News : MGs fall-out in Qatar

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Words: Keith Adams Photography: Nigel Garton

It looks like a scene from 28 Days Later, but this astonishing line-up of 50 MGs is actually what looks like an abandoned cache unsold cars near the Qatari capital of Doha. Our man in the Middle Eastern state stumbled upon this selection of MG3s, 550s, and 6s, and couldn’t believe his eyes, stating that they looked to have been in this location since, at least, the last time it rained in the desert state – some time in March.

Further investigation revealed that the MG dealer in Doha is all-but abandoned and all sales operations are at a standstill. It would appear that the reason for this breakdown in SAIC’s operation in this territory is down to a bust-up with the local importer. He said: ‘The market for saloons is sewn up by Toyota, Nissan and Chevrolet in the non-premium, mid-range, add in Mitsubishi in the small cars arena. They’ve got the established service centres all over the place and the cars are the cheapest to maintain as a result of volumes.

‘Kia is up and coming. MG were always on a hiding to nothing, but I think that what I’ve heard about a dispute between old MG and new MG importers will be the most likely reason for the showroom looking like it does.’

MG Qatar’s website is currently offline.

 

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

15 Comments

  1. Oh dear! It does make you wonder what the hell SAIC are doing. I don’t think they have the faintest clue how to run a car manufacturer

  2. @1 i think the clue is in dealer network and of course the row with the importer/SAIC i dont think we are at the point just yet where SAic is going to fold anytime soon.

  3. @1

    As the man who discovered this said, this is not a reflection on SAIC but the result of a dispute between ‘old’ and ‘new’ MG importers. SAIC have not really had anything to do with this.

  4. My personal oppinion is that MG died when MGR was closed down, the chinese got a technologic pearl named K-type, and they are not able to produce the VVC…..it is a fact that all the new chinese MGs are more project coseli reminding of the last Rovers (with 10 years on the back). I do not think that in the desert of doha british heritage in a badge means something….or they begin to project more radical cars (like the MGF) or they must retreat from certain markets or those apocalyiptic fotos will become common.

  5. The thing is though, SAIC could have stepped in to sort this sorry mess out, but they haven’t done, thus any potential market there has now been lost for good.

  6. What a shame… lots of nice perfectly useable cars looks like they are rotting in the desert. Such a shame the return of MG is going to be a long haul worldwide. I still havent seen a single MG6 in the North East. last one I saw was in Yorkshire a year ago!

  7. @7 how do we know the importers where not taking the piss?This could be a ongoing legal dispute yet to be sorted,maybe SAIC’s hand are tied in the meantime.NISSAN took an importer to court over here several years ago and i believe it was a bit messy,whatever is happening in the gulf state it does look terribly sad.

  8. At least the’re not going to rust, although the sun will scorch the paintwork and do god knows what to the interior, I wonder what temperature the insides will get up to?

  9. BSD

    @Adrian,

    Here in Israel the temperatures are no so extreme as those in Qatar,however,in the Israeli hot summer tuperatures in a locked car can exceed 80°c after only 1-2 hours from the moment it was locked!!!

    Now imagine these temperatures in a car locked and standing in the heat of the desert sun for who knows how long…

  10. The electronics would probably be fried, for a start…

    I wouldn’t like to be the one who eventually has to get in to remove them…

  11. Its a shame its looks so sad, how long is the cars going to be there, the desert sun wont do the cars any good in the heat,why cant SAIC go there and sort the issues out. Regards Mark

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