News : MG6 arrives in New Zealand

Keith Adams

The first MG6s have arrived in Auckland, New Zealand, as the marque returns to the country after an absence of over five years. MG’s importer, Kerry Cheyne, long-time supporter of the marque (and former  owner of one of the only MG ZT 260 V8s with automatic transmission) is happy to be selling MGs again, and has high hopes for its future in the down under.

He said: The MG6 stacks up well against the Chevrolet Cruze and Kia Cerato due to its size, and we will capitalise on that fact when we go to market with comparative pricing.’

No details of the MG6 price and specifications have been announced, but we’ll keep you informed.


Keith Adams


  1. Does Longbridge only assemble ‘kits’ for the UK market? Or does it sell cars to any other European countries?

    When you see activity such as this one again wonders why more effort isn’t being made in the UK to sell the MG6. Why, for example, didn’t they start to run the TV commercial again late last year?

  2. China also drives on the left. The cars are bound to come from China, compared to the UK it is on NZ’s door step. It would make no sense to send 90% completed kits to Longbridge to have their hub caps fitted and then send them all the way back to Asia Pacific! I guess if cars like the Chevrolet Cruz are well regarded in NZ, then the MG6 may stand a chance.

  3. News like this at least makes it look likely that SAIC are serious about establishing the MG6 worldwide so I live in continued hope for it’s eventual success in the UK.

    I rather like the look of the Chevy Cruze and it’s a BTCC victory car. You dont see many on the UK roads though, but it must sell well worldwide judging by Keith’s statistics.

  4. “China also drives on the left.”

    China drives on the right but Hong-Kong drives on the left. There are complex switch over junctions where the two road networks meet.

    But you would assume these are from China, it wouldn’t make sense to ship CKD kits to LB screw them together and ship them all the way back again.

    The ship is registered in Stockholm, but i would imagine they just tramp all over the world collecting and dropping off cars, so it’s possible they’re from LB but unlikely. I expect the ship leaves europe with BMW’s, Mercs etc etc drops off a few along the way to China, where it empties out and loads up with chinese built cars before dropping off in Australasia, then heading to Japan to load up with Japanese cars and so on.

  5. According to the New Zealand distributor’s own website referred to earlier, the importer “British Motor Distributors” refers to MG as “The British car manufacturer based in Birmingham”.

    This misleading nonsense really has gone too far!

  6. Sounds like NZ have got a much more realistic plan in terms of marketing and pricing than there is in England.

  7. The MGUK.ORG and MG in NEW Zealand websites have details of SUV and Tourer models and indicate that concepts of the MG TF sports car replacements may appear as early as this year. It is the sports cars that will probably be fully manufactured at Longbridge.

  8. As I know, the cars with the steering wheel of the right hand side will be all made in GB!
    I once asked for a new LHD MG TF they told me, that the car will be made in China and not in LB!
    Cars which will be made in China, will all LHD cars!

  9. It’s odd that “all cars with RHD will be “made” in Longbridge”, as the entire bodyshell is manufactured, painted and completely trimmed and fitted out in China, whether it’s RHD or LHD. The only thing that’s done at Longbridge is marrying the Chinese built engine, gearbox, exhaust and suspension to the underside of the body.

  10. Yeah i can’t see them splitting production RHD in the uk and LHD in china. Pretty much all the parts are made in china, so dashboard mouldings are made there for example. They’ll just do the assembly in which ever plant is nearest to the market in question. If and when they eventually start selling them in mainland europe then the LHD ones will obviously go via longbridge.

  11. no these will be fully built Chinese units but are most likely completed to European Spec. I wouldn’t be surprised if they get a 6-speed semi-auto.

  12. HI there ,this is good news, I think they will do well here where Ceely, Cheery and Great Wall are starting to sell vehicles in reasonable numbers (ive seen some even here in New Plymouth), you never know we might buy more than have been bought in the UK:-) just to answer the assembly question thought, I have been told, that these cars are fully China Assembled and are not from the UK. the UK ones are only UK assembled to satisfy tax implications. in NZL we do not have such rules (neither do we require local content) as we operate on a Free (or Open) Market :-). Alex (in New Plymouth – New Zealand where our main street is called Devon street and lots of other names from (your)the home land.

  13. All the cars are made in China, the U.K variants are SKD kit (semi knocked down) and just have the power train and some other bits fitted in the U.K. The models we will have will come directly off the line following an uninterrupted and certified build process, a much better option than drawing product from the U.K. Regards Kerry.

  14. one more thing, Im surprised they made it off the boat, the Warfies have been on strike, in true Winston Churchill fashion, it looked they(the Warfies) would never surrender… alex

  15. I think this is a great move for MG, NZ is a tiny and tough market with a ridiculous number of cars both new and used on offer that all jostle for attention against the multitude of weird and wonderful used imports from Japan as well.

    If they figure out what how to get the cars selling in reasonable numbers here it will serve MG well in the larger markets.

  16. On my trip to New Zealand last year I concluded that pretty much all cars were from 1987-1990. Certainly my hire car was an early 90’s Nissan Sunny. Having a new car for sale in NZ will revolutionise the market there I would have thought.

  17. BSD









  18. “How long before an MG6 experiences a Head Gasket Failure?”

    Well although the TCI Tech engine is heavily based on the K-Series, it’s reportedly had a lot of development work done on it. This included implementing the fixes for HGF that MGR had planned, so HGF shouldn’t be an issue. The biggest issue with the K-Series wasn’t HGF but MG-Rover’s refusal to admit there was a problem.

  19. “How long before an MG6 experiences a Head Gasket Failure?”

    “Well although the TCI Tech engine is heavily based on the K-Series, it’s reportedly had a lot of development work done on it. This included implementing the fixes for HGF that MGR had planned, so HGF shouldn’t be an issue. The biggest issue with the K-Series wasn’t HGF but MG-Rover’s refusal to admit there was a problem.”

    I guess with the MGF, they didn’t know there was a problem until the HGFs started failing around 60,000 km to 75,000 km on the odo. The fixes they supposedly did to fix it (eg replacing plastic dowels with metal), didn’t fix it. And head gaskets continued to fail in the TFs. So only time will tell. Personally I’m not enthralled by the MG6. I’d be more excited by seeing a new sports car, the successor to the TF. Are plans still on track for 2013, does anyone know?

  20. @28 – it depends on what you compare the Cruze to. It may have a lot of kit, but (IMHO) it offers nothing that KIA or Hyundai can’t do so much better, and now, with bags of style. Unfortunately Chevy doesn’t press any of my buttons, and, in the UK at least, I’ve yet to see one. When there is a choice of the KIA C’eed, Hyundai i30, or even base model Polos, Fabias, Fiestas, Focus, Astra etc….and of course the MG6, I can’t see it being a popular choice, unless heavily discounted. And even then, I’d still prefer to go to KIA first.

  21. @ dolomitefan #27: Good grief! Who did you hire your car from, Rent-A-Wreck? As a regular user of rental cars here in NZ I can vouch that all the major players (Hertz, Avis, etc) are well-represented here with vast fleets of new vehicles in every shape and size. Granted, the average age of our fleet lags behind Britain and Europe, but the figures are skewed by 5-10 year old grey imports from Japan which comprise a big proportion of the cars on the road here. My Rover P6 aside, I haven’t owned a car from 1987-1990 since 1992…

  22. “I guess with the MGF, they didn’t know there was a problem until the HGFs started failing around 60,000 km to 75,000 km on the odo. The fixes they supposedly did to fix it (eg replacing plastic dowels with metal), didn’t fix it. And head gaskets continued to fail in the TFs. So only time will tell.”

    If you read through the development stuff on here, you’ll see the engineers knew what was needed to fix it, but the management wouldn’t let them do it. Presumably because it would have meant admitting there was a problem and paying warranty claims. They have apparently carried out all the other work that their engineers said needed doing to cure it.

  23. I think there are probably two buyers of new cars in NZL, 1 fleet buyers who buy cars every 3 to 4 years. then the 2, Grandparents who buy the last car or two new to see them through. Up until recently used cars have arrived from japan by the gazzilion. recently though the emmission standards have been tightened, and a lot of these used cars ex Japan can no longer be imported (a good think because many of them are rubbish). This could have several effects. Users may pay more for the “good” imported used cars. Sales of Cheaper New cars (enter MG / Geely and so on) may increase, or people may hold to their old cars longer. But on the whole I think the MGS well be welcome here, and who knows, anyone is tempted(not quite over the line) by the Geely or GW or CA maywell be tempted by the MG which appears to have some pedigree. Interesting comment about the Nissan Sunny rental car…did you got to rent a wreck or something, we do have new rental cars too if wants to pay a little more, but for $50 aday…well….alex

  24. HGF… is this associated with the larger bore engines only (not the 1.4 for example)? HGF is not uncommon on many cars trying checking out ‘ Subaru 2.5 head gasket ‘ (and its not just the turbo ones, infact they seem to be more reliable).alex

  25. Great to see MG in NZ, its interesting points noted that MGs for other markets seem to have better spec cars compared to the UK, am just hoping that the cars for the UK has comparable spec and prices to compete with other car makes. I remember that early Datsuns had things as fitted as standard compared with BL at the time. Regards Mark

  26. i dont think anyone on here doesnt want mg to succeed and a breakthrough into nz is a start ,but the big issue for a lot of people is the build content and future job prospects at longbridge because at this time on the manufacturing side it is nil, please dont write to tell me about all the engineering jobs as they already belonged to saic and were only moved from another site [ ricardo ]etc, the manufacturing team has remained the same from day 1 and has actually got smaller and production is only being achieved by temporary labour so what happened to the long term promises and the awaiting future employees that passed assessments 3 years ago ,

  27. @34 – that could very well be it LOL

    Sadly the 6 does absolutely nothing for me – I wish it did tbh. Seeing one in the flesh back in the summer helped with its looks, somehow they have made a car that is impossible to get a nice pic of. But from my brief look there were a number of things that made me query quality – am sure that you’d be better off with almost any of the other “cheapo” makes.

  28. I live just a few blocks up the road from the wharf in the photo, so I’m really stoked to see these cars arriving here courtesy of one of my fave websites! Although Chinese cars are now being sold here, the take-up is slow and I would imagine they’ll sell a handful of MG6’s per month to enthusiasts and nutters. Still, the revival has to start somewhere!

  29. I still think the car stacks up well against the Proton Gen-2.

    And people , let us remember, the Chevvy Crize has a DIESEL.

    Over and out . pip pip

  30. “At least MG New Zealand make make an iOS compatible website, MG UK can’t seem to manage that…”

    Which is a little silly, seeing as they could have a global template for the sites.

  31. I actually got a brochure for the Magnette the other day – bought off ebay as it was cheaper than going to my “local” dealer, a round trip of about 60 miles away!

  32. And brace yourselves for some welcome publicity in the NZ media for MG (try not to note glaring journalistic errors):

    The NZ Herald is the main daily newspaper in Auckland, which with 1.5 million people is 1/3 of the country’s populace. So an article on the arrival of MG down under will be seen by quite a few eyes.

    Hopefully BMD are following up and getting the motoring correspondents to do a test drive or two; they could even arrange a track session on Pukekohe race course just south of Auckland (assuming the head gaskets are up to it 😉 ). A long-term loaner to the press may be a double edged sword, unless SAIC really are confident they have HGF and quality control sorted ;(

    To get TV interested in NZ, you need stunts 🙂 Perhaps MG6s gatecrashing an event, or an anniversary celebration with old MGs (which have a favourable reputation down here).

    Mind you, timing is everything; BMD will have to be sensitive in their NZ marketing emphasis on the Chinese side, as there is a spot of controversy recently over a big farm sale to Chinese interests. They could push the Chinese backdrop to MG to the large Chinese NZer population (especially in Auckland), though they will have just missed Chinese New Year celebrations (a stand at that, or (politely) gatecrashing that would have been clever).

    Positive signs for the future then 🙂

  33. @Spud… is that what its come to?… saying a new MG compares well to a Malaysian Proton… deary me…. looking at the MG 6 however, I would sadly have to agree.

  34. I think they went a little wrong in steaming into the UK saying “a Mondeo rival for Focus money” – sorry its just not a Mondeo rival, the only thing “known” about the 6 is the MG badge. Other than that its an unknown Chinese made car – doesn’t matter whether it was designed here, Stuttgart or the moon, its still an unknown Chinese maker.
    I’d actually buy a 6 tomorrow – if I won the lottery and £20k meant the same to me as a fiver does now. But to have a loan or finance for one? No way, I’m afraid.
    I see in Safety Fast that there is a garage offering 6 MG6s for cost price – just one of each of the models(may be Tooheys iirc, or something like that) – thats more of a price to attract. Instead of £20k for the top Magnette its £17.5K, a lot more like it IMO…

  35. But £17,500 is the discounted price for a new 160bhp Mondeo Titanium X at the Broadspeed. Even at £17,500, there’s much better value out there….

  36. @John
    Jeez I had no idea the Mondeo could be had for that much – no wonder they’re not shifting many – “Mondeo for more than a Mondeo” doesn’t make much of a snappy sales pitch tbh lol

  37. I know, for a new car it’s amazing value for money, isn’t it?!

    Alternatively, how about a new Insignia 1.8 SRi 5 door for £15,816, or a new Insignia Exclusive (with sat nav), 160bhp 2.0 diesel 5 door for £16,621? An unknown Chinese car (with, or without, an MG badge) will need to substantially undercut these prices to stand any reasonable chance of volume sales…

  38. Do MG dealers discount?
    Not actually been to one as my nearest is a 50 or 60 mile round trip, depending which I went to.
    Am guessing they don’t discount as those prices I quoted above are said, in the advert, to be cost – so I’m guessing no profit to the dealer?

  39. Discounting from cost price? An interesting strategy for any business. They would either need to be earning substantial manufacturer bonuses, or simply liquidating unwanted stock. For proper discounts, I would hold of until new stock starts appearing at auction.

  40. STOP PRESS!!

    I saw my first MG6 today – out on the road tht is!!

    Had just completed the rather awkward right turn, leaving work and over the brow it came. Recognised it immediately! Only a very brief glimpse but a big step up from the showroom only sighting.

    If you want to know where this rare event occured it was in Speke, Liverpool less than a mile from Halewood.

  41. @John – with a list price of over £22,500 the Insignia looks great value with £7k knocked off it, though one has to question why and what the residuals will be when a manufacturer knocks 1/3rd off the value of it’s brand new products.

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