News : Avis buys fleet of 100 MG6s

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

MG6s have been delivered to Avis at Heathrow
MG6s have been delivered to Avis at Heathrow

One of Britain’s leading car rental firms will soon be running the MG6. Avis Rent a Car has taken delivery of 100 MG6 GTs and MG6 Magnettes. It is the first order of its kind for MG. The cars will be put on Avis’s national car hire fleet and customers will soon be able to hire the MGs. Both the MG6 GT and the MG6 Magnette are powered by a 1.8-litre turbocharged engine.

The cars are designed, engineered at MG Motor’s plant at MG Birmingham where final assembly also takes place. Anthony Ainsworth, Commercial Director of Avis Rent a Car, said: ‘We are extremely pleased to see the iconic MG marque back again and know that our customers will be delighted to be offered the chance to drive an MG when they hire a car from us.’

Guy Jones, MG Motor UK’s Sales and Marketing Director, said: ‘We are delighted that such an important company as Avis will be promoting the MG6 as part of its fleet.’

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

45 Comments

  1. A very good move. Not only will people finally get to drive the car in numbers, but it will create some good used car stock for the dealers. If the cars are rotated every 6 months or so and sold through the network for a 10k asking price and reasonable finance then the dealers will start to shift some. This should have happened at the start.

  2. There comes a time when a ‘fan’ site publishes the fact that Avis have taken on 100 cars more than MG do themselves. Their comment about it not being posted on their biggest for of advertising (Facebook)

    “MG This is something that we will cover in more detail in the New Year. / Keith”

    You would have thought news like this would be shouted from the rafters at every opportunity, but it appears news such as this, and the NCAP ratings aren’t that important???

  3. This is only good news relative to selling seven in November. Being loaded with fleet sales on which little money is made is one of the big reasons that GM and Chrysler had to be bailed out. If MG gets in the habit of this too much, it will seriously harm their ability to sell to regular people. Too many people don’t want to look like they drive an off-rental car, and it will get such a reputation for such that sales to individuals (with higher margins and greater expensive options) will suffer in the long run.

    Lest you think I’m alarmist about this, there was a nice midsize in the late 90s here called the Oldsmobile Intrigue. It was handsome, reliable, and the magazines even liked the way it drove. It wasn’t well marketed, though, and many ended up in rental fleets (which GM will always do to keep the lines running). It was a nice product, but Oldsmobile was dead six years later.

    Don’t wish this kind of sales on MG if you want them to succeed. I’m pretty indifferent to the Chinese MG, but I’m not blind to what’s happening.

  4. At least this news will boost the sales figures. Most Hire fleets use GM & Ford type products – I cant remember any major hire company using MG’s in the past (excluding genuine “Rover”). One would expect some good used examples will then be available at a keener price, like Fiesta’s & Focus’s are, on the FordDirect network

  5. Can only be seen as a positive step and good on you avis,taking a step like this,its engineers would have been all over this car and have put a lot of faith in it.

  6. It won’t be mentioned yet in any case for MG until the New Year starts and everyone gets over their hangovers. If they’d have done it a day or two before christmas, the impact of both days would have been lost. Especially since it was 2011’s news and not 2012’s. Also, it is the holiday period so they need to get back to base and fire up the PR wagon then onwards.

    My concern is this new diesel. Specified by MG UK and built over in China, is this going to be another ‘K’? I certainly hope not- I’d rather it wasn’t rushed in order to ensure full product life cycle reliability. The TCi Tech seems to be bearing up quite well but if the new diesel starts to get a poor reputation, because the sensitivities of the MG brand when it comes to reliability, this could cause some major issues in future.

  7. @ RossA

    What makes you think the diesel development has/is being rushed?

    It’s been in development quite a while now and still not ready for release just yet.

  8. well this is brilliant news for mg i have now seen a few mg 6’s on the road and there growing on me. also the new diesel has been in development for well over 2 years according to all the speculation on the net so lets keep our fingers crossed and hope its a sound engine and i hope in the new year that mg really rolls out more sales and new cars.

  9. This is a double edged sword everyone. Yup it is a big order at an insane discount no doubt, that none of the dealers will benefit from (stabbed in the back AGAIN, because dealers would have loved to get their hands on the cheapo TF’s, and earned some cash from sales). Plus it will mean that used 6’s & Magnettes will be dumped onto the used trade (Motorpoint or some other big chain & not the franchised dealers) in batches, at knock down prices, thus damaging residuals further. It is private sales they really need, and with the diesel nearly a year away, they simply won’t get them. The private buyer in the size class is now firmly wedded to the ‘fuel of satan’.

  10. I agree. This IS good news. I look forward to seeing some on the roads now, as regrettably, I’ve not seen any yet in the metal.

    The rental opportunity will, in my opinion, have resulted in a) close scrutiny of the car before AVIS signed up and b) will give the interior a chance to show how it stands up to the use a rental car gets, so it’s longevity and product testing here.

    Well done to everyone concerned at MG and AVIS.

  11. In response to not seeing any on the road as yet – I have – one. It was not a good experience, they look AWFUL. Really AWFUL. Everything about the proportion of this car is wrong its the worst looking car ive seen in many years, and I dont think many private buyers will want one. I would rather drive a chevrolet or something of that ilk.

  12. Great News, hoping put the MG brand on the road, also might tempt the buying public, and customers of Avis too. I not seen any MG6s in my part of the world. Regards,

  13. Ah! Some good news from MG. I don’t imagine that MG will make a single penny from this deal, but it will get the cars noticed on Britain’s roads and get people behind the wheel. When dear old British Leyland (and indeed ARG) had British Car Rental, it worked a treat for promoting the cars and enhancing sales.

  14. John – Comment 16

    The MG6 “looks AWFUL”. It may not personally ‘light your fire’ but the car’s looks can hardly be described as awful. Speaking for myself, I very much like the appearance of the MG6.

    Are you sure you’ve actually seen one??

  15. I’ve said this elsewhere but I’ll post again here.

    The sale of 100 MG6’s to Avis is good news. Bl**dy good news compared to 7 sales last month. Also, I believe these 100 cars are part of a larger order of 500.

    It isn’t just the sales themselves either – MG6’s running around on hire will be great publicity.

  16. John – Comment 16

    If you wouldn’t buy the MG6 for your reasons stated, that in effect wipes out about 90% of the other cars in the sector. It is no better or worse that similarly sized competitors, and certainly no worse than the obesity that has beset cars like the Focus et al.

  17. I agree with otehr posters about visibility. The old adage “Out of sight, out of mind” could not be truer for the motor trade and this could help get a few more potential buyers on board.

    Well done Avis & MG, some good news at last.

  18. I think the issue about fleet discounts and their effect on residuals is academic when the manufaturer concerned is currently hardly selling any cars at all! The MG is a cheap, non premium, non mainstream car. It can only ever be sold for next to nothing. Pushing them onto Avis will at least give Longbridge something to do and will actually get the cars onto the road and make people aware of their existence.

  19. Comment 16 – “its the worst looking car ive seen in many years” – can’t agree with that at all. You can’t have been looking round much! Much better looking than the new Focus (who on earth styled the back end?) and Renault’s current range (especially the Scenic which looks like it was penned by a 4 year old). The MG6 has problems (mainly due to SAIC’s marketing and the lack of engine options) but looks are probably the least of its worries.

  20. I can’t agree that it’s that ugly either. being charitable, you could say that it looks like a cheap copy of a Vauxhall Insignia, which is very nearly a good thing. Other than that, it’s too bland and inoffensive to qualify as properly ugly.

  21. I wouldn’t even use the word bland. The front is quite distinctive if only by virtue of being very attractive. In profile, the car has a lower, leaner more rakish look than most of the current herd. I like the car. Given the limited dealer network and engine options I can understand low sales but not virtually non existent ones. If I had the cash and was in the market I’m sure I’d have made tracks to my nearest agent by now and bought one if happy with the car after test drive etc. Don’t think I would even have bothered making many comparisons with rivals either – my heart would have been almost set before I walked into the showroom!

  22. It isn’t an ugly car by any means, you could perhaps acuse of being somewhat generic, but not ugly. It has strong overtones of Mazda 6 in my opinion.

    Overall the Avis deal is a good one, especially if the the order is repeated and the used examples find their way to what must be a hard pressed dealer network.

    It also gives that network more cars to service and maintain etc.

  23. I cant agree the car looks bland,especially the saloon which i think looks better,when i look at a new focus i think it looks like a candidate for the barryboys website,that front bumper looks larded on by some knobhead on his own mental health trip!

  24. drove my first mg 6 0ver the holiday at webbs in wychbold,it will do better as rental car not being disrespectful but if you had real money to throw about youd spend it somewhere else. not impressed one bit ,agreed nice drive but very tacky design and build. interior poor and nowhere near the feeling of an mg , ive listened to a lot of good points ,my opinion only if this is what mg have to offer time to cut the losses and move on

  25. A massive sales increase, using rental cars is the way to go, it gets attention from a good cross section. as for the diesel version. I suspect Mg werent overly concerned about the diesel version or maybe even overall sales figures. if they were concerned about the diesel engine Im sure they could have put someone elses diesel engine in initially. but a petrol powered Mg is probably fairly economnical anyway. We pulled a trailer to Wanganui with our 318 for christmas, it pulled the 400 to 500 kg trailer (including tents and stuff) long nicely and still returned an unbeleiveable 9 litres /100 km, I expect MG’s 1800 T petrol will perform as well, and be quite respectable, alex

  26. All I hope is that the diesel get a decent validation for a low VED, the insurance remains low. NVH has been properly sorted not just nmchanically but in terms of installation. If the diesel sounds dog-ruff, people will definitely be moving swiftly on.. to a Kiundai…

  27. 30 – Yes, I was very disappointed by the interior (including the funny smell). It is the least convincing part of the car, and the quality is nowhere near as good as an entry level Kia. Need to improve ready for the Diesel launch. Also need a halo car, could MG revive a Mustang powered MG7 or Roewe 750?

  28. well no production till feb/march so avis must be getting previously built stock /we have been doing these avis cars for mths, o well whats next

  29. Spud – u – Like:

    “I would be mortified if a rental company gave me one of these. I want a Mondy/Insignia in Diesel, if you please”

    I was wondering what the MG6 would be an alternative to as well. It certainly wouldn’t be acceptable as a Mondy/Insignia alternative, it might be okay if all the Astras had already been taken and that’s all that was left behind. If it’s were simply used as a mid size car for Fiesta money, then I’d be happy.

  30. Don’t know why people are bothered by the styling, it’s quite good compared with most competitors. It looks like what Mazda and GM were trying to acheive with the 6 and the Insignia, and Ford with the Mondeo. And it’s way ahead of the horrible 5 series GT 🙁

  31. Maestro man: “It looks like what Mazda and GM were trying to achieve with the 6 and the Insignia, and Ford with the Mondeo.”
    Whilst your charity towards the SAIC / Zombie MG’s styling is remarkable, this is pretty unfair on the genuinely talented people who designed the Insignia and the Mondeo, especially when you consider that the Mondeo is nearly 5 years old and (with the discounts available) is substantially cheaper than the SAIC.
    http://www.nationwide-cars.co.uk/discount_new_cars/ford_mondeo_hatchback_m52474.asp

  32. Good news for MG and the dealer network, MG needs to be seen and driven there is nothing wrong with it’s design or it’s interior it compares with well with all of it’s competitors it just needs some agressive selling from a positive dealer network, hire fleet deals,self registrations and motability are all part of the number that make up the monthly registration chart so if you want numbers you have to join in.
    Let all the anoracks worry about the interior plastic,body styling,and whether or not they would like their friends to see them driving one, they’ve got “What Car ” every month and “Top Gear” to keep them happy, so come on MG get on with the job peoples livelyhoods depend on Longbridge being successful !!

  33. I saw my 1st MG6 today, in an office car park in Solihull. You know, they look better in the flesh than photos suggest. Don’t know if was a privately-owned or one of these rental cars, but at least they’re out there.

    Has anyone seen pictures of the (Alfa Romeo Guilietta-based) MY2013 Dodge Dart? And does anyone else think it looks like an MG6?

  34. This story had passed me by – brilliant news, anything to raise the rpofile! Let’s hope they prove reliable – then Avis’s next order might be for 1000!

  35. Sound move. Good bit of business.

    Next up I would be offering MGs as courtesy cars / athlete & press runabouts for the olympics. Free of charge.

    ‘Need a lift to get to the track, Usain? Hop in buddy’

    Priceless publicity if they can sneak (officially) a few into the village and venue areas.

  36. Stop Press!!

    Had my second sighting of an MG6 on the public highway yesterday.

    I was busy looking for a parking space and it was actually my 11 year old daughter who first spotted it (you can tell whose daughter she is!). Anyway, got a close look as I ended up parked just a few cars in front.
    My initial enthusiasm about a sale disappeared as I noted MG.Co.UK logos on the dash and rear.

    Looked pretty smart although I remember being more impressed at my dealer viewing.

  37. This is probably the most risk-free way to experience a MGwe in the flesh- certainly far more valuable than a 10 minute accompanied jaunt on the nearest dual-carriageway/urban roads that most main dealers will offer you as a driving experience.

    Still yet to actually see one in the flesh…

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