News : MG5 in Guangzhao no-show

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Keith Adams

So far this is the only MG5 to make the motor show circuit
So far this is the only MG5 to make the motor show circuit (picture from April 2007)

Despite the arrival of undisguised cars shown exclusively to China Car Times last week, the MG5 proved elusive at this year’s Guangzhao Auto Show. The website had shown the vitally important new car, praising its styling – although AROnline‘s readership was more reserved.

CCT’s Ash Sutcliffe writes, the MG5 is quite possibly the most anticpated car of the year, the concept was unveiled at the Shanghai Auto Show earlier this year and was widely believed to be at the Guangzhou Auto Show this week, especially as we got early shots of the cool looking hatchback ahead of time.

So you can imagine the disappointment this afternoon when I rushed to the MG stand at the end of a day full of appointments to find the MG5 concept and end car missing from the MG stand. The MG stand had only the MG6, MG3, MG3 XROSS and then it was over to the shared Roewe stand where nothing was new either.

[Source: China Car Times]

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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43 Comments

  1. MG management aim shotgun at both feet *BLAM*. This lot seem even more inept than the management at BL in the 1970s. Dear oh dear.

  2. Sorry totally confused, is that MG5 a MGR MG ZS? and if so how come, I thought Honda was reluctant to allow the Chinese to use it or was that just the 5dr hatch?

  3. Simon, that was my first thought too. Why does an MG ZS have an MG5 badge on the boot? Are they similar in design or have the Chinese got lost in translation?

  4. To be fair I’m not sure that SAIC had actually confirmed the new vehicle would be there had they? It may have just been Ash Sutliffe’s over-enthusiasm that he thought it might be there.

    Anyway, the MG5 (Z car?) on display looks a better bet than the proposed new one, perhaps they have had a re-think or perhaps the marketing budget for this year has been used up expensive international advertising…..

  5. @Simon Woodward

    I’m confused too!
    Is that a photo of a ZS ?
    – looks like one, with a MG5 plate on the back πŸ™‚

    Project arse & elbow strikes again.

  6. Here’s the caption from the photo…

    ‘So far this is the only MG5 to make the motor show circuit (picture from April 2007)’

    The car was shown in 2007 – by NAC, and was called MG5. As you’ve probably worked out, it didn’t go into production…

  7. Pic from 2007, so probably one crated out there and SAIC/NAC hoped they’d be able to punt them out until Honda stopped them. If you google images of MG5 tis only the blue ZS above that appears, rest are the concept and disguised ones.

  8. @ Simon Woodward:

    You are correct. Honda was reluctant to allow anyone else after MG Rover Group went into administration the use of its designs. Hence why on the day after MG Rover Group’s chances of survival had floundered to nothing, Honda sent in its personnel to remove the assembly equipment it had leased to the Longbridge-based manufacturer.

    Any unused bodyshells were soon removed or dismantled by employees of Nanjing Automobile Corporation, probably because they knew they did not have the IPRs for these designs.

    What SAIC are doing with a rebadged MG ZS seems completely illogical to me.

  9. “What SAIC are doing with a rebadged MG ZS seems completely illogical to me.”

    Read above, it was taken in 2007, when NAC were still trying to negotiate the IPR from Honda.

  10. Obviously CCT got it wrong by announcing the MG5 would be on show. At no point did SAIC say it would be.

    As Keith has pointed out, this pic is from 2007 when NAC owned MG. It has nothing to do with SAIC who, I imagine, are probably more than happy not to have the old and outdated Honda-based cars on their hands.

  11. Sorry to be negative, but really 5yrs?

    Why do Mg seem to take forever to do anything of substance?
    Particular here in the UK.

  12. Keith I remember those photos of the NAC guys destroying the R45 bodyshells. I’m sure I have seen this photo of an Ignition blue MG ZS(sorry MG5?) before – here and in MG Enthusiast mag. Why dont they just restart MGZS saloon production instead? – still looks good to me.

    If memory serves, Rover redesigned the dashboard in 2004 because Honda had phased out the Civic style version.

  13. @ Keith Adams:

    Do you recognise any of the culprits doing this beastly act to Rover 45/MG ZS bodyshells, or know where they live?

    I would like to go round and have a quiet word with them about their dispictable antics.

    The car in that photo might be the very same one that appeared in the Visitor’s Centre at Longbridge in 2006 featuring the new G Series engine.

    @ Hilton D:

    Yes, the dashboard for the Rover 45 and MG ZS was redesigned, partly because Honda wanted to stop production of it as they were only building it in small numbers to meet the needs of MG Rover Group.

  14. Thanks David 3500 for confirming that… of course by 2004 Honda were well into their next gen of Civic cars. Your suggestion of a ZS with a G series motor sounds interesting – know any more?

  15. @ Hiltom D:

    I seem to recall that in late 2005/ early 2006, after Nanjing Automobile Corporation had acquired the remaining assets for MG Rover Group, it used the Visitor’s Centre for press gatherings etc. One of the cars in the Vicitor’s Centre was an MG Rover Group built MG ZS finished in Ignition Blue (the same colour as above) which had a G Series turbo-diesel engine under the bonnet.

    This engine was just six months away from its official announcement.

    Other cars ‘on display’ were the MG TF GT design concept and the stunning Rover 75 Coupe design concept, albeit now wearing a rear ‘lip’ spoiler and MG badges (the latter feature really upset me).

  16. “Why dont they just restart MGZS saloon production instead? – still looks good to me.”

    They weren’t allowed to because part of the joint venture agreement with Honda was if one company folded the rights reverted to the surviving company. Honda didn’t wish anyone else to continue with their technology.

    Let’s not forget though the ZS/45 was already outdated in 2005, it was a 10 year old design.

  17. on the uk side of the NG business saic must be losing money by the millions. 450 employees /large factory /no current production /partly built vehicles /shipped overseas ,there has to be more to this than meets the eye surely i just dont get it ,its either a complete tax fiddle or a remake of one flew over the cuckoos nest , ne ideas nebody,surely the chinese aint that stupid .

  18. Why isn’t the G series diesel in production, eg for MG6 – didn’t SAIC get the rights or would it now no longer meet Euro emission standards?

    Were the old shells just smashed up or cannibalised to yield spares for CAT/X Part – if the former that sounds like unjoined up thinking.

    I hope the new MG5 has been through a customer styling clinic but if it has I hate to think what they rejected…

  19. Thanks again David3500. The G series diesel sounded like a good proposition. Pity SAIC hadn’t had it available for the MG6. Secondly I remember the Rover 75 Coupe prototype and how it “hastily” had MG badges added!

  20. Diesel tech has moved very quickly in the last few years. I doubt a G series would cut it today without significant investment. I would be interested though to ascertain just how good it was back in the day.

    Disappointed that the 5 was a no show but perhaps that means the money saved on marketing can be used in the UK instead? All I know is that if MG is to make it in Europe it needs 3 things: 1) The MG3, 2) The MG 5 and 3) A diesel engine. it currently has none of these.

  21. “Were the old shells just smashed up or cannibalised to yield spares for CAT/X Part – if the former that sounds like unjoined up thinking.”

    Crushed. Many were rusty from sitting on the conveyor for months, as many hadn’t reached the stage of being primed. Those that had already been through the paint shop were crushed because who would want to buy second hand panels at new prices? The cost of the logistics would out weighed any savings, it was far more cost effective for them to just be crushed for scrap. Apart from the bolt ons like Doors, Bonnet & wings the rest of the shell would be very low demand for spares, few people would bother to re-shell one, and no one is going to want to cut repair panels out of one, you can do that by going to a scrap yard for parts or use pattern panels.

  22. @dolomitefan:

    My understanding of the commonrail diesel G Series is that in its initial eight-valve form, it would have offered a comparable level of refinement and power output as the 116Ps M47R unit used in the Rover 75 and MG ZT. A twin-cam sixteen-valve version was also in the early testing stages and would have likely produced around 160Ps.

    The cost saving benefits to MG Rover Group from producing its own single diesel engine in various states of tune in place of the L Series and M47R would have been enjoyed very quickly.

  23. Simply beautiful car. Such a shame it was never produced, especially with the V8 and rear wheel drive. Although my actual ZT V6 is the worst car I’ve ever owned, what the hell!

  24. Shame they didnt produce the coupe, looks really good in Rover and MG guises.I thought when Nangking and SIAC came together the cars they were producing seen more MG branded cars made availible to the UK maret.

  25. @ Keith Adams:

    Thanks for posting this image.

    In some ways it is a rather sad image to view as my example of a ‘production’ Coupe would have ideally been finished in Royal Blue with a Sandstone interior and, above all, sporting a Rover badge. It was truly in a class of its own as it ultimately had little opportunity to make it beyond being a design concept celebrating 100 years of the Rover car production.

  26. The top photo of the MG ZS (ok, it’s badged 5) reminds me just what successful styling (and engineering) exercises the Z cars were. MG Rover, Rover and previous were masters at acheiving so much from so little!!

    The first comment from Marty B regarding inept management is perfectly understanable given the present position – MG re-launch in UK six months ago and STILL no on the road sightings. History repeating itself yet again ie management being the primary cause of failure….

  27. @40 – yes, MGR and the predecessor companies were brilliant at conjuring up cars out of next to nothing but I’d question whether the Z cars were such “successful styling and engineering exercises”. They were good cars that gave MG a fresh breath of life (+ extra sales), but most people regarded them as go faster Rovers which of course were cars that the public had long since chosen to disregard. Indeed many non-MG drivers likened the creation of the Z cars from the Rover range to a middle aged man wearing clothes more suitable to man half his age in an attempt to appear ‘cool’. Maybe that was unfair but I knew what they meant.

  28. @Richard Addison

    I like to think of the MG Z range as the variants that Rover weren’t allowed to build under BMWs stewardship.

    The likes of the 425, the V8 75, stiffer suspension. Anything that didn’t convey a ‘pipe and slippers’ image or encroached on the Bavarian ‘sporting’ saloon range was canned.

  29. @Will M

    I agree with what you say and the devlopment of the MG Z range fitted perfectly with the history of the marque. Unfortunately most car buyers saw them as go faster Rovers did not see them in that way.

    BMW’s stewardship of Rover was disastrous. They didn’t want Rover to return to its natural position in the market (i.e. a premium marque competing against Mercedes, BMW etc.) and any development of MG was a vetoed because, as you say, it would have encroached on their sporting models. They had no real idea of what to do with Rover. Most of the mainboard at BMW took a great deal of persuading to buy the company (Reitzle was against it from the beginning) and it was only Pieschetsreider (possibly dodgy spelling there!) who drove through the deal. BMW, of course, were concerned about Ford making a hostile bid for them at that time so buying Rover gave them some protection from the Blue Oval.

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