, and delivering one in the balls to Clarkson.

    Now, MG Motor UK PR department – Just advertise the car!!!! 🙂 (and get one of your previous 2 dealers locally back onboard).

  2. This is EXACTLY what we have been hoping for on this site! At last, some positive input from MG! Long may it continue.

    As for the points you made, they make perfect sense. Now to educate the masses…

  3. Glad to see the PR department is awake but it comes across very amateur and to be honest just childish. What other manufacturers respond to a poor review like that?

    MG should show their worth through their actions and not resort to name calling.

    That would however cost money something that saic don’t think the UK is worth.

    BTW would love to know what’s new that the open day will show. They’ve already shown the state of the art ‘DESIGN’ centre off and the row of parked cars that they think passes for an assembly line.

  4. I agree Mark, whilst you can’t argue with the points made in the letter replying to a review just seems petty.

  5. Some of these comments do rightly question the integrity of one Mr Clarkson, and particularly Mr Wilman, in their quest to generate sensationalism and loyal readership.

    It is good to see a motor manufacturer’s PR department standing up to an egocentric Goliath of motoring journalism; someone who clearly does not consider the aftermath of his three minutes of ‘entertainment’ on job security and commercial success.

  6. 300 people, while doing a fine job no doubt, can’t design a car and drivetrain by themselves.

    The stop start question is a mystery, Clarkson will be familiar with stop start systems, so I find it hard to believe that this was the only reason why the car ‘stalled’ at traffic lights.

  7. Hopefully MG Motor UK will learn from this experience. It’s nice to see them coming out fighting at last.

  8. temper temper MG…dont blow a gasket now! lmfao
    to be fair its good that they have come out fighting but i think the biggest supprise here is that mg have a PR department…i was begining to wonder!
    to be fair they have brought it on themselves a bit. no credable info is given by them…and info that is given just dont seem to add up either.
    with all the silence coming from MG they were always leaving themselves wide open for this sort of review. they should have been more proactive from the start rather than reactive

  9. Well, if the car was that good there would be more than a hundred or so SAIC MG’s on the road. I have read many a-story on these very pages of appalling quality and ill thought design….or am I wrong? (Clarkson will get the blame for ‘killing off’ New MG when they do finally give up on it in the UK)

  10. “Glad to see the PR department is awake but it comes across very amateur and to be honest just childish. What other manufacturers respond to a poor review like that?”

    Quite a lot of them, when the journalist has fundamentally set out to attack the car through dishonesty for the purposes of ‘entertainment’. I think MG UK’s PR department borders on incompetent a lot of the time, but they’re bang on the money here – refuting nonsense and lightweight lazy ‘journalism’ with solid facts.

    I’m very tempted to see if I can borrow an MG6 DTi now I can drive a manual again, and write it up properly, fairly and honestly without inappropriate hyperbole.

  11. I’m not keen on Clarkson’s views most of the time, but I see nothing wrong with his ridicule towards the MG 6 (even if his methodology is inaccurate) because I for one had hope for MG motor when they started out with a promise to bring back a rejuvenated iconic MG brand to the world. All Saic-Nac have done is let everybody down, with their promises of serious production returning to Longbridge and building and selling cars that are desirable to buy and own (which clearly from owners of TF’s and 6’s is not true). That faith and hope has gone, and MG Motor if you are reading this you can’t do anything to change this sentiment that most rational enthusiasts have and I certainly won’t be buying one of your products unless you can be bothered buck your ideas up in the future. Rant over.

  12. clarksom a prik he ruined my pals morris marina he slaved to restore spoilt middle class brat!

  13. I am glad to see something positive from MG at last, however the question is ” is it too little too late” I think that a lot more effort needs to be put in if they are to become serious players, we all know the regular low sales figures and the lack of dealerships a lot of that infrastructure needs to be reviewed and placed on a Euro market footing

  14. Too little, too late.

    Perhaps if the car was more competitive (and more competitively priced) as well as being ACTIVELY AND EFFECTIVELY MARKETED then this issue would not have arisen.

    The company set themselves an unambitious sales target of 2000 cars in 12 months and appear to be on target to fall well short of that. This is due to the car being below par, over priced and under marketed – 3 big own goals. Anyone remember how Daewoo managed to sell a load of rehashed Astras and Cavaliers? Good marketing, allied to a very attractive price & service package, and it made the brand a household name in no time at all.

    Clarkson’s review is typical Clarkson – full of hyperbole and sarcasm, but is he REALLY far off the truth? Everything I’ve seen, heard and read about the MG6 says that he is not far off (and it really pains me to agree with that a***).

    MG UK need to get a grip and realise that they are killing their own brand with their lacklustre performance. I say “brand” – of course they only have one model which by itself can hardly qualify for the term “brand” (even Daewoo launched with a 2-car range)

    Now, before anyone accuses me of “not supporting the MG brand” I would like to point out that I am a lifelong BMC/BL/ARG/Rover/MG enthusiast and have owned and driven more cars from that group than all the others put together (VW, Citroen, Chrysler, Jeep, GMC, Alfa Romeo) but no car maker is entitled to my support unless they earn it. There are people on this website who seem to believe that we should be be unerringly supportive of MG UK – but that is nonsense. They need to earn our support and at the moment they are not doing so.

  15. @18 – absolutely bob on.

    One thing I can’t get my head around, these cars that are apparently designed and engineered in Britain, why are they not released here first? The 3 is knocking on for two years old now, its been on sale in China for all that time.

    Are they designed in Britain for China, then fettled again for Britain?

  16. Ok lets be honest, i think that the reaction is maybe a bit too far and a bit not a poundered reaction….ok is positive that they have a PR department that is actually capable of making a letter….but as usually well make now a closer look to the fact in the letter-will not look to the fact thet MG sales are inexistent in GB.
    Is my personal opinion but i think that the MG6 is more an insult to the 300 people working in Birmingham, and JC remark of beeing an chinese desingn maybee is a good excuse for them….
    second the last true MG (the F) was designed by Gerry McGovern and he designed also some nice cars, mr. Tony Williams-Kenny have to proove himself to be relatedas a car design guru…..
    the NCAP test maybe both cars recived 4 stars but gentelmans here are the results
    http://www.euroncap.com/results/mg/6.aspx
    http://www.euroncap.com/results/jaguar/xf.aspx

    and i suppose that a test car for the press have to be PERFECT not quite briliant but PERFECT….

    so i have expressed my opinion about the reply….and noticed one thing more Mr. Clarkson had the guts to sign under his opinion, correct or not, the PRs of MGare not…

    so my conclusion is that MG PR office is at least so good as their manufacture and their project office, and the market gives them the adequate results

  17. Yay for MG Motors- at last Clarkson might have inadvertently done something positive by putting a bomb under the MG PR department. I hope this serves as a much-needed wake-up call and from now on, will be pro-actively actually doing what they need to be doing by marketing the damn thing in the first place.

    At least they are awake enough to smell the coffee.

  18. @20:

    Which would you do?

    a) Launch your new cars in the most competitive car market in the world, a market where the indigenous manufacturers are failing and where car sales are plummeting across the continent by double figures month on month?

    or

    b) Launch your new cars in the world’s biggest and fastest growing car market where you are an indigenous manufacturer, and also sell it in most of the world’s developing markets where the established makers haven’t yet got a foothold?

    Answers on a postcard…

    a) is Europe. It’s already lost MGR and Saab. Peugeot are teetering on the edge, Ford is taking money from the French Government to keep a factory there whilst closing plants elsewhere, and VW has just been stitched up by it’s unions with inflation and profit busting pay deals.
    Why on earth would SAIC/MG want to enter that market now?

    b) is China and the rest of the developing world where the MG6 alone is selling *more* cars worldwide than a couple of Volvo models added together.

    SAIC are in this for the long haul. They’ve already publicly said that Europe will be the last market they enter, and France and Germany the last 2 countries.
    Watch and wait as they encircle the European market before consuming it.

  19. My first comment is still being moderated? @19 – If MG motor had a sales target of 2000 cars in 12 months and they couldn’t meet that, then who can take this company seriously? Don’t get me wrong I would support MG, but things like this and there crass, insensitive adverting regarding the horse meet scandal doesn’t do MG any favours.

  20. I have no doubt the Engineers and designers who developed the MG6 in Birmingham are very competent. But they where working to a brief to produce a car aimed at develping Far East markets, specifically China. That is where the MG6 belongs. It is simply not competitive in Europe, certainly not at the price MGUK thinks it can command. It wont be with this car that SAIC “encircle” Europe.

  21. A good response to Clarksons irate ramblings.

    I personally think its the best thing they couldve done.

    Some will call it petty or childish, but any exposure that comes from this will be free and can only be a positive thing.

    They also ‘challenged’ the paper to attend the open day and report on the ‘Great British event’, theres no way that the Sunday Times would respond to that wording in a negative manner.

  22. @29

    Thanks for your thoughtful and insightful input. If only everyone was as capable at joining in with a discussion as you.

  23. Craig, its a pleasure. And yes even getting the cleaner to knock out a press release is a) equally as childish, and b) so late Clarkson cannot really alter his print column tomorrow with a riposte.

    Sorry, but the MG PR department is absolutely DESTROYING the credibility of the engineering & design staff it mentions in the above reply.

    Not Clarkson.

  24. Could people making a post not refer to post numbers because the late posts being added after moderation are ruining the flow of the discussion? Either that or could the moderator put the late posts in at the end?

    For example, Warren B’s post (currently number 23 but possibly due to change) refers to post number 18 as being “bob on”. At the time he made that post, he was replying to my first post which was indeed number 18 then but is (currently) 21 now. Unfortunately, the late arrival of some moderated posts has messed up the flow of the discussion.

  25. It pains me to agree with Clarkson in any way shape or form … but IMHO his conclusion about the car is fundamentally correct. It’s a mediocre car in a world full of good ones at similar prices (or cheaper). I also agree that it’s as British as chopsticks.

    The MG6 reminds me of nothing more than a Daewoo Espero and whilst it may be competitive with a 20 year old Cavalier, it’s just nowhere as good as the cars it is pitched up against.

    Incidentally, Avis had shed loads of Esperos and Nexias in ’93/’94 and got rid of the lot within 18 months because of the strong negative reactions from customers. In fact, many people in my old company would point blank refuse them when they were delivered and it got to the point where the corporate powers that were told Avis very firmly that we would no longer accept Daewoos.

    I’ve tried an MG6 and, TBH, I’d rather have a used Mondeo than a new MG (and I don’t really like Fords!)

  26. If I was MG, the LAST thing I would be doing is inviting the worlds press to see Longbridge.. The abandoned and silent rmenants of a factory with a few hundred unwanted MG6s lined up in rows, the office that is the centre of UK input into MG, the collapsed and leaking ceiling in the salesroom toilets, the dusty cabinest with MGR award trophys in them…
    They would rip it to shreds.

  27. I’m really pleased that MG had the guts to respond, most car companies just hide when JC gets going. We love our MG6, significantly better and more reliable than the new Volvo and Mazdas which have sat on our driveway over the last 5 years

  28. Well said MGUK! Clarkson well and truly corrected. I just hope the masses don’t base their opinion on his article.

    I knew any Top Gear report on the 6 would be negative, based upon their general stupidity and an element of ‘BL Bashing’ from years gone by.

    Me personally? I don’t take anything Clarkson says seriously. My ZR will still be replaced by a 3 or a 6 one day.

    Saw another 6 on the road yesterday, MGUK. It really does look good, a bit different. I’m sure with a few more out & about showroom traffic would increase markedly as the general public, in the market for a new car, went “oh, what’s that, I rather like it?!”

  29. Good on MG for speaking up. Clarkson can be a bit harsh. When I saw the car in Christchurch I looked around the interior I thought the interior was quite ok. In fact much nicer than the ford fiesta (2007 model) which we drive when we bought my wifes 318. The seats were nice too they reminded me of the 827 Vitesse we used to have which had the best ever seats (comfort and support wise) in any car Ive ever driven. The price is up there for a car that doesn’t yet have consumer confidence. and the exterior styling doesn’t do it for me. So I think they best thing MG could do is drop the price for a period of 12 months and get more of them sold. Also Ive said it before but a better body kit and some more sporty tail lights might make all the difference to the styling. But I think the styling is its single biggest let down.

  30. Don’t agree at all, Alex. I like the styling – nose, profile and rump. The rear looked particularly good on the dark coloured one I spotted yesterday.

  31. I am amazed at the content of so many of these comments.

    Mr Clarkson gets caught out yet again telling porkies – just like he did with TG on the Alfa show – because he has to play to his audience. It is what the people wanted to hear. Just imagine if he had actually liked the car and had given it a good review! His employers would have thought he’d gone soft and start looking for another big, loud mouthed, self opiniated presenter who talks to us all as if we a children.

    MG responded in very direct plain English refuting the nonsense this man has written. It might not be ‘cricket old boy’ or worded in unprenouncable terminology to impress the ever so intellectual – but it’s telling it like it is.

    There is no point in dragging up all the stuff about MG not promoting itself – it is not relevant to Clarkson’s article. The fact is that many subscribers on this page will kick MG until their dead – they cannot comprehend (or like) the idea of it being successful. If they weren’t doing this they would be relentlessly taking the mick out of someone else.

    No doubt someone will respond to this by telling me that thay actually do support MG but MG are running the company all wrong. Well, there’s a simple answer to that. If your that clever, go and get an interview, work there and then put it right. Expect that half the contributors on this site will think your doing it wrong though! Life, eh?

  32. MG have still got alot to learn about marketing their cars. They could start by supplying Top Gear with enough cars for a game of car football! If they can’t supply enough for both teams the Marina Owners Club would, I’m sure, be happy to make up the other team. Perhaps a game of MG Conkers. Perhaps ‘A star in a not that reasonably priced MG’. Perhaps a top gear challenge, a brand new MG vs a 10 year old Focus and 10 year old Golf in a dash to South Africa. All these things would help get the cars in the public eye and if they come out well and impress Clarkson, May and Hammond, sales would rocket. Don’t just write a letter give ’em a load of cars – you’ve got loads lying around.

  33. Lets be honest about what MG is about. They are marketing exercise, not for this country, but for the Chinese market. Nanjing can say this isn’t another subpar Chinese car, another knockoff, it was designed with help from Western engineers, and the car is sold in Europe.

    What else could explain their half-arsed attitude to selling the damn things? I could have sold more of these cars than they have managed. This PR exercise generates employment in this country, and might one day lead to a real car company appearing again in Birmingham, but at the moment it is all about the Chinese market.

  34. I imagine their PR Department had plenty of time to formulate this response since they appear to be doing little else.

  35. @Dave Dawson, yes you might like the 6 but there are plenty of people not buying in droves for many of the reasons discussed here. As for Clarkson, most people who knock him (loads on these pages) lack a sense of humour and an inability to spell correctly. To be honest, I would rather be guided more by his opinions than say for example yours.

  36. Okay guys, here’s my personal take on the Clarkson review…

    I am not a professional Motoring Journalist – all AROnline’s Editorial Team and Contributors provide editorial content on an entirely unpaid basis – but I do attempt to follow this mantra when writing my articles: 1) establish the facts, 2) verify the facts with evidence, 3) present the facts and evidence to the readers in a balanced, clear and entertaining manner and 4) let the readers form their own, informed opinions on the relevant subject.

    Any Motoring Journalist who does not follow those guiding principles is, in my humble opinion, unprofessional…

    Oh, and Carl @53 above, I do have a sense of humour and can spell correctly – just, for example, read these AROnline articles: MG Birmingham: Brimming with British design and engineering talent or News: A talk and a tour at MG Birmingham…

  37. @ Clive, there are always exceptions to every rule and I agree with your piece re: journalism. I am not defending Clarkson but any expletive ridden misspelt rant will always put me on the other side although most here do not fall into that bracket! I am sure Mr C laughs all the way to the bank when he creates some self publicity for Brand Clarkson. As for all the hand wringing, who here has a SAIC MG, or would trade in their German/Jap car for one?

  38. Could not agree more with Clive. The steps he has described are the very, very, very basic precepts to writing any journalistic piece – most of all 1, 2 and 3. Heck, they taught me all that when I was 17 at college!

    I have not had any formal journalistic training (not as yet, although that will change very soon) so if I know that…

    It’s a shame, Clarkson writes brilliantly. His columns, along with Richard Porter’s, got me interested in writing about cars in the first place.

  39. Carl @55 above,

    I take your points – especially the one about “Brand Clarkson”! However, what us Brits (and, indeed, probably most Western BMC>MG enthusiasts) do not, perhaps, fully appreciate is that SAIC Motor has opted to take a really long-term approach to the rebuilding of MG as a global automotive brand.

    Autocar’s Editor, Jim Holder, attended Auto Shanghai at the end of April and spoke to SAIC Motor’s Director of Global Corporate Communications, Zhu Xiangjun – she emphasised that “MG in the UK is a key part of our long-term strategy – we are not focused on short-term sales. We know we must keep Longbridge at the centre of our global expansion plans. That means we will build up Longbridge and be ready to bring the lines back to life when we have enough demand to build cars there.”

    Hopefully, the imminent introduction of the Euro-spec MG3 will be the next step in that process…

  40. @55: Carl, this is just the thing with Clarkson. Car enthusiasts generally seem to hate him, but ‘we’ all consume his drivel, because as omnivorous car enthusiasts, we flock to any table with content on it. I dunno about you, but if I make the mistake of wanting to check the dimensions of the Mk V Ford Mondeo for a point in a discussion, that’s me lost, because I’ll then go on a tour of Google results and Wiki articles reading about car stuff totally unrelated to my original thought.

    And yes, I’ll watch Top Gear, even though I dislike a lot of what they do and inevitably get frustrated by the needless waste of a banger I’d have enjoyed driving about and fixing up (Porsche 928 was the worst for me), because hey, there are CARS ON TV!

    It IS all about Brand Clarkson, and the sad thing is that MG should have known better than to give him a car from an insignificant (in the UK) brand with no financial clout in the media. Spend enough time knocking Dacia, you have a good chance that Nissan’s lovely GT-Rs may be less readily available. Knock MINI or a BMW too harshly, you won’t be first in line for the advertising budget or review of the new 5-series.

    Hell, give a product from a big brand a deservedly bad review, and you may find fewer smiles at the next press conference. With regard to Clive’s points – I’ve reviewed tech this year that has been a misfire, and I’m pretty aware that the company concerned is Not Happy – even though they’re nice, I’ve slipped down the pegs a few.

    In those cases though the tech really was BAD. It placed genuine limitations and obstructions in the way of the user experience. I had to consider, very hard, whether I wrote the reality of what was created, or the idealistic view of the concept. It’s great fun and very easy to bash something in copy, it’s also lazy if you’re going by knee-jerk reaction without taking time to learn the product (oddly enough, I gave good reviews with caveats for one unique bit of tech that most reviewers panned thoroughly, because I took time to understand and use it).

    So when you give Clarkson an MG6 you’re not handing him a car to review. You’re handing him a free ticket to be Clarkson, to be dramatic and hyperbolic and above all, compellingly negative, and be paid for something which should fall out of the keyboard in 15 minutes, with absolutely no reprisals of any consequence.

    I am sure that Clarkson is an intelligent, moderately technically aware, and skilled writer. I also think he doesn’t give a stuff about mundane vehicles, and why should he? He has access – both from personal wealth and trade position – to some of the most exclusive, impressive engineering in the world.

    James May at least will give lip service to the greatness of small simple cars.

    As I’ve said before, I like the MG6 in a lot of ways. It’s not a type of car that appeals to me in the slightest, as I don’t have to do the ‘family car’ compromise dance and unlike, say, a Citroën BX (which occupied a similar ‘not quite’ size gap) it lacks any tech that attracts me – but I think it deserves to attract more buyers than it has so far. They’ve got the finance packages right, the failings of a couple of cars we’ve had reported back have not actually been that major (dealer competence aside), and most people reckon the cars look good on the road.

  41. Clive – surely if SAIC were taking a truly “long term approach” to rebuilding the MG brand the best way to do it would be to create a full range of decent quality cars and launch the whole lot with an almighty great fanfare? Backed up with sensible pricing,of course.

    Instead we have a half-baked, poorly thought out, insipid joke of a marketing “campaign” which is doing serious, damaging and potentially long-lasting damage to the brand that they are supposedly trying to launch.

    There will be no need to “bring the lines back to life” if they continue to do little or nothing to stimulate “enough demand” (to use their own words from your last post).

    I would love to see MG flourish and see it bringing back British manufacturing jobs – but quite honestly SAIC need to do something to make that happen rather than seemingly relying upon nostalgia and rose-tinted specs to do it for them.

  42. @ 59 Richard – I could not have put it better myself sir. That kind of sums up the whole debate here. I will now get back in my box and continue to enjoy the excellent stuff that appears on this site from Keith and readers alike.

  43. Richard @59 and Carl @61 above,

    Yes, personally, I reckon that’s the real issue here… I have a British-born Chinese contact who has lived in Hong Kong and Beijing for thirty-odd years and has had dealings with several Chinese OEMs – he tells me that none of the ones he has dealt with have much understanding of branding.

    Indeed, that’s why I have said before (in response to Adam Sloman’s Blog: MG – how long can things continue?) that SAIC Motor/SMPV/MG should “do what Qoros Auto Company Limited (Qoros) has done and appoint an experienced European as Global Brand Director for MG – Qoros’ Executive Director of Sales and Marketing is Stefano Villanti and the company’s Director of Sales and Marketing Europe/ME is Cristiano Carlutti.”

    That said, even if the right people are in the right jobs, they cannot achieve anything without a proper marketing budget and that, in turn, brings me back to the need for a comprehensive understanding of branding as a concept. Guy Jones and his colleagues in the Sales and Marketing Department at MG Motor UK Limited probably do have a clear perception of how and where to position the marque but they are not, after all, magicians…

  44. I can’t stand Clarkson and he did a hatchet job on the Vauxhall Vectra as well some years ago. The MG6 is not best in class but it is very competent in both petrol and diesel. My wife still gives her TSE 9/10 as an owner and has had no quality issues in 8,000 miles.

    Quentin Willson has produced a publicity video at MG6 launch where he praises the interior fit and finish and the class leading dynamics and the car certainly handles very well indeed. The diesel is not quite as refined as a new Seat Leon for example. The pricing is also a major issue and to re-establish MG the car needs to be £4k cheaper and have a 5 year warrenty. Then it would sell quite a few thousand a year – simple.

    The MG3 is only weeks away from launch. MG Motor UK have to convince SAIC (who have huge resources) to spend a serious amount on advertising, promotion and PR as well as price the car from £8k to sell. They also need to get a small diesel engine of about 1.2 litres that does 70 plus mpg. If SAIC don’t do this then MG Motor UK will be finished becuase the remaining dealers will throw in the franchise and nothing will be sold unless they move to an online model with service support through Halfords! Maybe that’s not a bad idea.

    Clarkson is very funny at times but is not objective. Anything he says should be taken with a major pinch of salt and the extra publicity might do MG Motor UK some good. I would do a test drive challenge if I were them with Asda: ‘Prove Clarkson wrong and test drive the MG6 today’!!

  45. MG’s press/PR dept are utterly clueless for not getting this right with a properly fettled press car for him, This is the CityRover episode all over again, Don’t they know you need to give them the best car you have, blow smoke up their arses and try and keep some control over the situation! It’s bloody amateur hour, Is ‘fat kev’ back in charge?

  46. You can ridicule yourself and everything you stand for.Perhaps Brits can put this in the right perspective but most people outside UK don’t. The only who’s getting better of this is Clarkson himself. First I liked TopGear but now it’s a cheap, uninspired show which tries to reinvent itself everytime again and somebody has to bite the dust, in the case MG. He did it before with all British, French and Italian brands, except German of course (Perhaps he could emigrate to Germany). Do you all understand what image damage he is doing for every British brand? This also reflects to LandRover, Jaguar and every British-made. I work partime England-Europe and I’m becoming sick of the perception people like Clarkson are creating in Europe of “English rubbish”. And the BBC allows this to happen… How do we call this? Self-destruction?
    These are three little children making a lot of damage. Three little children destroying the hard work of thousand of people, something that they have never done in their lives. Proper response of MG UK, has to happen more…
    Good timing of Clarkson by the way, just before launch of MG3.

  47. Sorry but this is not cutting edge design from MG’s talented young designers. The brand has lost it’s identity. If you stuck a Montego badge on the back it would have more street cred.

    Sorry MG but not good enough.

    R.I.P MG and Rover.

  48. Graham @64 above,

    Actually, with respect, if you re-read the above transcript of MG Motor UK’s letter to the Sunday Times, you will see the company maintains that, when the MG6 concerned was “collected from Mr Wilman [Top Gear’s Executive Producer], it drove perfectly” and adds “Our Engineers have thoroughly inspected the car and no faults were found or could be traced.”

    The real issue here would seem to be that Mr Clarkson apparently failed to understand how the MG6 Diesel’s Stop Start system works and that, as MG Motor UK observes, “during the eight days Mr Wilman had the car, we were not called or contacted about any alleged problems.” I believe those two points say rather more about Mr Clarkson than about either the car or the company…

  49. I would like to see the MG succeed but this sort of publicity is not going to help. I tend to think the letter from MG to the Sunday Times is a big mistake.

    Whilst MG PR Department have said what they think, I am not sure this was a sensible approach. It makes them sound defensive and I predict Clarkson and Top Gear will now get a further dig at MG at every opportunity.

    Clarkson has developed his career by being outrageous and emphasising criticisms to come to conclusions. I don’t think he is anti British cars as he is always pretty robust in his praise of the products of JLR

    Would it not have been better for MG to go back to Clarkson with something positive – such as a race against Jason Plato in standard MG6 – thus at least getting some publicity for the product.

    I don’t know how the head of MG in the UK still has a job!

  50. As others have said, there is no point in SAIC supposedly having a ‘long-term strategy’ if by the time they decide to sell cars in numbers here they will have been villified by certain corners of the yellow press, and they will have squandered all the good will of the dealerships. Their reputation will be in tatters, and their cars will be a joke (no matter how good they may be).

    I despise Clarkson for his hatchet job (on this and other cars), but he was shooting into an open goal- which a good rebuttal, as they have issued, can only partly redress.

  51. It takes an outsider (Alain @64) to point out the obvious. You don’t see the German press ever taking the proverbial out of their own products yet the British are quite happy to do so about UK products, further giving others reasons to doubt our own engineering genius. This is not a plug for MG or their 350 staff at Longbridge. It is a plug for all British engineering. You Brits created the industrial revolution, yet what do you have left to show for that? Sadly, though, British management vs British workers vs British engineers has always been a foregone conclusion and that’s why every British brand discussed on AROnline bar Morgan is foreign owned. Yet people are still here saying how these companies should be run. Wake up, please.

  52. When is AR Online going to stop treating/reporting MG with rosé tinted spectacles? The products are woeful, not up to modern standards (a new model should have 5 NCap stars not 4, the xf is an old model over 5 years old). Stop pandering to this dodgy brand , and let it die as it almost certainly will

  53. As always, Richard Kilpatrick elucidates quite eloquently points surrounding this article.
    There is no point reading any other posts really,some are moderate in tone, some are from armchair industrialists or just plain anti-MG.Why do some articles get as farcical as JC’s musings?

  54. Because, Francis, we are all individuals and we all have our own opinions. That’s how freedom of expression works. 🙂 If you would prefer us all to toe the line and engage in group think then you are in the wrong place – MG’s Chinese homeland may be more to your liking (slightly tongue in cheek remark – slightly)

  55. What actually happened with the car? I refuse to believe even JC would fail to realize it had stop-start! For all his wild hyperbole and sweeping generalizations, he chooses his words carefully, and you can interpret Jezzas description of the ‘breakdown’ in many different ways. I suspect he stalled at lights and that somehow confused the stop-start system. But there is sufficient ambiguity in his report to allow the reader to dream up a whole raft of reliability issues that afflict MG6s.

    So assuming Clarkson was actually at fault regarding the stalling incident, surely the blame still lies with MG. Why didn’t they realize that if they lent a car to Andy Wilman, it would eventually pass through the hands of this barely-trained baboon?

    As for the MG rebuttal- very poor showing. The language is staid and all a bit ‘sandals with socks’. They should have answered JC in the same humorous, hyperbolic style he uses. If they had, we’d all have had a laugh, the general public would have talked about it, Clarkson would have looked like a nasty man attacking real people’s jobs- not a those of a faceless PR machine- and the public might even have felt sorry enough for MG to go and investigate what an MG6 is really like. If they couldn’t have done this, they should have kept schtum. The rebuttal was neither witty, memorable, nor convincingly persuasive to be seen as anything other than a wimpy ‘please don’t pick on us’ note.

    Having typed all that, I do wonder why I obviously seem to care about MG so much? How odd…

  56. And this is a professional response? seriously? They couldn’t even be bothered to get the boss to sign it for heavens sake! They might as well have well written, Yours sincerely MinionDrone #56…
    You play this sort of crap with Elon Musk of Tesla fame and you’ll be limping to the magistrates court (as a side effect of the two burly gentlemen who mentioned that Mr Musk was not amused, arf arf… thud).
    Do it to Apple and they’ll set so many lawyers on you that it’ll make the Battle of the Teutoberg Forest look like a garden party..
    What do MGhopeless come up with? “Sales in our time, pretty please…” or “please don’t rubbish our product, or we’ll express a mild disapproval of you”.
    To misquote a famous film; as regards SAIC/MG “They were dead when they came in here, and they’re twice as dead now..!”

  57. So if its so good mg motor why are you not getting your advertising out there. I was and still am an avid mgr fan and drive a rover mini and have owned a few zrs and r 25s but your car I’m so unsure about. I have visited one in the dealers and test driven and have to agree the touchy feel quality is a let down for a 16 k car cars half the price are producing better quality.

    So Mg come on if your for real get some cars to market that are built and I mean built here and live up to the price and competition.

  58. “Every British brand discussed on AROnline bar Morgan is foreign owned”

    Quite honestly, why care where the money comes from? The jobs, the cars and the history are what count. If it ever came to it that Morgan were to be at risk, I’d rather money from overseas saved it than it folded.

  59. @75, Jemma,

    Litigation would have taken a lot longer to orchestrate, and would be painted by the media as ‘SAIC seeks to gag journalist in Chinese-style media crackdown’…

    Has Clarkson actually broken any laws? He could be accused of being ‘economical with the truth’ or exaggeration, but the company would probably have a hard time proving that a libel had been committed.

  60. Why are they getting such a hard time for replying to this?

    As has been pointed out there were several factual inaccuracies in the piece, which in layman’s terms is bare-faced lying. It shows the intellect of the target audience that it took MG Motor themselves to point out it was, for example, physically impossible to eject the cup holder and simultaneously spill liquid in yourself. No-one else seemed to point this out when commenting on the original review.

    I am not a fan of the 6, purely because of its looks and it’s not the sort of thing I would be in the market for. There is no excuse, however, for someone giving the car a kicking and embellishing that kicking with lies, especially when it’s down to the ‘expert’ not being able to drive the car properly.

    Lay off them, they may be the brightest sparks in the industry but they do have the right to defend themselves.

  61. As a bit of a dinosaur, I think I know a bit about MGs. I rebuilt my own Midget, spent large amounts of time under friends’ and relatives B’s as well as having a smattering of spanner experience with some of the 80s MG saloons. I nearly bought a Rover 75 tourer but had a lucky escape as the news of Rover’s collapse broke just before I bought.

    I’ve also had a good look at the MG6 and would re-iterate that it reminds me of nothing more than a Daewoo Espero. To clarify, looks are bland and uninspired (the Espero was styled by Bertone just to prove that the great man has some less good days), the fuel consumption is too high (just like the Espero) and the range of engines is limited (again, just like the Espero).

    I recall one of the Espero road tests said that the car “would appeal to cost conscious private motorists on a budget”. From personal experience, the only thing worse than finding an Espero in the hire car pool was finding a Nexia.

    As someone who travels approximately 20k miles per year, over 10k of those on business, I would not spend my hard earned cash on an MG. Reasons being, poor fuel consumption, rough engine, lack of after sales support. In fact, I got rid of my beloved Saab because I had an 85 mile round trip just to find a competent service garage.

    I would also expect that depreciation is going to be truly horrific when compared to mainstream Euro / Jap boxes. The UK jobs are just a token. If MG wants me to buy British then they need to build them in the UK, not just assemble CKD kits. I for one will be sticking with my pre-loved German diesel estate.

  62. Well done Mg! Clarkson isn’t The Truth ’cause Mg seems like japanese and korean cars of 80s and 90s: cheap but reliable, for those who doesn’t mind about the brand they are driving; for me Mg needs a more british sportstyle( the CS suv is in the right way) and a Mg6 estate with diesel engine to enter in the company car market

  63. I genuinely don’t understand why SAIC have a Longbridge assembly line, as they are clearly not interested in selling cars here. I can understand why they have a British engineering centre, as it’s a useful marketing tool, but the UK plant is pointless unless they actually want to shift decent numbers.

    With the amount of UK content in the car, it’s effectively no more British than any imported car, and the likes of Ford and Nissan have more UK engineers as well.

  64. @82, What about the Chinese component content of JLR products and myriad other car makers? There is a lot of european component content in the MG6, Bosch being one supplier.

    Why do you think Germany is a manufactoring powerhouse it is? wherever you have industry there there are hundreds of small machine and engineering shops providing employment and thus contributing to the local economy,whats so wrong with Longbridge doing the same in employing a few hundred?

    Maybe SAIC dont care about the UK market,it sells enough in the motherland, or maybe they do,can they be running the company any worse than the BL days? I would just leave them to itand wait and see.

  65. Paul: They (MG) are given a hard time over their response because it was in plain English and it didn’t ignore all the issues raised by Clarkson. You must learn to take the pledge – sign up to knocking seven bells out of the company simply because you do not understand their marketing!

    Alain: Your post is spot on but happily, whilst the TG buffoons kick the British and pray to the god BMW (a company only saved in the past by building an Italian bubble car under licence – one wonders what sort of a ride Mr C would have given them at the time!), the Bloodhound Project is trying to get the Great back into British engineering, trying to get young people interested in British engineering and (third on the mission statement) get the 1000mph land speed record for Great Britain with an all Great British project.

    I’m working with some great kids who need to see that British life according to Clarkson is wrong. MG, despite it’s present ownership not being British, is here in our country with a significant input from UK people. No one on this site is clever enough to know for a fact that MG will fail or succeed – it may exist in 5 years time – or not. What ever happens I want to be remembered for critical appraisal and support. I don’t want to be remembered for being a self-opinionated ‘funny man’ that helped them to their grave.

    Mr C is getting into Michael Jackson land – he’s losing sight of the real world. He must also know that he’s getting into John Lennon land as well – every single word he says is revered by millions. If JC decides to go into politics and stand for the Communist Party – millions will follow him. I know, I’m rambling now. Sorry. Met the fellow on Alfa Day. Don’t like him!

  66. @ Dave Dawson , I like the front look, its the side and rear I don’t like (as I said a better body kit and tail lights might make all the difference to some). the other problem is that the car doesn’t photograph well. it might be that some other car companies in their design phase consider how their cars will look on the web (I don’t know). The mg6 looks better in real life. but not good enough….otherwise give me some other reasons why it isn’t selling, consumer confidence alone (I don’t think so) – price(maybe) but my personal pet dislike on this one its side and rear end. When I think MG6 I think it should be like the Rover Vitesse 827, MGZT, Saab9000 Turbo…and its not any of those (in style at least). My personal opinion is that there IS a gap in the market and the MG6 hasn’t filled it. Alex

  67. To all people wondering why SAIC have an assembly plant in Longbridge, I would gladly share my personal views.

    If I’m right, looking at translated Chinese pages, SAIC has a marketing strategy in China which makes use of the MG brand’s long history of almost 100 (?) years and stating the cars are British designed and built thus underlining this long history. They use this to add value and status to the brand’s identity. In China, the buying customer is very susceptible to this type of branding and, furthermore, driving a “European” car is seen as a status symbol – see, for instance, the success VW has in China.

    I therefore say that the only reason MG is based in the UK is to house the UK design team. Assembly and selling of cars in the UK is for the sole purpose of maintaining the “MG Heritage Fairy tale,”

    The main objective of MG UK is not, and never will be, making money from selling cars in Europe, no not at all, they plan to make money in the home market of China. Maybe if they have a firm base in China, they will start focussing on the EU/UK market, but not any time soon.

  68. Ianto @88 above,

    Yes, AROnline will be at MG Birmingham on the 12th June and doing our best to report on the occasion in as balanced, objective and professional manner as usual.

    Stuttering Sydney @ 71 above,

    You ask “When is AROnline going to stop treating/reporting [on] MG with rosé tinted spectacles?” Well, with respect, here are three recent articles which should, in all fairness, go some way to rebutting the assertion underlying your question:

    Blog: Why MG appears to have a lot to learn from Qoros

    Blog: MG – how long can things continue?

    Blog: MG6 owner’s final running report

  69. @83, Clive Goldthorp,

    Thanks for those links on the Tesla testdrive controversy- it is very difficult from reading claim and counter-claim to determine exactly where the fault lay. Certainly it would be difficult for the average journalist to record 100% accurate data whilst physically driving- he did not have the benefit of the ‘data log’. My feeling is that Broder didn’t intentionally set out to do a ‘hatchet job’, although it might prove difficult for him to prove conclusively that he acted exactly as he reported, ie on the direct advice of Tesla, unless he too had data-logged (ie recorded) the phone conversations with their representatives.

    Clarkson has a much looser affinity with such things as ‘journalistic credibility’- he is an ‘entertainer’ (for those who find his sub-Bullingdon Club antics somehow endearing). I doubt whether he would be able to mount such a detailed rebuttal to some of his ‘yellow press’ stylings as John M.Broder of the New York Times was able to for what I feel was meant to be an honest and objective assessment of the Tesla (albeit possibly with some degree of error).

  70. Sarcastic hat off, Clive three simple questions to pass on:

    At what point will MG sell a 100 cars a month?

    At what point will MG sell 500 cars a month?

    Does the consumer (not enthusiast) know MG exists.

  71. I think I can speak for others here – looking forward to the writeup of the MG Motors do, I hope they really put on a damn good show.

  72. Chris @ 92 and 96 above,

    Yes, I agree with your take on the Tesla Motors/New York Times controversy and with your observation about the likelihood of Mr Clarkson being able to provide a detailed rebuttal of the type given by John Broder.

    Unfortunately, though, you may have to wait until the following week for our article – I am, in fact, taking a day out from a week-long break in the Cotswolds to visit MG Birmingham and will be writing the story following our return home.

    Andrew @ 93 and 95 above,

    Well, for the record, I prefer a red (Merlot) to a rosé! Anyway, you can be assured that my approach to the forthcoming article will, as usual, be founded on the guiding principles mentioned in Post 54 above.

    However, whilst your proposed questions are entirely reasonable and valid ones, my guess is that MG Motor UK will be very reluctant to provide any projected sales data – after all, given the company’s experience with the MG6, would you be keen to do so if you were on the Sales and Marketing Team?

  73. Or frame a question like this- Can you answer once and for all what your plans for Lonbridge and europe are,you are pissing everyone off,with an additional so we can shut the knows alls up as well.

  74. Carl @ 53
    Yes, you’d be better guided by the opinion of a motoring journalist than by me – I’m just a BL>MG UK enthusiast and a potential customer. Even I have to admit that my views are hardly 100% objective.
    However, Clarkson and the rest of the Top Gear crew are hardly typical motoring journalists. Their priority is producing light entertainment as opposed to objectively reviewing cars. Therefore, I don’t value Clarkson’s appraisal of the MG6. The fact he did not recognise the operation of a ‘stop/start’ facility speaks for itself. One assumes he was ‘blinkered’ by his desire to find fault and to put the usual element of stupidity in his report.

  75. Andrew @ 98 above,

    I turn sixty in September not six! Dares are, for me at least, more appropriate to the school playground! 🙂

    However, more seriously, one of my most intelligent and older friends just happens to be a retired Senior Circuit Judge and QC – he always says that one of the first Rules of Advocacy is not to ask a question unless you know what the answer will be or, in other words, if you stand to lose rather than gain by asking a question, then you are better off asking another one…*

    Francis @ 99 above,

    I might well ask (with no disrespect to you :)) a somewhat more subtle version of that question…

    N.B.: *This paragraph was added – after some further thought – two hours after the original comment was posted.

  76. @102, Thanks Clive,this subject has been milked dry so an answer from the organ grinders would please me hugely!

  77. I think we have to ask ourselves what are the objectives of the letter? One might be to ensure that the more important Top Gear show does not repeat the review errors, as that programme has far more global influence than The Sunday Times. And globally, that’s where MG is focused on, as oppose to the UK.

    The sentence “It has taken years of hard work to secure over £500m of long-term inward investment into the UK and the creation of 400 jobs” I almost read that as a pitch to China saying we’ve worked hard to convince you to fund us but we need more resources if we’re to market ourselves effectively, especially as we have key media like Top Gear in our back yard.

  78. Golden opportunity for a huge promotion by MG UK, turning the whole Clarkson debacle into an opportunity, building on all the negative publicity and turning it positive:

    MG6 – DRIVE IT, MAKE UP YOUR OWN MIND, NOW!

  79. @89 Stefan Void

    That makes sense, just as VW in China is seen as a European car, made in China, they’re clearly trying to market MG in China as a European car, made in China.

    @106 Andrew

    But there’s no point having a volume assembly plant, unless you actually assemble and sell cars in volume!

  80. Utterly amateurish PR – never descend to the level of any criticism is about the first lesson of successful public relations. Also refuting what were obviously meant as jokes line-by-line shows an utter lack of understanding and makes MGR look preposterous.

    Clarkson’s review would have been read by several hundred thousand people across the newspaper and website. MGR’s response won’t even be read by several hundred – it’s like an ant trying to stop an elephant.

  81. @89 Stefan Void

    I absolutely agree Stefan but it doesn’t stop people day dreaming these MGs are British vehicles. I could accept them if they were called Roewe because then they’re not abusing OUR history… but. at least, it brings some engineering jobs to the UK – for now.

    @108 very good point on assembly.

    As for talented designers, well they probably are but pushed into designing uninspiring cars for the Chinese market by Chinese masters.

    For the record Clarkeson doesn’t generally help UK business – why be surprised when he doesn’t point out the one positive of the sad MG story with SAIC (from this side of the world): UK engineering.

  82. Perhaps we could all make up our own minds about JC’s objectivity by arranging a test drive for ourselves. Here’s the link:

    http://mg.co.uk/ then select Book a Test Drive

    I look forward to reading a few write-ups over the next few weeks. Perhaps we could have a section on ARO just for our personal test drive reviews ?

  83. @ Magnus:

    No, there has been no reply from MG Motor UK Ltd printed in either the Driving motoring supplement or the main Sunday Times newspaper itself.

  84. Clarkson had written the review before he drove the car, or so it seems form his article.

    The UK is the 6th ish largest manufacturing country in the world (minus mining). However, 60% of UK manufacturing companies are not UK-owned. This shows that it takes non-UK investors to see the we are truly great not twonks like Clarkson who, on one hand, is probably anti-EU yet will have a default position to rubbish anything from the UK.

  85. Who really cares about the EU? its dead. VAG/MERC/BMW wont pull out of the UK will they? their biggest market in europe?
    What do people expect SAIC to do? MGUK have responded,end of story-why do you want cherries on top?

    Clarkson arses about on the show and in the columns,everyone knows the formula.

  86. This reply leaves a scene in my mind. Someone at a meeting saying right, give suggestions we could put in the reply. Someone then saying.. look,our designer trained at that place in Coventry .. yeah good..put that in. Someone then saying.. yeah what about that Jaguar.. it did no better in the NCAP testing and everyone goes on about how good that car is…yeah.. good.. we’ll put that in.. etc etc.
    Honestly, it comes over as a childish rant.

    SAIC, get back to China with your heavily polluting cars.

  87. VIZ TOP TIPs

    SAIC-sell more cars in UK by pretending they are made in UK. Simply provide a free Union Jack flag on a stick with each MG6. These can then be waved enthusiastically at passers-by as you drive along.

  88. I’m taking up Alex’s and Cliff’s challenge and going to go for a test drive!
    It’s about 42 miles away and I’m going to pass an Audi dealer (ride in one every week – hate the blooming thing), a Nissan dealer (never had a Jap car out of nearly a hundred or so and never will), a Peugeot dealer (not for me) and an Alfa dealer.
    Bugger – I’ve bought another Alfa. Just kiddin – I really am going to drive an MG6. I’ll report back as requested.

  89. I suspect hard-pressed MG dealers have got enough costs on their plate without having to deal with time-wasters who have no intention of buying a car but just want to snaffle a ten quid M&S voucher – even if they’ve been paid for by head office.

  90. Maestrowoff – Of course not. It is akin to rebooting your computer, it’s a design fault.

    On the MGF site they mention how to restart the stop-start after a stall.

    “those of us who drive a 6 regularly know what to do on a stall….take the key out and push it back in with the clutch down”

    Is this normal practice? (I’m not familiar with such technology!)

    http://www.mgfregister.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=15063

  91. Who would pay any attention to any thing Benny Hill would have to say anyway. He is a nob and Topgear is about as relevant as the stupid comparisons they d0, Like racing a car against a boat… Yeah you’re special Charkson, you should stick to patting that other little dipstick (the Hamster) on the head while chasing him around in a field.

  92. @122 Magnus – I’m not interested in the £10 voucher, just in adding some objectivity into the comments on this forum following JC’s article. There are a lot of strong views on JC and the MG6 but from what I can gather very few people expressing these views have actually driven an MG6 (let alone spent their own hard-earned on one).

    We might all be pleasantly surprised with the MG6. Or at worst, we can slag it off from a position gained from personal experience.

    Dealers will be only too pleased to get bums on seats. If they sell a car to someone who went in all cynical then so much the better.

  93. The problem for me though, even before trying it out, is the high overall cost of the ownership package compared with it’s competitors when the higher depreciation,fuel consumption, car tax etc kick in. 24% retained value after 3 years is poor. Sadly, also the word is that it’s below the curve.

  94. One option may be to just drop the MG badge for a few years, and then put it on more sporting models later down the line. The brand remains tarnished from the BL days with Red Robbo etc and then the slow demise of MGR and the later models becoming old and out of date with poor build quality.

  95. @123, Just like a BMW,a MINI or any other card/fob type if stalled. Whats wrong with a bloody key?

  96. @Andrew

    To be fair, removing and reapplying the key on a stall is a little bit antiquated these days. I’ve driven a fair few start-stop cars now, and test for this very eventuality. And every one I’ve encountered is restarted by dipping the clutch – removing the key is not needed.

    If that’s not the case with the 6 Diesel, it should be an easy mapping change. I’ll ask the question.

  97. Why do we knock ourselves in this way ? The only problem with MG is nobody North , South , East or West of Birmingham knows it exists because of a sorely lamentable lack of marketing, and for whatever reason you can’t lease one if you’re a company car driver for love nore money !!!

  98. SAIC have done what Austin did with the meastro/montego. MG6 has no identity, looks and feels cheap inside and although competitively priced considering the equipment levels, it still has a k-series lump in it for goodness sake. And, aren’t these the mules that brought Rover to it’s knees in the first place? I’m sorry to all those that work for MG, but the sooner MG (well SAIC actually) are gone the better because not only are they an embarrassment, but an insult to the true MG marque. Whilst I’m on my soap box, BMW can piss off as well. The amount of minis I see that are larger than a mondeo and fitted with dreadful french engines make me squirm on two levels. 1) They should have been Rovers. 2) Alec Issigonis would spew at the sight of them. Instead of the Government giving 54 million quid to Brussels every day, why don’t they purchase the MG marque from SAIC and do the job properly!!!!! AAAAAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!

    Rant over, thanks for reading 🙂

  99. I don’t like Bini’s, but they are British built and popular.

    Ask the lads/lasses at Cowley and Hams Hall about what they think of BMW.

    MG6? As I keep saying, decent enough car, needs to be cheaper.

    Clarkson is a child

  100. I really don’t understand why MG let that idiot drive it. Clarkson is only interested in German cars or one’s that are so expensive to run and buy the average person on the street can’t afford.
    MG should do what Toyota did and stop any new model going on Top Gear.

  101. Well, I’ll stick my head above the parapet. I’ve got a 6, a Magnette TSE, which has done 14000 miles since October, totally trouble free. It’s a great car. Replaced a 75 1.8T, and OK, a bit of wood would have been nice, but otherwise it’s a complete 75 clone. Identical equipment level (nav system suitably updated), same fuel consumption almost to the last decimal place, performance more than adequate for the M25, vast boot, turns heads, solidly built, I could go on- but what do I know? I’m only a satisfied customer.

    The main reason they haven’t sold more is that they haven’t marketed the thing. At all. People stop and look at it, ask me about it, not one of them has the slightest idea that MGs are still made anywhere. No doubt SAIC has a grand strategy, but it’s a bit hard to follow.

  102. @137

    Im a big fan of the 6 too. I have test driven two of them and both have been very well made and displayed excellent handling.

    Im glad that you are happy with yours. Hopefully I will be able to afford to join you in ‘6 ownership in the near future.

  103. Stuart J, I admire you, luv the looks of the MG6, fancy one myself but a bit pricey for me at present but would you say an approved MG6 or one from Motor point would be OK? Used approved £9995 to £10,250 12 or 62 reg hatch or saloon, Motor point £10,999 delivery miles 13 reg all top of the range TSE`s, what do you say. How’s the economy on the 1.8 petrol? Any advice/comments most welcome tks. Other models available but would want newest with all the kit that I could afford, what would you say with regards to resale prices when you next want to change?..

  104. I don’t agree you should not respond Big -mouth clarkeson should be told when he is talking rubbish, far from petty it is very very mild to what I would say to him given the opportunity. The detractors need to be made aware if the article is obviously not what the car is about ,and as someone has said advertise it.It is a good car,just bought one.

  105. I too have just bought one. A Magnette TSE at a bargain price. I’m quite honestly over the moon with the car. If it had a BMW badge on the boot it would be £30K plus! I’ve had it 5 weeks now from new and the quality and refinement is streets ahead of my ZTT 160 and I reckon as good as any other contemporary car of today. Anyone who listens to Clarkson and chooses their car based on his reviews is quite simply bonkers. The guy slags off most cars except for the odd six figure retail priced supercar, so just ignore the guy. problem is most people who know nothing about cars are lead by him! Sad. I never listen to what he has to say, so it mostly isn’t true. I actually own an MG6, so I know about these cars. Another ‘best kept secret’ from MG I’m afraid, but good for us enthusiast buyers! See my car and other comments from fellow owners below!

    http://www.maestro.org.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=19173

  106. PS, if you do read the thread in the above post, you can see some better pics in my profile album on the this site.

  107. @Jonathan

    Clarkson doesn’t really care. I’ll admit that I am entertained by his onscreen antics and opinion columns – but they are just that – opinion.

    Too many armchair car experts I know take his rantings as gospel, and that is the danger. (X Type? Mondeo! Saab? Vectra! Toyota? Boring! BMW? Fantastic! Audi? Cool! Alfa? Unreliable! Honda? Dull! Citroen? Flimsy! etc.)

    He couldn’t care less about actual facts, he plays up the perception that MGs are designed and built in China and shipped over to have numberplates installed.

    He doesn’t act as a PR wire describing the UK design input, the jobs at the Longbridge assembly line, the long term future of UK production etc. he just acts like the man down the pub who scoffs at every car brand other than his own.

    He is a jester in the modern media courtyard full of cynical clowns. Cowell tells us we can’t sing, Ramsey tells us we can’t cook, Clarkson tells us our cars are crap.

    Do we allow them to stop us performing a drunken kareoke, or slightly overcooking our sunday roast? No. So why do we hang on every word JC says?

  108. Dear oh dear,

    When will people understand that Clarkson is an entertainer, pure and simple !

    His knowledge of things mechanical could be written on the back of a postage stamp whilst still leaving room for the Lords prayer !

    As for taking his opinion regarding any car seriously, come on now !

    I might, just might, take note of his opinion if I were perhaps considering buying a bicycle and only then because most of what you were buying is on view but a car ?

    You`re having a laugh surely !!

  109. In the last 2 years I have seen a hand full of mg6 ‘s on the road , why ! I’m sure they were good cars in china, not uk.

  110. Britains remains of an auto industry still gets the unjustified savage slating, if the MG6 was a German car the fool would be saying how good it was,

  111. A neat car and I am sure well built and designed. However, it seems much the same as any other car of its type. Is it not time that the famous name of MG was again stuck on the front of a small, fun and affordable Sports Car? If Mazda can do it with the MX5 then why can’t MG. With the choice of sports saloons and hatchbacks so large today, why would anyone rush to buy the same thing but with the MG name, there are far better cars out there. If a modern, light, drivable and fun small sports car was available from MG, I would be at the head of the queue to buy one. I like the idea of a British made sports car – the very thing that made the MG name great. And it is still a great name, only now the products are just a pale shadow of the brilliant cars of the past. TA, TC, TD, TF, et infinitum, lets get back to real cars from this much loved marque. To own a real Brit car I bought a new Caterham, it could have been a new MG Sportscar, as Brit car heritage is important to me, sadly nothing worthy of the name is available. Am I the only one who feels this way?

  112. Possibly, even the MX5 sells in very small numbers now. The MG name has been resurrected so many times now (and despite glimpses of genius, such as the ZT) it really has had its day. It’s application to a range of cheap Chinese hatches has pretty much sealed its fate as worthless now.

  113. MG have started advertising again, at least they have on my local radio station. Have they started importing again or have they just discovered a stash of unsold motors ?

    At least the thrust of the adverts is more down-to-earth this time. The MG3 is being touted as “like a Fiesta but ££££ cheaper”, and the GS is compared to a Quashqui but again £££££ cheaper.

    This approach will probably be more effective at sparking interest amongst the non-enthusiast car buying public than trying to promote Chinese built cars on spurious British heritage.

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