MG6 : SAIC Motor plans UK production by the end of 2010

Clive Goldthorp

MG6 will be produced in China and the UK
MG6 will be produced in China and the UK

SAIC Motor-owned MG’s most important hatchback since the 1981 MG Metro has been launched in its home market of China today. The MG6 is a five-door fastback which features conventionally handsome styling and is powered by an evolution of the K-Series engine in 1.8-litre turbo and normally aspirated forms. Most excitingly, SAIC Motor has announced plans to assemble the MG6 in the UK.

The car was announced at the Guangzhou Auto Show in China and marks the start of what the company describes as an exciting new global future for the MG brand. The launch in China, the world’s largest automotive market, begins the international roll out of sales of MG6 which includes the UK. Sales in China will begin in January and plans for the UK and other markets will be released during 2010.

SAIC Motor’s President, Chen Hong, told reporters that production of MG6 for the Chinese market will begin at the brand new state of the art factory in Lingang during December 2009 and that the company also plans to commence production of the MG6 at the Birmingham plant in the UK before the end of 2010.

This is a milestone day for MG and for the UK automotive industry.MG has begun the international launch of an all new model that has been designed and engineered here in the UK, for the global automotive market.” Guy Jones, Sales and Marketing Director, MG Motor UK Limited

MG Motor UK Limited say that the MG6 is designed to capture the character of the MG brand and bring something different to the volume market. The new model carries a modernised version of the famous MG octagon badge for the first time. This new design is planned to carry forward on to all new MG models and also features in the new corporate identity for the launch in China which bears the historic Morris Garages name.

Guy Jones, Sales and Marketing Director for MG Motor UK said: ‘This is a milestone day for MG and for the UK automotive industry. MG has begun the international launch of an all new model that has been designed and engineered here in the UK, for the global automotive market. Currently we only build and sell the mid-engined TF sports car here in the UK, but we can now look forward to expanding the range of MG products.’

[Editor’s Note: AROnline readers should note that the above article replaces one which was originally published on the 20th November, 2009 and that a number of the Readers’ Comments which appear below were made in response to that story.]

MG6 interior is closely based on the Roewe 550
MG6 interior is closely based on the Roewe 550

About the MG6
MG6 Key Dimensions
Length: 4651 mm
Width: 1826 mm (without mirrors)
Height: 1480 mm

MG6 Specifications
Engine capacity: 1796cc
Maximum power: 1.8 133bhp, 1.8T 158bhp





Clive Goldthorp


  1. Cheap looking reskin of the Rover 75? Not only is that inaccurate it is also an unnecessarily cheap shot. Even calling the Roewe 550 a cut-down Rover 75, as some people do, simply demonstrates ignorance of the facts and a willingness to regurgitate the rubbish written by others.

    The Roewe 550 – and the MG6 upon which it is based – are built on a new platform using knowledge gained from the Rover 75 but with virtually no common parts. The SAIC Motor engineers in the UK were even able to rectify flawed aspects of the Rover 75 layout that had been foisted on them by BMW. Why have SAIC Motor been investing in Longbridge if they see no future there?

  2. I don’t know anything of the technology under the MG6’s skin but I don’t think it looks cheap. Those front light clusters look kind of complicated and IMO complicated does not mean cheap.

    I think the car has enough styling to stop it looking completely bland without being radical enough to split opinion. I just hope they’re made of quality materials and are reliable.

    Look at VW – those cars don’t exactly set the world on fire with design (and their interiors are so bland) but they sell because they have quality and reliability. Having said that, I bought a 2007 Bravo because I liked the styling despite it being a Fiat (and all that implies).

  3. This car is all wrong from an MG perspective. how this was produced by British designers is beyond me. Apart from the badge, there is nothing in the design that says MG.

    SAIC should have kept the Roewe brand for such an anonymous car and brought out a roadster/coupé more in keeping with the MG marque. I cannot see this thing selling in any quantity world-wide.

    Thumbs down.

  4. The points Graham and David Knowles discuss need further investigation & discussion. The styling is bland but okay, but the real question is this: to what extent it is a makeover of pre-collapse Rover-MG vehicles? If SAIC is only reskinning and tweaking such models, what will they do in 5-10 years time?

    Which raises the question of UK building – this seems an obvious way for SAIC to get market share in Europe, but hasn’t really happened yet. Is MG UK just being fleeced of it’s research until SAIC get their engineers up to speed, at which point Britain loses all aspects of MG Rover? The closure of MG TF production hints at this…

    Sorry to be glooomy on a new model launch – ironically, it was such gloom about strikes, supply problems, possible closure, etc that often jinxed sales of Austin-BL-Rover cars and led to its demise. You’d think, though, that the managers would have learnt from 40 years of such experience, right 😉

  5. Total pants !!! Looks like a Primera, Toyota or something like that. They will never be produced in Longbridge and I cannot see any MG enthusiasts in the UK buying them. That is not an ‘MG’ with all the MG DNA in it from years gone by – it’s just an MG badge stuck on a pile of Chinese sh*t.

  6. When you look at some of the horror story designs that come out of the that part of the world (Asia) such as the ‘Ssangungyong thingy me gig Musso’ or what ever you call them, I don’t think its a bad effort to be honest.

    The MG6 is not, of course, a true MG but then BMC, BL, AR etc only produced three proper new MGs in 50 years: the MGB, Midget and MGF. The rest of the MG range were badge-engineered Rovers, though a valiant effort and a fine range of cars.

    Did MG ever, in fact, make their own bespoke car? The MGB used bits of the A55 range, the Midget was a re-bodied Austin Healey which in itself is a A35 and the MGF is a back to front Metro!

    However, I have owned and loved all these cars because they were fun to restore and own. To me MG stands for fun, affordable, cars made from a bit here and a bit there, from the first re-bodied Morris Bullnose to the last of the Z cars.

    If the new MG6 is a re-bodied Rover 75, so what? Its still a good car and a much better basis for a car than, say, the Austin A55 was for the MG Magnette.

    I just don’t think some people will ever be happy about a new MG whether it is designed and built in the UK or in China – if you want proof of that, just look at the comments on this site about the gorgeous new Jaguar XJ.

  7. The MG6 needs to be sporty to be a real MG and, until someone’s driven it, we won’t know about that. However, the styling’s not promising – too bland. Hard to see much advantage in building the car at Longbridge over importing it from China, unless they’re short of capacity there.

  8. Anyone on this site doubting SAIC’s commitment to Longbridge will soon be eating humble pie. I think that the MG6 is a great looking car and this is just the start of great things to come for the brand.

    However, as for the comment about it being a pile of Chinese sh*t what are you basing your assessment on? Have you driven an MG6 or a Roewe 550 or even seen one in real life? My guess is no, so please keep your nasty ill-informed comments to yourself.

  9. Just wondering why you say (in your original article) that the MG6 is the first all-new MG since 1995. The circa 2003 MG SV was surely an all-new MG?

  10. @Lewis
    Good point, but I guess MG UK were basing their statement on the fact that the MG SV was actually an MG Sport & Racing Limited-built car which was based very, very heavily on the Qvale Mangusta. Has there actually ever been an all-new MG? 🙂

  11. I have seen the Roewe 550 on which the MG6 is heavily based and it looks very different in the metal… You really can’t judge the MG6’s proportions and stance from the pictures. It’s actually a handsome car… No, it’s not radical nor should it be… and it ain’t bland either, despite the impression which the pictures give.

    I have spoken to people who have driven the 550 and 550’s with the MG6 suspension set up and all have said its a fine handling car.

    Longbridge production is 99% certain – if I am wrong you can shoot me…

    The days of knocking MG/Rover etal are still alive and kicking but we should, at least, give the MG6 a chance – try and find something constructive to say… even constructive critcism rather than spitting your dummy out… Surely, life’s miserable enough already…

    I am excited by this car. I will not buy one simply because it doesn’t suit my needs – it’s too big – but it marks the beginning of a new chapter for MG and, yes, for Longbridge too.

    I hope it suceeds…

  12. @Jonathan Carling
    The advantage to UK would be jobs… 🙂 and maintaining a skilled workforce so you have total production capability, not just R&D.

    We may, of course, have to wait for the answer to one big question namely, is that it? That is, is a 5-door fastback the only bodyshell? If so, is it another Maxi/SD1 success & flop combined.

    Look back at the BMC-Rover history and you will see that the successful models have almost always been multi-bodyshell cars (sedan, coupe, estate, van, pickup, etc). Think Mini, 1100-1300, Marina – even the Montego and 75 had estates. Diverse bodyshells don’t cost that much more, but meet diverse market needs. A cheap way to cover the market…

    Anyone else have some thoughts on the necessity of different bodyshells?

  13. @Bob
    Sorry, I meant that there are few advantages to SAIC Motor in building them at Longbridge. Surely it’s more efficient for them to import cars unless they are going to sell MG6s in massive numbers in Europe (unlikely?), or unless they are short on production capacity in China.

    Clearly, there are advantages to the UK in building them here in terms of jobs and knock-on effects down the UK supply chain. I would have thought the negative MG TF production experience would have put them off doing much at all at Longbridge, except perhaps R&D.

  14. Let’s hope that the MG6 isn’t the spiritual successor to the Nissan Primera because then MG/SAIC will decide to kill it off and focus on building several different sizes of SUV, leaving nothing for the ordinary large family car buyer who doesn’t need an urban assault vehicle.

  15. Don’t like this car at all. I agree it looks like the Primara at the front and back with a tinge of Volvo S40 from the side. There has been no attempt to link it to any MG I’ve ever seen – at least when BMW re-designed the MINI there were clear links to the brand.

    It’s such a shame – I can’t see MGs being made in big numbers in this country again. Don’t see how that can happen as the market for these cars will never be big enough, even across Europe.

    Any company wanting to relaunch a brand in this way would be communicating with its customers – this lot keep the UK in the dark!

  16. I reckon that, if the MG6 comes to the UK/Europe, it will probably have a similar market position to cars like the Hyundai i30 and Kia Cee’d, slotting under mainstream brands like Ford, Renault and Vauxhall so will need to be priced accordingly.

    I cannot, in that case, see any economic argument that would justify the car being built at Longbridge. I suspect that MG/SAIC Motor will look at Central/Eastern Europe rather then the British Midlands if the company needs a European base.

  17. There are a few interesting details in the design but, overall, the MG6 is just another bland car from Asia. The fact that other posts compare it to a Primera – a car that was killed off years ago – does not bode well.

    However, it might sell if it is priced below the equivalent Hyundai model and offered with a five year unlimited mileage warranty. I can’t see how production in the UK would ever be economic. BMW may make money from the MINI, but that is a premium product. A MINI Cooper with a few extras is not far off a £20k car. I doubt whether MG Rover sold many 75/ZTs at that level.

  18. This car has certainly split opinions! I agree with KC that it looks like the current Toyota Prius but with the rear light clusters from a BMW 5-Series. It may be one to consider buying in the future but I would like to see it built (assembled?) in Longbridge.

  19. @Steve Mcgill
    No, I have not driven MG6 but I have been in a Roewe 550 and that car is from the same manufacturer and shares a platform with MG6 and is most certainly not sh*t. Yes, on that basis, John Hunton’s comments (everyone he made in his post) are therefore ill-informed.

  20. I’ve driven an MG6 ‘mule’ which was based on a Roewe 550 and it was impressive, but I’ll reserve judgement until I get a chance with the finished article.

    The Roewe 550 and MG6 were engineered here in the UK for Chinese production and, if you could see things like the new engines and other hardware that are in the pipeline you would perhaps be less cynical.

    What about the Rover 75 heritage? Well, SAIC bought the IPRs to a very good platform which dated back to 1998 and, in order to get the Roewe 550 up and running they used some of the technology and design processes that had led to the Rover 75 and employed some of the same Engineers.

    However, SAIC did not cut and shut the Rover 75 platform – they built a new one, wider and with all-new suspension, dispensed with BMW-imposed changes that Dr.Reitzle had insisted upon at a late stage and created a new style and entire body and trim architecture.

    This could be the start of an exciting new chapter – I just hope that the Chinese market doesn’t dominate the equation so much that the rest of the world doesn’t get a look in.

  21. The Longbridge 550 isn’t equipped with a European suspension set-up, though, which is a shame because they’d be less reticent about letting people drive it outside the factory…


  22. Hi, just to put my twopenth in, I am 99% certain that I saw the above car being driven along the A11 near to a small village called Hethel, Norfolk (know what I mean!).

    I have to say that, although I was on the opposite carriageway, it looked stunning – a real head turner in the metal. I just hope it drives well too and is priced accordingly.

  23. The front looks quite OK but the back’s not really anything special. Interesting that MG/SAIC chose the same colour for the MG6 launch as McLaren Automotive chose for that of the new MP4-12C 🙂

  24. @Jonathan Carling
    MG have never made there “own car” – Morris Garages (as was) always rebodied existing Nuffield cars. MGs have always been parts bin specials and there is therefore nothing unusual in what SAIC have done but, (long pause) as I intimated before, this is just any old design with an iconic badge slapped on it – not good.

  25. @Obidiah Jones
    Nasty ill-informed comments ?

    Have you driven an MG6?? NO! Have you owned an MGB V8, Metro Turbo, ZT 260 V8, B GT, ZT 190, MG Magnette ?? No! I have – check on this site.

    I stand by my comments – it looks like a pile of sh*t. Keep YOUR ill-informed comments to yourself.

  26. @Obidiah Jones
    I’ve had every hot MG going for years and currently drive a ZT V8, RV8 and a Metro Turbo.

    What do you drive?? Probably a diesel 206, so your comments, in my opinion, are as worthless as this pile of Chinese sh*t!!!

  27. @Jonathan Carling
    MG have never made their “own cars” – Morris Garages (as was) always rebodied existing Nuffield cars. MGs have always been parts bin specials and there is therefore nothing unusual in what SAIC have done but, (long pause) as I intimated before, this is just any old design with an iconic badge slapped on it – not good.

  28. The number of “angry” exchanges which the MG6 launch has prompted at least prove that the MG brand still stirs the soul! I bet that a Toyota forum wouldn’t generate so much passion!!

  29. Lol at everyone!! I’ll reserve judgement on the MG6 until I’ve driven it but, in the meantime, I kinda like it.

    Will it set the world alight? Probably not. Is it offensive to look at? Not really. But that’s probably the point. It might be prudent to do what most of the really *steady* successful companies have done and start off with something neutral in order to test the water.

    That approach worked for the Japanese and the Koreans and now we’re starting to see more interesting stuff from them but it took time. Spen King once said, “just build a good car well, not an impressive car badly” and maybe that’s the point here…

  30. The reality is that the investment the Chinese will make in Longbridge – if it ever builds another car (and Lord knows why they are bothering) – will amount to little more than another box of screw drivers to go with the little used ones they imported for the TF.

    I believe that, if MG/SAIC were truly serious, then they would be just finishing off the new Engine and Pressing Plants but they are not so let’s see this car for what it is:
    a below average car that may be assembled here from bits imported from a country with a Human Rights record only marginally better than Stalin’s Russia.

  31. SAIC has, to date, sold its own-brand vehicles domestically but Chairman Hu Maoyuan hasn’t ruled out exporting Roewe cars to Europe or elsewhere eventually.

    Chen Hong said that, as part of the company’s next five year plan, it would make more than 500,000 own-brand vehicles.

    “We do not dare to say that we are very successful with our own-brand cars,” he said. “This is a difficult path and there is lots of work to do.”

    Separately, the company, one of General Motor’s [GM.UL] partners in China, also planned to begin producing the MG 6 in the UK by the end of 2010, said Chen.

  32. @Jonathan Carling
    I also think that it’s probably not economically viable to build cars in Britain – it’s probably more about “being able to say the car is built in Britain” even if “some of them” aren’t. Let’s hope they at least tweek the front and rear for the Euro and Australasian markets – I can’t see the car shown above doing well here. Alex.

  33. Is it me or is everybody missing a couple of points?

    Firstly, some are saying that the MG6 does not draw reference from MG’s past – well, what references are there for an MG saloon? A Magnette, a Montego, a ZS?. MG saloons have always been rebadged Austin/Morris/Rover models and, in any case, if companies like Ford, Toyota and other mainstream manufacturers kept references, there would not be any development in car design. Look at Jaguar, they went all retro and lost sales.

    Secondly, car production is possible at Longbridge due to import quotas. SAIC will need to build the MG6 in the EU if they have big ambitions for this car in Europe. Why do you think that Honda, KIA, Toyota and co have plants all across the EU? Just look at the US and the same has happened – if you want to sell volume you need to be able to produce in that region. More likely that production will be kept at Longbridge, even if it is CKD, for the volume selling models, with TF production not resuming in the UK at all.

  34. The MG6 looks like a five-year old Nissan Primera. It will never be built in UK, complete BS on the part of the Chinese. They are completely clueless. I would be surprised if it were a success in China, let alone in the West. Harsh, but unfortunately true.

  35. Why are people saying that the MG6 is bad when they have not even driven the car yet? The one on display in China won’t be to UK spec so, of course, it’s not going to look good – the Chinese like their little tinpot alloys for the roads over there. I would expect the UK version to have more ‘MG-ness’ to it.

    People are referring to the MG6 as Chinese but it’s more like Anglo-Chinese. The car was developed here in the UK to meet the demands of the Chinese market so it had to be a bit bland in order to be acceptable to both the Chinese market and, hopefully, the UK market.

    Remember how MGR turned the Rover 400 into the fantastic looking MG ZS Mk2? Well, surely there is no reason why the same won’t be done for this car in the UK.

  36. Front looks like a Holden Commodore HSV, back has been lifted straight off a BMW E60 and squashed up into a hatchback. However, these two contrasting styles somehow work rather well. Not convinced I would ever purchase such a device, but I do hope it is built at Longbridge and that it succeeds.

    I did find it interesting that a ‘British-designed’ car had a Press Release that had to be translated into English – surely the UK engineers should have had significant input into this document? I do wonder how the interior has turned out.

  37. I can’t believe I am reading most of the above… The MG6 is stunning – especially when you compare it to previous offerings by MG…

    Let’s remind ourselves of a couple of past MG beauties. The Maestro and the ZS were both ancient styling wise at launch, badly detailed and, in the case of the Maestro, badly assembled.

    FFS Longbridge was as dead as a duck in 2005 and MG with it too… Some of you may be happy with that… Well sod off to the BMW forum or summat because SAIC will make MG a success for certain! I for one am glad to see life being breathed into MG, Longbridge and British design and engineering…

    The only thing that isn’t MG about this car is that it will be reliable and built properly… The Roewe it’s based on came No1 in the JD Power Survey and the MG6 will be up there with it.

    Those who have seen the 550, which include myself, all say the car looks completely different than the pictures – it’s stance, proportions and detailing aren’t really shown in the pictures.

    My only concern is the engine range – the need for a diesel, the addition of eco features like stop start and the need for a more powerful engine… Styling wise the MG6 is pretty spot on in the metal – not too radical to scare people and different enough to have its own identity.

    All cars look a bit like each other so knit-picking over that is pointless…

    I am hacked off because I want a bright future for MG and the some of the comments above make me dispair due to the absence of intelligent rationality and the presence of offensive jingoistic prejudice.

    Give the damn car a chance, see it in the metal and drive it before sounding off!

  38. Oh my God! Is this what MG fans have been waiting for since the company went to the wall nearly 5 years ago? A dated Primera/Astra/Prius lookalike MG – Lord Nuffield and the men from Morris Garages would turn in their graves if they saw the new MG6. This is not an British-designed car but just another SAIC clone of another clone. That’s all SAIC are good at: copying other car manufacturers products…

    I don”t want to be a pessimist but this car hasn’t a hope because the MG Rover Dealer Network has now gone throughout the UK & Europe and Nanjing/SAIC have taken too long to relaunch MG from Longbridge. Five years is a long time and the Automotive Industry has changed a lot since 2005.

  39. Looks like a Proton Gen 2 to me. Strangely coincidental, but wasn’t there talk of Rover climbing in to bed with Proton in around 2003/2004?

    Are MG/SAIC really going to use a car with a different colour front bumper assembly to the rest of the car for press purposes?

    I don’t think the MG6 will sell enough here to even describe the figures as “poor.”

  40. Well, that’s good news for Longbridge and the surrounding area jobs-wise but they”ll have an uphill struggle trying to sell a car that just looks like a tin of beans on a shelf beside another tin of beans with a different brand name. The phrase “bland and be damned” comes to mind. Longbridge may yet remain the British car industry’s albatross.

  41. Well, this certainly brought out the comments! The MG6 should be launched as an original Chinese product with a catchy sales and marketing strategy like the original Daewoo’s rather than trying to restablish the ‘MG’ image with such a bland product.

    Incidentally, note that production is ‘planned’ for 2010 in UK, not promised!

  42. Most of you lot need a course of Prozac.

    I know it’s wet and dark out but, when a Chinaman with a few quid buys the remnants of a dying car maker and then as much as considers setting up business in the UK and paying some wages here, we should be grateful for whatever glimmer of hope we might have shoved our way.

    Please remember that MG was in British ownership under BL when it first screwed up, leaving the aged B to fester on till the Eighties.

    MG6 has no element of MG in it? What is the essence of MG? The stuffy vintage bores hate the A and B owners, the A and B owners hate the Z car owners… bits of Sherpa and Metro thrown in here and there: MG is a brand stamped on sporty cars made out of whatever bits and pieces worked at the time. What do you want, some squidged pastiche of an MGB, looking as insufferably Gucci handbag as new MINI? Ugh.

    MG6 looks bang on. Maybe an optional upright radiator with a chrome donkey mascot on top, along with a badge bar and some of the door seals deleted would suit those backward looking naysayers.

    All MG models have looked contemporary. The B was particularly similar in looks to the Renault Floride but you can add the Alfa Spider, Fiat 124 Roadster etc – no one can tell me that MG ever had a totally unique form.

    The MG6 is also designed for it’s time. I’m sure that if this car had the blue and white propeller badge and 218i written on it’s butt no one would bat an eyelid and £7k would be added to the price.

    Like a Kia or a crappy Hyundai? If you knew the kind of ratings Kia and Hyundai are getting in the States, which is where the new Genesis models are giving amazing levels of excellence right now, you would appreciate that stuff of this ilk is starting to kick the arse of the likes of Lexus and already makes any US vehicle look ridiculous in the quality stakes. SAIC already produces cars of this quality and hopefully Britain will be a part of it with MG6 production.

    Don’t therefore be so quick to poke fun. The Korea/China car worm has turned – and he’ll eat you for breakfast.

    Good luck SAIC and MG UK.

  43. John Hunton :
    @Obidiah Jones
    I’ve had every hot MG going for years and currently drive a ZT V8, RV8 and a Metro Turbo.

    What do you drive?? Probably a diesel 206, so your comments, in my opinion, are as worthless as this pile of Chinese sh*t!!!

    I agree with Peter… Let’s at least give the MG6 our support. John, your remarks are certainly strong and you are entitled to make them but fingers crossed it will create jobs in the UK car industry.

    The days of buying a British-built car from a British-owned car manufacturer are largely over so we have to take what we can get. Yes, you would have preferred a better designed car although, like Peter, I think it looks OK and will reserve final judgement until I finally see it in the metal but it’s, at least, a valiant effort. I, for one, will be delighted to see a few more new MGs on our roads – even more so if they have been built by British hands.

    I too drive an MG ZT-T 260. I wish that a replacement was available but maybe there never will be and, in that case, I will never sell it.

  44. @Mark
    Ah, but that’s the problem – the MG6 hasn’t got the blue and white roundel. MG means nothing now to most people – brand names and image take a long time to acquire but are easily lost. Think of the likes of Humber, Riley, Singer, Triumph and Wolseley etc…

    No, the MG6 should be sold as an authentic Euro-designed Chinese car and its image positioned in the same way as Hyundai and Kia are repositioning theirs.

  45. Totally agree with Richard Brown. We do have to take what we can get. I, for one, hope that the MG6 is built at Longbridge and that it is successful. However, I wouldn’t blame the Chinese for reading the jingoistic rantings and negative comments on here and saying “sod the UK, let’s build it in Slovakia.”

    Let’s see the car in the metal and drive it before we all criticise the styling. You never know it might be quite good.

    For the record, I quite like it. Oh, and also for the record, I always drove British cars given the choice but, sadly, that’s not a choice I have any more. However, I still have a Rover 75 and an MG F, even if I do drive a Proton every day – in a similar colour to the MG6 shown here!

  46. Well, for me it doesn’t look half bad at all. We should be thankful that it’s going to built at Longbridge. I think that, at the right price it will do well, and rightly so – it was after all, created with British engineering know how so I should imagine it will drive pretty well too.

    I think it will be fantastic to see new MG’s leaving Longbridge in significant numbers once more,so why don’t we all get behind it, forget the past and give it a go. Better that than joining the J. Clarkson brigade and slating the venture before it starts, then go and buy something really interesting like a Ford Focus (yawn!)

    I would definitely trade in my ZT-T for an MG6 when the model goes on sale here in the UK.

  47. Mark, that’s the best post of the day mate…

    I’m starting to wonder if J Clarkson isn’t just logging on under different names to post most of the negative rubbish above.

    Give it a chance… those headlights look like nothing else and in the metal may, just may, actually look quite cool.

    The car’s too big for me but, with all the negativity, I almost want to buy one… bring on a diesel and I might just do that.

  48. It looks like a reasonable hatchback, sensible family transport etc, which will go down well in China. Not sure about the MG badge though, as it’s not a sports saloon… a new badge would be more sensible or, perhaps, a different BL badge like Austin or Morris…

  49. Looks a little on the conservative side, but that’s where most of the buyers are going to be. Also, car shapes of late are getting a little bit plainer, with the differentiation in the details (e.g. Renault Mégane III), so the 6 is not strictly out of tune with the trends.

    As to the criticism about being based around the 75, who cares? The new Astra has plenty of platform components which can be traced back to the Astra G and the Chrysler 300 remained competitive in its sector for years despite Mercedes W210 bits. The 75 had a very capable platform to begin with and it has evolved a great deal since the 1990s.

  50. I don’t think that the MG6’s biggest hurdle will be the styling but its the engine range.

    It’s weak, 1.8l petrols with high CO2 output AND NO diesel????

    The cars just won’t sell without smaller cleaner petrol and diesel units.

  51. It stikes me that Proton is trying really hard with a Satria facelift which I’m not sure anyone knew was in the pipeline. The MG6 has as much to do with the Red Octagon as a Perodua Nippa has to do with a TVR. Desperate.

  52. Have you lot seen the new BMW 5-Series? Tell us what you think of the styling of that alongside the MG6. I think the MG6 in the photos looks rather good in silver. I’m not yet totally sold on those headlamps, but maybe I’ll get used to them. Overall, though, as a sporty 5-door hatch – rather than a 2-door sports car, it ain’t at all bad.

  53. Mr Knowles, you’re right about the MG6 having a similar side profile to the new BMW 5GT. I’m not that keen on it as I think the car is bland – but then so are the new Golf and Megane. Current design seems to make for over-elaborate lights with large expanses of bland metal (Lexus anyone?).

  54. That’s just the point – the MG6 looks as if its from the same jelly mould as all the various models people have mentioned above and it is very similar to the VW Golf headlights-wise.

    Funny how hardly anyone has mentioned what engines are under the bonnet? Is it still the K-Series (head gasketless)
    unit? Why don’t they launch a hybrid or full electric powered model like that other Chinese company, BYD, are doing? The MG6 would then definitely be a huge success as these are the only cars nowadays that the buying public are interested in.

    The late launch of the MG6 back into the UK market is another factor militating against the car’s success as, I suspect, are the poor sales volumes of the MG brand in China to date.

  55. Why not just buy something British made? An Auris, Avensis, Civic or Qashqai or, at least, something well made like a German car?

    We in the UK really do not know anything about the quality of Chinese cars and I would rather keep the money in the EU than give it to a Communist state-owned company which probably doesn’t pay its workers a lot!

  56. Graham H :

    Why not just buy something British made? An Auris, Avensis, Civic or Qashqai or, at least, something well made like a German car?

    We in the UK really do not know anything about the quality of Chinese cars and I would rather keep the money in the EU than give it to a Communist state-owned company which probably doesn’t pay its workers a lot!

    Have you read anything of the above?

    The MG6 has been DESIGNED and ENGINEERED in BRITAIN and will be BUILT in BRITAIN towards the end of next year!!!!!

  57. I agree with Graham H – all the cars he”s named above have more British input into them.

    I think the new Vauxhall/Opel Insignia, Jaguar XF and Mazda6 break the mould somewhat lookswise and are all very well made.

    Has anyone else seen the rest of the MG/SAIC family car range? Roewe 750 (a 12-year old Rover 75 design), the MG TF(a car developed as far back as 1995) and the Roewe 550 – a Chrysler Sebring copy. I seem to recall that GM successfully sued SAIC several years ago for plagiarism of one or more of GM’s models.

  58. Gary Hitchcock :

    I seem to recall that GM successfully sued SAIC several years ago for plagiarism of one or more of GM’s models.

    General Motors and SAIC Motor have a number of JV companies in China so there are unlikely to have been any IPR issues between the two companies as you suggest.

    However, I reckon that you may be referring to the IPR Proceedings which General Motors commenced against Chery Automobile in December, 2004. See the article from the China Daily at this link for more information.

    SAIC Group did, though, hold a 20% stake in Chery Automobile from 2001 until earlier in 2004 when the shares concerned were sold back to the company.

  59. Yes, that’s right. GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co. Ltd. claimed that Chery Automobile Co. Ltd’s QQ model copied the design of the Chevrolet Spark/Daewoo Matiz.

    However, on the subject of IPRs, what I can’t understand is why SAIC Motor don’t now buy the “Rover” brand name? I know that Ford were the first in line to buy it from BMW but it now looks highly unlikely that Tata Motors are ever going to use it in the future. I’m sure that SAIC would much rather use “Rover” than the unknown Roewe brand in this neck of the woods.

  60. It’s true about building ’em at Longbridge, then. I think that’s what the scriptwriters on “Yes Minister” would have called a courageous decision. However, I really hope it works out for MG/SAIC. Maybe the car looks better in some of the newer pictures, too. I think that, if the MG6 has a genuinely sporting specification, it really will be a true MG and, as such, a fit successor to the Magnette, Montego Turbo and ZS etc. Oh, and I don’t mean that sarcastically…

  61. My Brother-in-Law (who, by the way, is German) is a Car Designer and worked on the MG6. I’ll let him know of all your comments.

  62. @Gary Hitchcock
    Tata Motors probably does not wish to sell the IPRs in the Rover marque to SAIC Motor because otherwise there would be a very real chance that the latter company would seek to use the Rover badge on (possibly SsangYong Motor-developed) SUVs which would compete against various Land Rover models. Land Rovers are, in any case, often referred to simply as Rovers in markets such as the USA and so there would be a clear risk of confusion.

    I, for my part, reckon that SAIC Motor should revive the Sterling brand for any Roewe models marketed outside China in addition to the MG6 and any other forthcoming new MGs. However, for the foreseeable future, SAIC Motor’s main focus will be on re-establishing the MG marque on a truly global basis.

    Likewise, Tata Motors’ main aim for the next five years or so must be to ensure that JLR remain competitive and viable in the current economic climate – the recently announced new Business Plan makes no mention of a Rover revival but a case might still be made for that at some point in the future…

  63. I’ll buy an MG6 if they build it in the Midlands. Let’s hope that, when they replace their fleet of BMWs, the West Midlands Police do as well!

  64. SAIC Motor – quietly getting on with it – slowly I’ll grant you, but slowly getting on with it whilst the bitter, somewhat twisted and very defeatist UK sticks the knives in endlessly.

    That’s what I like about the Chinese… they only say something when they need to. I do worry that there seem to be a lot of false dawns, but perhaps all good things come to those who wait. Whether Confucious ever said that, who knows. Maybe I’ll be getting an MG6 to replace my 75 Tourer in years to come. Good luck MG/Roewe… we’re still out there!

  65. Ian Perry :SAIC Motor – quietly getting on with it – slowly I’ll grant you, but slowly getting on with it whilst the bitter, somewhat twisted and very defeatist UK sticks the knives in endlessly.

    That’s what I like about the Chinese… they only say something when they need to. I do worry that there seem to be a lot of false dawns, but perhaps all good things come to those who wait. Whether Confucious ever said that, who knows. Maybe I’ll be getting an MG6 to replace my 75 Tourer in years to come. Good luck MG/Roewe… we’re still out there!

    You have to accept that the Chinese have other things to do: Tibetans to persecute, dissidents to execute!

  66. I will pass comment when you can buy one from a showroom in the U.K. However, that will be in 2011 and the competition from rivals will have moved on considerably by then.

  67. I can’t think of a good reason why I would want to buy an MG6 over the new Honda Civic which will have much higher UK content.

    The only reason I suppose you would choose one is if you want something cheap and ordinary built by a company that’s owner (the Chinese) is good at brutally persecuting those who don’t follow the official line.

  68. Oh, so the Shanghai Municipal Government are in no way under the influence of the Chinese Government or Communist Party and are the upholders of all human rights and everybody should buy this car as they will spend the profits on helping orphans… I think not!

  69. Well, I like the MG6 and, if they do build them at Longbridge, I’d be quite happy to replace my Rover 25 with one.

  70. @Honorary Swede
    I was not, as you seem to have erroneously inferred, seeking to make a political point and merely wanted to take the opportunity afforded by your comment to clarify the ownership structure of SAIC Group and SAIC Motor for the benefit of all AROnline’s readers…

    I am a Non-Practising Solicitor and would never condone any form of Human Rights abuse in China or elsewhere. Some readers might have interpreted your final paragraph as suggesting otherwise and so that has been deleted in your own interests.

  71. I fail to see why this car looks much different from any other ‘Eurobox’ and hence it will sell well enough if sensibly priced and reliable.

    Some people may be frothing about the MG badge but, these days, it’s just that: a badge, a marketing symbol, nothing more or less. Many commenting on AROnline may not like MGs being built in China but, face facts, they have a car industry and a vast internal market while the UK has neither.

    Human Rights are, of course, a concern – with the world’s largest DNA database, the world’s greatest number of CCTV cameras, tracking via ANPR, secretive police squads to track ‘internal extremists’ such as anti-war protesters, laws being brought in so the Government can log everyone’s emails and phone calls, people should be outraged… whoops, that’d be the UK not China! Before worrying quite so much about Human Rights issues in other countries, I’d suggest people start worrying about their own here in the UK.

  72. The MG6 is an average looking car, not really anything special, but, hey, were the ZR, ZS and ZT so new and special? (I have owned a very nice ZS 180 V6 for 3 years.)

    I think that the picture of the grey MG6 is taken from the right angle… but MG/SAIC need to get rid of those nasty Ford Ka-like rims and put a minimum of 17 or 18 inch alloys on it. A sportier-looking dash would be an improvement too…

  73. Thanks for the nod Peter!

    BTW – was the MG name not ‘just a badge’ on the MG’d range from Metro to the latest ZT? Yes, of course it was. It wasn’t SAIC who started that trend – and what do you call UK-built Hondas with a few tweaks and Rover badges? Some people need a reality check.

    These days an originallly Daewoo-designed car can be either a Chevrolet or a Suzuki while the Vauxhall Insignia is a rebadged car made by Adam Opel which will be sold in both America and China as a Buick Regal. There are plenty more examples.

    Get with the programme. Badge swapping is all the rage.

    PS: To the 16 year old MG6 fan… Don’t worry, by the time you can afford the insurance premiums, there’ll be plenty of good used ones around!

  74. Wheels are a bit iffy though – same as the top of range TF.

    China – lack of human rights? Maybe. Haven’t spotted them joining in the slaughter of thousands of innocent people and soldiers in a squabble about oil recently though.

  75. It’s such a shame that this British-designed and soon to be built car is getting such a bashing on here.

    I think that, with regard to the car’s styling, perhaps the blind on here need to look at the recently launched Audi A5 Sportback and BMW 5-Series GT to see how on the ball the design is.

    This is the first of many new models which will be built at Longbridge – I can’t believe that that prospect is being so derided on here. Longbridge was Herbert’s factory and it is now being reborn.

  76. Remember MG’s previous slogan: “Life’s Too Short Not Too”

    Well, it’s true! SAIC have, to some degree, stuck to that and launched the MG6 as life is too short not too.

    I love Rovers and MGs and, yes, MG is the fast sporty car that we all know. However, given that we don’t have Rover anymore and Roewe does not even sound British, we should be thankful that SAIC Motor are investing in MG which does, at least, still have strong British connections.

    I say good on them – the MG6 looks good and, hopefully, feels good.

    Just give them a chance!

  77. Frank :Before worrying quite so much about Human Rights issues in other countries, I’d suggest people start worrying about their own here in the UK.

    People should, of course, worry about Human Rights in Britain but you should face the reality of the difference between what you enjoy in this country and what the profits from this car will go to support in China. New Labour Britain may not be perfect but we are a long way from the systematic torturing and murdering of people for no crime other than publically challenging the official Communist Party line.

    Remember that SAIC Group is a Chinese state-owned company (most Chinese state-owned companies are controlled at a Municipal level) and so by supporting it you are directly condoning and supporting the actions of the Chinese state.

  78. Clive Goldthorp :
    @Honorary Swede

    I understand the point which you are making but, for the record, SAIC Motor Corporation Limited (SAIC Motor) is listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and so the Chinese Government has no direct financial interest in the company.

    Indeed, I believe that the Shanghai Municipal Government owns SAIC Motor’s parent company, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC Group).

    Most Chinese state-owned companies are controlled at a Municipal level – this was standard practice in the Soviet Union and was subsequently adopted by the Chinese.

  79. I have read all the points of view, some valid, some emotional, some ideological but, at the end of the day, the MG6 will judged primarily on three factors:

    1) how it drives,
    2) price and value for money and
    3) most importantly, the number of units sold.

    Let’s not forget, in the midst of all this debate, that it’s how well a car sells that keeps people in jobs. Indeed, those who keep harping on about what an MG should or should not be would do well to remember that previous models did not sell in sufficient numbers to keep the company afloat… Point made!!!!

  80. Honorary Swede :

    Frank :Before worrying quite so much about Human Rights issues in other countries, I’d suggest people start worrying about their own here in the UK.

    People should, of course, worry about Human Rights in Britain but you should face the reality of the difference between what you enjoy in this country and what the profits from this car will go to support in China. New Labour Britain may not be perfect but we are a long way from the systematic torturing and murdering of people for no crime other than publically challenging the official Communist Party line.

    Remember that SAIC Group is a Chinese state-owned company (most Chinese state-owned companies are controlled at a Municipal level) and so by supporting it you are directly condoning and supporting the actions of the Chinese state.

    I am sure that, like me, many other AROnline readers will share your legitimate concerns about the Chinese Government’s Human Rights record.

    However, from a legal point of view, you should probably not make the assertion about how the profits from the MG6 will be used without some direct evidence to support your contention.

    I accept that, in reality, we are both highly unlikely to obtain the evidence upon which to prove or disprove that contention but, given that SAIC Group/SAIC Motor are clearly expanding rapidly at the moment, commercial logic would surely suggest that the companies’ profits will be used to fund those expansion plans.

    Any Chinese OEMs wishing to establish themselves on the global stage should, nevertheless, be prepared to address the issue which you raise with some degree of transparency…

  81. I get the feeling that, save for few comments here and there, most of you are still living in a time gone by, holding on to something that no longer exists: a British car market!!!! It’s gone, for the reasons already pointed out in various posts, but it’s gone.

    What MG/SAIC have done here is to design a safe non-offensive car, which fits the current popular mould. Put the MG6 alongside the new Fords, Kias and Toyotas etc, and you’ll find that they all have similar styling – MGSAIC have made a car they hope will join this market and make them easy money. The MG6 isn’t the greatest car I’ve ever seen – far from it -but it looks alright and that’s what they have aimed for so, as long as the price bracket is right, it will sell.

    I see these little Asian cars of various makes on the road everyday and ask myself who in their right mind would by one of those? Most of them look so awful and I’d much rather have a little MG ZR. However, I guess that’s the problem – I see them everyday so those of us who appreciate cars like the ZR, ZS and ZT are in the minority. People seem to no longer be driven by style, more price and purpose – they don’t care whether their car’s a box on wheels or not.

    Some have said that MG/SAIC are forgetting the MG fans. Well, of course they are – we are relatively few in number and won’t alone save a company which has already gone under once.

    We have, as some others have said, no option but to take what we can. The MG6 does, at least, wear an MG badge and, if this model can do well, then just maybe we will see more daring traditional sporty cars from the MG brand once more. Try, then, to support what little we have so the marque has a chance to grow again.

    I truly hope for Britain’s sake that the MG6 will go into production at Longbridge but I somehow doubt that will happen. Why strip something out and then take it back and start again? My fingers are crossed for those who lost their jobs in the hope that you will have the chance to build cars at Longbridge again but I think that financial factors will preclude that. Someone else has already pointed out that manufacturers who are planning on selling serious volumes in the UK build here but, as MG will not be challenging Honda, Toyota and the like for volume, I don’t see that happening.

  82. I don’t think that the MG6 is a bad effort – it looks like a good little car. I can’t see it doing too badly as long as they can launch it at a decent price and through a mildly competent Dealer Network.

    OK, it may not be a proper MG but it’s 2009! The Wallace and Gromit style of MGs and Rovers from recent history is now very dated!

    People have to remember that this is just a bread and butter hatchback and not a proper sports car. The chances are it’s going to be bought by budget conscience people who just want some transport. I reckon that, as long as it’s cheap, reliable and comes with inexpensive finance deals and good warranty, the MG6 should sell in decent volumes. Don’t forget that, if the MG6 does sell like that, then whose to say we won’t get an exciting new Mazda MX5 rival in a couple of years?

    You can’t judge an entire company just by looking at a few photos of one model on the web.

    We should also remember that, if production of the MG6 does come to the UK – and I really hope it will – people will be taken off the dole (through no fault of their own I might add) and that can only be a good thing.

    The only dark cloud I can think of is that (and I can’t believe I am condoning this) the Scrappage Scheme will probably have finished by then. However, if that was still running and MG/SAIC priced this car well, they might easily make a killing – just look how well the Koreans are doing at the moment!

  83. There’s not a lot I can add in this column… I think the car looks good and the modernised MG badge looks effective too. It could be one for me to buy when it is finally built (assembled?) in the UK. I tend to think that will be nearer to 2011.

  84. Grief people. I think the MG6 is a perfectly contemporary, well turned out vehicle, hitting the nail on the head. Make it too freaky retro or rive gauche and a few will be sold to us hardcore nutters – but I think we all want MG Motor to make a go of it.

    Furthermore – and I am sorry if I offend – in terms of retroness, I personally feel the 75, especially in Rover guise, was too retro-looking from the start – too many lovely wide curves when everyone else was getting into the edge thing. Fine for those who appreciate a decent Mouton Cadet – but I’m not sure how many less cultured middle executives (most of them in my experience) the 75 pulled away from Audi etc.

    What I’m saying, then, is that to appeal to the widest audience, I’m afraid a product has to be delivered with the desires of most average people in mind. The MG6 does this.

    Sorry 75 people and middle executives… I am sure there are exceptions, somewhere.

  85. Bloody hell! Just shut up everybody, put your money where your mouth is, sell the Peugeot and buy the MG6!

    I will be!

  86. @DaveH
    If I recall, 60% of the car parts must be built here to qualify as a quota/tariff free car. However, it may just be so cheap to produce everything out in China that SAIC Motor could probably absorb the tariffs anyway. That said, I know that windscreens and other glasses are more likely to be produced here.

    Personally, I think it’ll be taken in stages so you will see CKD and then, if all goes well, possibly a larger amount of full production. You never know, though, it could just go tits up and be misunderstood by the Chinese and then pulled out of Britain/Europe altogether.

    What I want to know is why is there no news of a new engine under development? SAIC Motor desperately need to change that power plant for something more eco-friendly – the CO2 emissions from the 1.8T are way too high for this sector.

  87. The MG 6 and Roewe 550 were based on the chassis of the Mazda 6 in case the people posting in November were wondering.

    I think we should all be buying the MG 6 to help support more jobs at Longbridge and try, at least, to bring the car industry back to the UK.

  88. @John Gomersall
    I should be very interested to learn the basis for your assertion that the MG 6 and Roewe 550 are based on the Mazda 6’s chassis as AROnline understands that the two cars are, in fact, based on a heavily modified version of the Rover 75 platform.

  89. I’ve heard that too (SAIC using the Mazda 6 chassis) about a year or so ago – when the Rover name ended up under Ford ownership Ford were going to launch a new Rover saloon based on the new Mazda 6 (Mazda was, at that time, a Ford-controlled company) but, alas, it never happened and the dormant Rover name passed on to Tata.

  90. Here we go again. The demise of MG Rover was accelerated by bad press (and, in particular, UK Press that savaged the company even when it had success). How quickly people forget that MG Rover sales in Europe were outstripping BMW’s. How easy to forget that Honda wished for greater investment and co-operation before the BAe shares were sold on (with a complicit Government) and led to BMW successfully destroying a major competitor.

    Oh, and before the gung ho know-it-alls slate this comment, let’s remember that, prior to the Rover purchase, BMW were a relatively small scale (in the world market) family-owned operation which had a limited range of vehicles. Post MG Rover, BMW (surprise surprise) developed a four-wheel drive range. (The principal reason for purchasing MG Rover was access to Land Rover engineering). The 75 was designed and engineered by MG Rover with only the Z-axle introduced by BMW. BMW deliberately under-powered MG Rover vehicles to prevent ‘cousinly’ competition. Finally, you will no doubt be glad to hear, did anyone notice how oddly similar the Rover TCV and the BMW 1-Series look or notice the BMW Group’s desire to own historic british motoring badges for future use or sale?

    Anyway, back to the point. The same ill-educated and pavlovian response criticisms engineered by years of conditioning via the UK Press have arisen once more. This time it’s MG getting it in the neck instead of the historic ‘let’s slag Rover, but the MG is quite good’ comments of the past. A car which has had limited coverage with only a few photoshots is being slated. Why? ‘Because its not a real MG’. Was the BMW a ‘real Mini’? What is a real Ford? Anything with Ford badge perhaps?

    In an age where even Volvo is ‘not really’ Swedish and where Ferrari and Lamborghini are owned by companies that are viewed as being lesser brands, it’s time to get real. Wait for the UK production models to arrive and be tested (not by the Hooray Henry UK Press) but by the consumer, before seeking to criticise.

    Sure, it’s not the styling I first expected, but times change and brands must adapt. Had the XF styling been an MG or a Rover, we would have had all the same comments, it’s not a…

    Time for the ill-informed armchair critics to develop a proper critique or just simply either learn more about what they are saying or, quite frankly, be quiet.

  91. @Clive Goldthorp

    Perhaps people are simply being confused by MG “6” and Mazda “6”? I think, by the way, it has been fairly well established that the Rover brand was handed straight over to Land Rover, not Tata Motors per se.

  92. I would like to believe the MG 6 will be built at Longbridge but the majority of the staff there have only ever built MG TFs and to build a new car at Longbridge they are certainly going to need to upgrade the skills of the workforce.

    I don’t underestimate the skill of the MG employees currently there but the understanding of what goes on well before the build is a neccessity that they will require or need to be trained in very quickly. Going to China and watching the build is certainly not enough as the assembly line workers will need to be conversant with many of the processes required for such a challenge to be successful.

    I do, though, hope that Longbridge is successful and becomes viable again.

  93. I actually worked within the prototype building at Longbridge and was part of the training team that built the new MINI. The preparation for that build was well planned beforehand and the staff who were selected from the production areas had to go through various training courses to be successful. During the build phases of MINI ,the teams were attaining NVQs in training and coaching, electrical systems, health and safety process awareness and many other courses.

    I agree that the current staff will need to be trained very quickly as there will be no time for any weak links for the successful launch of the MG6. To be able to put a nut and bolt on and tighten it up will certainly not be enough. I write this with the best intentions but perhaps with a glint of green in my eye as I would certainly love to be part of this venture.

  94. Having spoken to some MG employees over Christmas, it is clear that no build plans are currently in place and that no work has been done within the production areas at Longbridge for the new MG6.

    Questions surely need to be asked as we all know from idle chatter that the MG TF was stage-managed and it was all polished up in one small area for the press. Are we being duped?

    What is hard to understand is why SAIC Motor, a global car manufacturer, is toying with Longbridge when other, more modern, plants are closing and available. Indeed, that’s all the more puzzling when you go into CAB 1 and see that everything has been stripped out and taken to China…

  95. My contacts on the inside at Longbridge have apparently been told that only 2,500 MG 6s are to be built and they are only going to build the front end. MG Motor UK do not intend to recruit any staff for this venture – so much for job recruitment and preserving the MG brand.

    MG Motor UK must, after all this time, be losing money hand over fist by keep Longbridge open – there are over 300 people employed there and that must be costing the company at least £1.5million a month in salaries and, with no production for the last 6 months, the site has got to be operating at a loss.

3 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. SAIC-owned MG launches MG 6, first all-new car in 14 years | cars burner
  2. SAIC-owned MG launches MG 6, first all-new car in 14 years | Auto Sources
  3. SAIC-owned MG launches MG 6, first all-new car in 14 years | Car Photo Blog

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