Where Do We See This Then?
Thursday 12 January saw what is believed to be the first MG6 to hit the harsh world of the automotive auction hall. Manheim Remarketing was the auction group and the venue was its huge Colchester site. Auctioneers Nick Key and Dean Jones were the boys on the rostrum charged with finding the car a new home and more significantly, a residual base for the model range.
Entered by a Main Dealer Group, believed to be Roy HG Tolley of Colechester, which is an authorised MG dealer. The MG6 had previously been advertised for £13,495 on AutoTrader. This adds a new dimension to seeing the MG hatch at auction; MG Motor UK vowed upon the car’s launch that no ‘6 would be found for sale outside of the dealer network for the first two years of the vehicle’s life. Primarily, this was to protect the residual value of the cars and maintain an air of desirability for the range.
The car itself was a 2011/11-plate Granite Grey MG6 1.8T GT (although nobody but nobody referred it as a GT) finished in mid-range SE spec. The car had covered a not-yet-run-in 3000 miles. Given the age/mileage/spec this was pretty much the pick of the range, so a sale should have been easy enough. Especially when the sale that day was going great guns, the motor trade it seems is determined to fill its boots out of recession with regard to stocking levels.
Unfortunately, the MG6 entered the hall at the end of a long and frantic sale where a Bentley GT had just wowed the crowds with a low starting price and resultant strong bidding. As the MG6 drove in, my heart sank and the traders dispersed, they’d just had their high and it was lunch time. I had the CAP residual figures in my hand. It was booked at just £11,800 a bargain by anyone’s measure. The auctioneers gamely threw the initiative at the remaining Traders, “You tell me then, where do you see this?”.
Talk like this is an open invitation to insult the auctioneer with a derisory starting price. The idea being that such a low opening bid from the floor will spark interest and get bidding underway.
No bid was forthcoming, despite repeated requests. Eventually, it seemed the fire extinguisher bid £10,500. A pot plant then bid to £10,600, a poster advertising a Fried Breakfast threw in a bid of £10,700 and so forth until the No Smoking sign closed the sale with a provisional bid of £11,000. The car remains for sale and will make another celebrity appearance on Tuesday 17 January. According to our sources, £12,000 is needed to secure the vehicle. That’s a drop of around £5390 against new, retail.
Questions must therefore be asked of MG Motor UK and its commitments to the dealers, the cars and the owners. Why, despite their robust pledge to protect MG6 residuals has a franchised dealer sent a prime example of the model to action? From what’s understood, this was strictly not to be tolerated. I can understand a desperate dealer doing so, for the banks are tough with regard to stocking loans – meaning cars and cash must be turned for a business to be viable.
Why then, has MG Motor UK not stepped in and taken the car back in-house to sell through its Gate-Q operation? This would protect the dealer and the residuals.