News : October’s UK sales…

…and it’s a disaster for MG and Lotus

Keith Adams

MG6 is failing to woo the customers.

Despite the positive press reviews and value pricing, the MG6 appears to be struggling on the UK market currently. The SMMT has published its October sales figures, and it makes grim reading for fans of the Octagon-badged cars – with a total of 15 finding new homes. Contrast that with the 70 Bentleys that were sold during the same 31-day period.

The annual sales tally doesn’t look any better, with MG having shifted 242 cars since January. And as we can assume that includes a few of the run out TF models, that does not make for comfortable reading at all. The arrival of diesel MG6s and the much-needed MG3 supermini can’t come soon enough – although the word on the grapevine is that MG6 diesel won’t be ready for European sale until the end of 2012.

The news was better across the other ‘UK’ mainstream marques, with Jaguar posting 713 sales in October; Land Rover 3044 (up from 1864 in 2010, presumably in anticipation of another cold winter); and MINI to 3302 from 3184. Bentley and Aston Martin are both down over 2010, but the biggest disaster is reserved for Lotus, who sold 4 cars in October, compared with 61 last year.

More at

Lotus Evora is struggling in 2011.
Keith Adams


  1. This is sad and embarrasing for MG, especially when you see how many Fords, Vauxhalls & even VW’s are getting bought. I am just starting to see a few more new Focus’s on the roads as their popularity grows, but sadly no signs of the MG6 in my neck of the woods. If MG want to get a slice of the diesel market they need to get their skates on!

  2. The MG6 will be a run-out model by the time the diesel arrives, at this rate. And the dealers will quite understandably have given up. Its a strange thing to me that the market leader in the UK is now, decisively, the Volkswagen group.

  3. VW are about to overtake Toyota as the No1 globally so it@s no surprise they lead the UK car market, we are one of the biggest in Europe and VW have a lot of brands.

    As for MG, it will need a better product than the 6 to make it here, and a massive Marketing push. I bet the average person in the stree has no idea MG exists.

  4. MG and Lotus can only sell 19 cars between them yet the BMW 1 series sells well.Sorry Britain but I do not get you.

  5. If MG wanted to put themselves on the map. They need to start building sports and performance cars. There would be an orderly rush for people to cue and buy one.

    MG also need to broaden its range. Not just the engines (e.g. the MG6 being offered with a diesel engine) and more models alongside the MG6. Also, more time and money spent in marketing to advertise. Which in turn, will hopefully reach a wider range of buyers. Therefore, MG selling more cars as a result.

  6. MG really push their brand at home, but don’t seem to give a toss about here. And late 2012 for the diesel? Somehow, I feel by then, that they won’t have any dealers. 15 cars in a month countrywide? What is that? An average of 1 per dealer? And I wonder how many of them are actually demonstrators?

    I knew the MG range would sell poorly, but not this poorly! I bet those at Longbridge are cacking themselves, because redundancy must be looming again.

  7. I was suprised that the 6 was the choice as the “opening” model for the new MG.

    A walk back from the local supermarket at lunchtime illustrated to me where the popularity of the last MG’s lay.

    TF nee F, and the rather average to drive MG-ZR.

    To my mind Project Kimber project had it right, MG is about affordable sporty brands, not lack lustre saloons (don’t get me started on that terrible TV ad!)

    So, update (or even replace) the TF (make it a Elise for the masses) and bring us a sorted MG3 (and spend more than 10p to market them both)

    And then, if MG is feeling rash and a little crazy, bring back that moment of pure brillance and madness that was the XPower SV!

  8. Its a shame that MGs are not selling as well as they could be, however, I have not seen any TV advertiments as yet as you do on other marques. As I said in earlier coments on the MG6 the engine specifications are not sportly enough the MG brand supposed to portray. If they were to improve the 0-60 and top end to be comparable to the competition in the market place, this may also tempt old and exsisting MGR owners to buy the MG6 as well as new buyers.They need to bring forward the diesel model as soon as possible to entise the buying public.

  9. having a diesel isnt going to set the sales chart alight is it? the front end s of the mg6,kia ceed and focus look almost identical so most people will choose the focus for the kudos(out of the three)they dont care about seven year warranties because they would be shot of them after three years thats the fleet market for you the car makers biggest customer.

  10. I’ve just checked Autotrader, there are 35 new, but registered MG6 for sale which need to come off the total of 242 for the year.

    One of them is for sale by Soul’s of Olney opposite my house!

  11. Be interesting to find out from dealers how many enquiries they are getting and why they think they aren’t getting converted into orders, ie what is putting potential buyers off.

    I see that MG UK has just done a deal on finance with GM – seems a bit late to be sorting that out especially given how many company cars are bought on monthly lease deals, etc.

  12. And so the figures get worse. Time for a significant rethink on this whole thing. 15 cars is a joke and I wonder how many were registered to MG themselves?

    The car itself is alright but I can only assume that there is a major issue with the sales patter as to sell just 15 cars in a month is appalling. The run down to Christmas will see the sales slide further too so next month we’ll be down to single figures.

    So MG – Stop your stupid and pointless tour of the nations shopping centres, return to Birmingham and don’t come out of that factory until you have a credible plan for growth backed up with some cash. The majority of us want you to succeed but confidence amongst even the die hards has basically gone.

    I expect to hear of resignations very soon, someone must be responsible for this disaster?

  13. Well there are only so many facebook fans that would buy one!

    I see they’ve announced today that they are appearing at the NEC for the CLASSIC car show. That will go down well then, people go there to look at classics not new cars, that’s what the Motor Shows are for.

    The whole marketing plan is abysmal, yes, a shopping centre has people, and yes it shows those there the car, but while it may get some interest, where’s the national press campaign? Why did the TV adverts last a week or two then disappear? Where are the poster hoardings on main roads? It really does beggar belief.

    As for this 5,4,3,2,1 deal, why did they not launch with a 5 year warranty? Why did they not offer some cracking deals on this first batch of cars, and why did they set their sights too high on the Focus and Astra brigade? Did they not think that several new dealers would also be multi franchise, a lot also being Kia or Hyundai dealers that have a proven product, backed with a decent warranty and after sales?

    I can’t see any upcoming ‘executives’ wanting to give up their VWs, Audis and 318s to have a 6 in the company car park, and the sales photos published by MG UK all show, shall we say, more mature people buying the car, and we all know, they’ll generally buy what they get the best deal on and what looks good out front, and I think, you may disagree, the Kia C’eed, and moreso the Pro C’eed is a bloody nice looking car, the 6 less so in my eyes, the saloon being the better of the two.

    Am I surprised and shocked at the above figures? No not at all, the whole episode from launch has been second rate.

  14. “So, update (or even replace) the TF (make it a Elise for the masses)”

    Perhaps not the best example – Lotus sold even less than MG!

  15. Needs to be a whole lot better but I still think this is very early days in MG’s return. I can’t see there’s much point in MG advertising like crazy with just one model and relatively few dealers. At this stage in the game it’s surely about getting back in the market with the real onslaught to come with the 3 and the 5. That said, they need to improve their advertising. I don’t like this appeal to past glories and wallowing in nostalgia. Enthusiasts know about MG, it’s the younger market that needs introducing to the brand and shots of MGAs and MGBs are not going to do it.

    Forget all this talk of performance cars. Most cars these days are perfectly capable to performing well. MG just has to do the same.

    Has anyone from MG spoken about these figures and/or what their feelings are now that we’re roughly six months on from the MG6’s launch? Maybe this forum should speak to them.

  16. You don’t have to ‘wallow in nostalgia’ you build upon the heritage. MG has heritage that other marques would die for. But you have to have a clear enough message and a broad enough range of product that reflects that heritage and is the right ‘offer’ to tempt sufficient custom.

  17. No suprise, the dealers are to far apart, my nearest is 40 miles away and with such a limited range of engines its never going to be a big seller.

    Other issue is to most of joe public MG is dead so a new MG does not exsist. So despite there good reviews and adverts and stuff its not worked most people dont know a new MG exsists and you cant blame them for it, little dealers and little advertising to the correct market.

    The current MG is a niche product like Lotus and stuff of this world.

  18. Delboy – what dont you understand about British car buyers not wanting to commit financial suicide by buying a Chinese rehash of a 12 year old Rover, or a £65K plastic kit car?

  19. Sad but unsurprising reading. I went to SMMT website and it seems that SAAB is really in trouble too. Poor advertising, poor communication, poor poor poor everything, the chinese don’t want MG to succeed, making it easy to close any “manufacturing” in UK… Mark my word. I don’t think that a diesel will solve the problem, my colleagues at work and my fellow students were NOT aware that MG was back producing cars, private buyers driving fewer miles have no interest in acquiring a dearer car with a stinky, noisy engine that will need extra costs in servicing/repairs, as hi-lighted by BBC Watchdog last week, ie: waste time and money on a 40 miles journey to clean the particle filter or else… Fleet buyers? Do you think that all the big guns will give a share of the market away? Neither do I, MG less than half hearted effort has been a calculated “effort”, get back to me later, I’ll answer: I told you so….

  20. It must be remembered that in October, Motorpoint took delivery of around 20 unregistered MG TFs which they were retailing for around £10-£11k. How many of those heavily discounted, non-franchise cars made up the 15 registrations? This is all very sad news.

  21. Delboy: I know it’s cool to bash BMW, particularly the 1-series as the entry level, but it’s missing one very important point.

    The 1 series is a great handling, fun little car. Peel the badges off it, label it as an Opel Kadett or Vauxhall Chevette, and people would applaud the return of the small, vaguely practical RWD hatchback. It’s not badly made, it’s not horribly uneconomical, and spec for spec, it’s not badly priced – yes, you can get an expensive one, but it’s also got something mad under the bonnet (I forget how BMW’s engine designation works since they started labelling things with mis-matched capacities, but for the sake of argument let’s assume it is a 3.5).

  22. The 1er is a decent car and in fact was such a good deal for me that a new one (old model) worked out significantly cheaper than a new Ford Focus which is actually what I wanted. It’s a better car in many ways than the Focus and will hold it’s value much better.

    I did drive an MG6 and did like it but the finance is uncompetitive and the petrol engine unsuitable for my needs.

    I refer to my previous comments on the abysmal performance demonstrated by MG not just last month but every month since the car was launched. I don’t genuinely believe the Chinese actually want this project to fail. They may have loads of cash but to squander it in such a way would be unthinkable. May I suggest that a team comprised of old MG Rover staff is not really going to help. Nice though some of them are the fact is MG Rover went wrong on their watch and they’re making a mess of things now. Fact is that MG are being outsold by Proton by a significant margin. This is a company that has not advertised for some time.

    Time for MG to talk and explain. They have a good brand but their mismanagement of it is putting that in doubt.

  23. I still say i dont like the look of the whole car, but it is the front end I really dont like. after all it will be look of the car that get people into it. it looks too soft and is not sporty in anyway at all, in fact the front end looks like it was designed for an electric car (yes I agree the mk1 800’s were like this but they looked good allround) perhaps MG should revisit the front panel (grill and spoiler) to make it look more sporty / agressive. i would be interested in other oppinions on this. im also suprised that a bunch of companies havent jumped the gun to produce some clip on front end dress up kits. this car seriously needs them. alex

  24. I think MG needs a halo brand like AMG, Prodrive, Ralliart etc. An edge that makes the ‘6’ an item of desire.

    So my plan is this (Guy Jones, cash to the usual p.o. box please in un-sequential Yuan bills).

    Checking around, the well estabilished British heritage filled brand names Woolworths, Rumbellows, Finefair are up for grabs. Get Viz to do the adverts and Prince Andrew/Mark Thatcher as an ambassador to the marque and it CANNOT FAIL*.

    *May contain traces of failure/insolvency.

  25. Success breeds success, and failure breeds failure.

    Slow sales and negative press put people off because they wonder if their dealer and back-up will be around for the duration they wish to keep the car? On a similar note it will affect depreciation and put buyers off if they think their car will be worthless by the time they want to trade in?

    I think the main issue is with the car itself, I bought a ZS new so should be interested in MG6 but I don’t like it.
    It is a car that is half a sector out, too big to replace the ZS not big enough for the ZT owner.
    It doesn’t look anything special and the high facia is awful, not to mention the off set pedals.

    I sincerely hope the MG3 is a better car, else I cannot see MG surviving.

  26. Blow MG, I really struggle to understand what the interest is in a third rate Chinese car, purely because it carries the badge of a once proud, but defunct, UK car company.

    What is of much greater and sadder significance, is the sales figure for Lotus; what on earth has gone wrong there?

  27. I can see why MG is finding it hard. You cannot put a car on the open market with only one engine option, you need a diesel model and also a base model with a small engine model maybe a 1.6. That was one of the mistakes they did with the TF they never fitted a 1.6 engine in it to battle with the mx5 base model.

  28. Why won’t MG listen to people here? Why are they wasting their time in China when their key market is in the UK? I don’t understand why SAIC don’t appoint all the experts on this forum as senior executives in Sales and Marketing, especially in light of how easy it is to sell cars in the middle of a recession, branded with a name everyone thinks died 6 years ago. If only they’d do this. Or did that. Or did the other thing. Or if they stopped doing what they are doing. Or did something else.

  29. A week ago my local MG dealer told me that just 160 MG6 cars had been sold in the UK since launch.
    He blamed a lack of advertising for these dreadful sales figures.

  30. Forgot to mention that this dealer stated that MG is waiting for the MG3 to launch before starting a advertising campaign.

  31. John: The site’s original content, and name, derive from Austin Rover. MG was an Austin Rover brand and is what remains of that company. So the interest is totally understandable.

    Lotus’ position is entirely understandable. I’m a potential Lotus buyer, but not for a while now – other things are more important than a £50K car. And let’s be honest – if I have £50K and I’m toying with a new Evora or a new/near-new Cayman, what am I going to spend it on no matter how much I want the Lotus.

    Andrew: The MG6 is badly marketed, pure and simple. The GT and Magnette names are a joke in my opinion; it should simply have been the MG6, and yes – marketed with a killer warranty and finance package, in the long run, heavily subsidising the cars on finance deals (must, absolutely, be under £200 per month with low deposits) would have paid huge dividends in the long run. SAIC can afford to do this, something few small firms or importers can do currently. Regardless, it’s still a tough sale; the material quality of the MG6’s interior is sub-par, even details like the electronic ‘key’ are just cheap to the touch.

    Sixtyten: China is a massively relevant market. To make such a remark, I can only assume you cannot comprehend just how very important China is as a market – and how valuable an established brand is when selling to aspirational consumers. The UK is the irrelevant part of the market, a fact regrettably backed up by sales that make the Citroën C6 look downright popular.

    The Chinese car market has leapt ahead in the past ten years. To the extent that the British market did in 30 years. At the opportune moment China will legislate for pollution and safety, and believe me, they will utterly dominate the intellectual property and innovation in these fields from 2020.

    We will probably still see brands like Bosch, Valeo and Borg-Indak on the OEM roster, but they will be manufacturing, developing and progressing the Chinese market. China’s development is currently hampered somewhat less by legislation – again, think electronics in Britain, when we were producing stuff like Sinclair QLs; great concepts, awful execution, but out of that environment came tech like ARM, which is pretty much ubiquitous, if not essential for the way we communicate and compute today. China’s doing this with battery and hybrid technology.

    If Britain/Europe implements protectionist policies for economic stability, SAIC will be ahead of the other Chinese producers, having a UK-based design and manufacturing base. I’ve a suspicion they may be gambling on this.

  32. I note my local dealer is now no longer my local dealer having thrown the franchise back at MG. If a large multi franchise group like have realised its not worth it, what chance do the smaller places have?

  33. Even without a diesel option, sale of the MG6 could still be far,far greater. Why aren’t they pushing the car in a sales and marketing sense? At this rate it’s going to be ‘long in the tooth’ before sales have a chance of reaching any kind of significant level. Then all the investment in design & development will have been wasted. What are they playing at? As someone said above, most potential buyers won’t even know the car or re-launched brand exists.

    Why 2012 before the diesel comes on stream? Normally a car is launched with a limited range which QUICKLY expands, R8 being a great example.

  34. One assumes SAIC, MG UK have a plan, know what they are doing. However, right now it looks like another failed rescue attempt of what was once British Leyland. The Michael Edwards 3 M’s strategy failed. The Rover-Honda link briefly looked good but then became ‘topping & tailing’ pure Hondas (HHR).The BMW aquisition was really encouraging but the government could not see the long term benefits of assisting BMW. The Phoenix Four although doing well in keeping things going for five years made some bad decisions – their salaries(!) and diverting funds and attention away from the priority of a new mid range car. And now…. MG UK – trying to sell a car without letting people know it exists.

    Why has BL>MG Rover had so many failed rescue attempts? It’s not impossible! Look what VW managed with Skoda. QED

  35. Quote Richard:

    “John: The site’s original content, and name, derive from Austin Rover. MG was an Austin Rover brand and is what remains of that company. So the interest is totally understandable.”

    I can understand what you are saying, but still feel very uncomfortable about the name being used on a project that it so very little different to the original CityRover project, sneaking a lot of Chinese built cars into the country (rather than Indian), while seemingly fooling a lot of people into wishfully thinking that it’s actually some kind of Longbridge manufacturing revival…

  36. Put simply the Skoda Favorit was successful at showcasing Skoda’s talents, and their factory offered tr propect of cheaper manufacturer.MG had neither, a knackered range and a huge sprawling factory.

  37. “little different to the original CityRover project, sneaking a lot of Chinese built cars into the country”

    Well not really, the City Rover was just a Tata indica, wholly designed and assembled in india with Rover badging. The new MG range is largely designed at SAIC/MG’s UK studio. Even before the SAIC/NAC merger, SAIC’s products were developed by Ricardo at Leamington Spa. You could argue that most of the Vauxhall range is about sneaking a load of German designed, european built cars into the UK under the guise that they’re British.

  38. The difference between Skoda and MG was vast then, and even greater now. Pre VW, Skoda had showcased their ability with the Favorit, and had huge cheap production base in CZ. Unfortunately, MG Rover had neither, the 75 was five years old and in dire need of replacement, the production base was huge and sprawling, but not cheap. Also it went belly up at the wrong time, as no Western manufacturer had the resource or inclination to purchase any further capacity after the consolidation of the 1990’s.

    Unfortunately, and I take no joy in saying this, MG will not succeed in this country for several reasons:
    1. The car is simply not good enough to compete with Citroen and Renault, let alone Ford, VW and Vauxhall

    2. Patriotic car buying is dead

    3. MG is as relevant to the modern car buyer as Sunbeam or Triumph

    That said I hope that jobs can be found for all of those on the ‘production’ line at Longbridge.

    Whilst the old MG was as British as a pork pie, we need to face the facts that MG is now Chinese and as such will only ever have limited appeal in this country.

  39. Paul the MG6 is not a 12 year old rehash of a Rover and secondly the BMW 1 series is but ugly(apart from the coupe)yet people dribble over it.If it had MG badges on it the press would slaughter it.The British buying public seem to find excuses not to buy MGs.

  40. What MG need is to get some of the big dealer groups on board who sell cars aggressivly and have representation in the bigger cities who themselves have marketing budgets, the small more passive dealers still have role to play but metal has to be moved and yes MG does have a certain brand value both negative and positive but all the major players in todays car market have all had terrible negitive publicity at one time or another . Who can judge whether the car is better or worse than it’s competitors it is all somebody’s opinion usually somebody who never puts their money were there mouth is.I don’t know what MG’s plans are for export of this car into europe but France was one of the old Rover Groups biggest markets. MG has put some competitive consumer offers on the table they just need to seek a bigger table.

  41. The problem is that private buyers can buy a 6 month old Mondeo, Insignia or Passatt for 10-12k still in warrenty. There are no ‘nesrly new’ stock of MG6 so even 15,500 seems very expensive for a private buyer. MG needs to get several thousand 6’s into the daily rental fleets and then sell them a few months old through their dealers for 10k. With a reasonable finance package and 5 years warrenty they would sell. That is the reality of the market. MG marketing staff need to ‘wise up’ and tell their Chinese masters the truth, otherwise it will be P45 time and no dealers by Christmas.

  42. @Simon Weakley, there is one massive stumbling block there. Rental companies and fleets must have diesels, and they must be able to hack 2-3 years of hard slog, and have a dealer ‘every 200 yards’. I honestly think they don’t give 2 tosses about the UK market, simply because of it being right hand drive, and engineering a right hooker doesn’t justify the cost for the limited volume. I doubt now we will actually see the MG3 on sale in the UK, simply because there won’t be any dealers left. I have never seen such a huge cock up of a brand launch until this farce. I see a Geordie dealer is trying to flog a silver Magnette on ebay for £20k. Sorry mate, its 11 reg’d, and for that money I would rather get a brand new Octavia vRS with a diesel lump.

  43. Why isn’t it selling?

    1) Lack of dealers, advertising, ‘buzz’

    2) Funny sized car – is it a Focus rival or a smaller Mondeo rival?

    3) The MG badge suggests a small sports car, or a hot and lairy hatch/saloon like the ZR/ZS/ZT. The Z range gave MG a youthful appeal, buyers who wouldn’t be as interested in the staid MG6. The older ‘Rover’ buyers maybe think an MG isn’t for them?

    4)It’s not British enough. The press, quite correctly, point out the minimal UK build content

    5)Limited range, with no diesel

    6)China is the key for their business, the UK offshoot may be good for their marketing efforts in China (they can sell the car on its UK heritage), the Longbridge operation is the bare minimum they can get away with to call it a UK factory!

  44. @simon weakley.. agree with your idea of a supply of nearly new MG6’s. Many people inc. me like the idea of a nearly new car with a decent length warranty & breakdown cover at a keener price (eg Ford Direct scheme). So getting MG’s on the rental circuit would be a possibility – but most rental companies are happy with their existing choice of Ford’s Vauxhall, Peugeot etc so there-in still lies the problem.

  45. @ Mikey C:

    “3) The MG badge suggests a small sports car, or a hot and lairy hatch/saloon like the ZR/ZS/ZT. The Z range gave MG a youthful appeal, buyers who wouldn’t be as interested in the staid MG6. The older ‘Rover’ buyers maybe think an MG isn’t for them?”

    I’m not an ‘older’ Rover buyer but do love the Rover marque more than MG and I find that the MG6 isn’t for me either. Even if it was badged as a Rover, I would still be unlikely to want to buy one for a number of valid reasons.

  46. If this does fail, then MG Motor have only themselves to blame. There is Absolutley zero publicity of MG.
    The little advertising that i have seen for the MG6 was very naff. The TV ad with Quiton Wilson was awfull.
    I doubt hardly anyone in the UK (other than MG enthusiasts) are even aware the MG6 even exists..
    They (MG) really need to get those cars out there! – on the road.
    I’m not saying dealers should give them away, but i’m sure if they tried a lot harder & really pushed the marketing on this car, it would sell.
    Once the public start seeing the cars in the flesh, interest will pickup.
    When the diesel finally does arrive, potential buyers will at least be aware of the cars existance & may be ready to buy.

  47. Sixtyten: It was late, and as a piece of subtle sarcasm it was lacking in appropriately dry delivery. And I’ve been thinking about China’s strategy, so any excuse to post it.

  48. Ian Langfield – Comment 46

    When MG Rover went under, yes, the 75 was five years old. However, it was hardly in ‘dire need of replacement’. Even today, it is ‘timeless’ rather than dated. You only have to observe the number of well maintained examples still in daily use to realise it has appeal. The 75 showcased what Rover could do and, after a period of Honda based cars, showed just how appealing a new, ground up Rover could be.

  49. 2 things I pick up on from these comments… BMW are still “The Devil” to some people..

    Are we only talking about a re birth of MG in the UK? Cuz they seem to be doing rather well in their new native land.

    Seems like the UK is to the current MG, what the USA was to Rover.

    Perhaps the 6 should be badged as a Sterling, teehee!

  50. When VW acquired Skoda, yes, it would have been getting a cheap production base, certainly compared to Longbridge. However, I’m sure there would have been problems in terms of modernising the actual plant, training staff in modern methods etc. Also, the task of turning the Skoda name from a joke in the mind of many to a brand with mass market appeal was vast. However, VW achieved this and in a relatively short period of time.

    So, I’ll say it again. Just look at what VW has achieved with Skoda. Why have so many failed in their attempts to turn around BL>MG Rover?

  51. “The MG badge suggests a small sports car, or a hot and lairy hatch/saloon like the ZR/ZS/ZT.”

    Apart from the 2 seaters MG’s of the 60’s were mildly sporty Saloons, It’s only in the 80’s that AR started using the brand for their sports models. Lot’s of older drivers look for a sporty car, they’re about the only age group that can afford to insure them.

    “Rental companies and fleets must have diesels and they must be able to hack 2-3 years of hard slog, and have a dealer ‘every 200 yards’. I honestly think they don’t give 2 tosses about the UK market, simply because of it being right hand drive, and engineering a right hooker doesn’t justify the cost for the limited volume.”

    Fleets yes. However the past couple of hire cars i’ve had were both Petrol powered, a Focus and an Meriva. The fact is rental companies don’t pay for the fuel. Both were from well known major rental firms. Secondly few rental companies keep the car for much more than a year. They flog them on when they’re a year old with average mileage on the clock. That’s why they incur a penalty if you hand them back with too many miles. Dealers are a problem, however most hire firms would have the car collected by the dealer for servicing. Most large hire firms negotiate the supply contract directly with the manufacturer often they just buy mileage then hand them back for the manufacturer to resell as approved used via the dealer network. Perhaps a good course of action for MG, however most rental firms offer a range of car sizes and prefer to stick with one manufacturer for all, for discount reasons. Hertz have/had a contract with Ford for example and Europcar with GM.
    I don’t think they’re that bothered about the UK market either yet, they’re just testing the water. I mean the UK has a population of about 60 million people, China has a population of 4 BILLION people! They have already developed and tooled for a RHD vehicle, though if they want to make money they’ll need to sell them in all RHD markets (SA, Aus, NZ, Japan, Ireland and others) Even all the RHD markets put together don’t come anywhere near the population of China though. For every UK buyer there are potentially 66 Chinese buyers! (i’ve simplfied the demographics, but you see my point!)

    It takes time to calibrate and get EU type approval for engines and vehicles, something MGR found to their cost. I think they’d be wasting their time holding a grand launch without a full range of cars and engines. If you read through most of this site, you’ll see missed opportunities from BLMC/AR, mainly where they have rushed a product into market before it’s fully developed. Now we’re complaining because they’re taking their time?

  52. The MG6 was doomed from the start. Who really wants a 1.8 turbo that is speed limited to 115 mph and capable of only 35 mpg? Also the 6 is a misnomer as this would assume the car has six cylinders when in reality it has four. I wanted this car to succeed, thinking it would be like a successor to the MG ZR, but in reality we have been gifted a car that is mechanically off the wall, looks like a Proton Gen 2 and has absolutely nothing to recommend it over Ford and Vauxhall offerings.
    Really MG should have planned this one better. If it had been launched with a turbodiesel, a normally aspirated 1.8 and a turbo capable of over 130 mph, then the MG6 could have caught on. Also approaching ex Rover dealers to take the franchise on and having dealers in every county, rather than in some cases one in a region, would have helped.

  53. “This is all looking very rosy indeed for a stupendous second-hand bargain.”

    Indeed it is,and in my opinion very sad too,as I really liked it when I test drove it.It must be a matter of time before the plug gets pulled,although even at 3000 a year I could not believe it was financially viable,at these volumes it cannot be.
    My mate at work bought a nearly new top-of-range Signum a few years ago for £10K, and chopped it in 3 years later for a 6 month old £32k list Cadillac BLS for which he paid £9k, so yes next March I may well go vulture for a £9k delivery miles TSE.

  54. Despite any criticisms people may have of the MG6 and the very limited range, the fact remains – sales could & should be much higher. Only 15 cars sold in October after around six months on the market!! What dealer, trying to earn a crust, is going to put up with this?

  55. Francis Brett – I struggle to see how a car that sells in huge numbers in markets all over the world generating handsome profits for its manufacturer can be pointless. You didnt work for Rover did you by any chance?

  56. this is not good for mg but im sorry to say the mg6 dose not challange anything eles out there the powers low the mpg aint to good compaired to the rivles the engines sorry engine is old tech mg need to invest in a car that people will want and it needs to be made at long bridge maybe a new enginewould help maybe the looks need to be changed maybe the car needs to be aimed at the young people but sorry to say it they wont get people to pay good money for their cars till they are up to date and on a par with a vw golf or the ford mondeo. maybe they could do a little hatch to take on the like of the fiat 500 bring out something small fun with a good reange of engines as much as i hoped mg would do well the 6 just dose not make people look twice. its a shame but they need to do something radical to pull this come back off because if they dont they will be gone faster then they came back 🙁 please mg think out side the box…….

  57. If it wasn’t for this site I wouldn’t even know this cas existed… Overhere I haven’t even seen any adds of roadtests of this car at all… If a petrolhead such as myself hardly knows it exist, how would the potential customer know about it? Are there any figures about european sales available BTW, can’t wait to find out how many are sold in my country (The Netherlands)..

    It is grim reading perhaps for those MG enthousiasts, but one can wonder how many are left of those if they only sell 242…

  58. “Name one aspect in which the MG6 is better than any competitor.”

    How about value for money, (£10k saving on the equivelent Insignia) better spec than the competitors, handleing and driving experience…….I have made a start having been driving both an Insignia and an MG6 for the past month while my own vehicles have been off the road. Dont get me wrong, the Insignia is a good drive, but I certainly would not use my own money to pay an extra £10k and in the market that MG are looking at, which I believe is private buyer rather than those who are fleet owners, is in the current financial climate is one of the most important factors when buying a vehicle. The biggest problem MG face at the moment is getting the public awareness that the brand is out there and available. It is pointless concentrating their budget advertising in MG owner magazines and MG websites, they have to get out there and sell to current non-MG owners. As for the knockers of the car, how many of you have actually driven the car before forming an opinion?

  59. I now think the Chinese would be quite happy for the current project to fail so that (as has been previously said) they can stop the half hearted attempt to manufacture in the UK. They can close and sell off Longbridge to developers and relocate the design centre to a smaller site elsewhere.

    My guess that this would remain in the UK only until there are sufficient Chinese designers and engineers trained up to take on all the design and manufacturing in China.

    I think when the “we’ve given it our best shot” moment has passed, after a short period there will be an onslaught on the UK and European markets but with cars fully manuufactured in /China.

    Suddenly. the professional marketing and full model range will be available – MG3 and MG5, new model MG6 etc.

    Sadly, I don’t think the MG6 is too bad a car and deserves a better chance than marketing only on Facebook and parking examples in shopping centres. In the last six months I’ve never even seen any coverage in local press or car magazines etc. Have the Chinese allocted any money to marketing the product? Where have they advertised this new 5,4,3,2,1 deal?

    The car is inoffensive if a bit generic in design and I don’t think it looks anythng like a Proton!

    The engine is miles away from the current expected standards of economy and emissions and no diesel = no fleet sales. I think the warranty was poor and the car overpriced from day one. So not an auspicious start.

    But 15 sales in a month is joke. I am sure heads would be rolling in Longbridge before now unless for the Chinese owners everything is going according to plan!

  60. Binky – Comment 69

    Yes, it does make you wonder. Is there heart really in a UK operation? Is it part of the longer term plan?

  61. paul@comment 65 no i didnt work at rover,i only see the 1 series as pointless because a focus or astra do exactly the same thing only cheaper,ive used one and ok great drive usual bm stuff but less room a transmission tunnel etc im not doubting for one minute what a success it is but im not too brand snobbish to buy one id sooner have the astra.The 1st one series were not too reliable either-sticking door handle electrical gremlims valvetronic problems blah blah.But each to our own-its abit like saying we hate simon cowell but at least he a millionaire.

  62. Saw my first couple of MG6s yesterday. At the back of the yard at RMG motors, Boucher Crescent, Belfast.
    Hidden beyond their Subarus and trade-in stock (Clios etc.).
    Does look a bit better in the flesh, but they seemed to be pushing the Impreza WRX STi more.

  63. there are lot of car dealerships going tits up in greater manchester at the moment -certainly not the likes of jct600 and inchcape group but the small operations with two marque showrooms,i hazard a guess that some of these outlets wouldnt take on board mg due to several factors,volume,back up,chinese etc.I dont know of any mg dealer in north manchester if there is one its been kept quiet,a shame really every other car you see is a rover or mg.It seems only the small independant firms are selling(a loose term)them-why have the large firms steered clear volume or credibilty or both?The car is cheap enough and loaded enough to cmpete with the korean marques surely?

  64. I’ve just seen pics of the new Hyundai i30 and i40, if it follows Hyundai’s usual pricing MG should be VERY worried.

  65. You can’t expect that after 6 years of absence MG immidiately sells in numbers like they did in the 50’s and 60’s. They have to invest a lot in advertising, just like the Koreans did 10-15 years ago. And THEY are now finally selling in numbers!
    MG needs time (a couple of years) before it will be recognized again as a sporty brand. And it sure needs a roadster (Midget or A, B, F-like).
    I hope they will get the time and the possibility to grow.

  66. Simon: It’s acceptable value for money. It’s not good. I’ve looked at Skoda’s Octavia before, and was considering some sort of special deal on an estate – I think it was a 1.6, didn’t look too closely into it to be honest. However, it had aircon, satnav and so forth, and was £15,400ish. I don’t think the Insignia is good value, and if they’re £24K, I’d spend that money elsewhere.

    And that’s before thinking about depreciation. The few MG6s sold may break the record set by the Daewoo Espero for “suddenly being worthless after the warranty runs out”.

  67. ” but they seemed to be pushing the Impreza WRX STi more.”

    No doubt they are. It sells for a lot more, so likely has a higher margin.

    “I now think the Chinese would be quite happy for the current project to fail so that (as has been previously said) they can stop the half hearted attempt to manufacture in the UK. They can close and sell off Longbridge to developers and relocate the design centre to a smaller site elsewhere.”

    Why would they wait for it to fail? They could start redundancy procedures tomorrow if they wanted. They were under no obligation to take on the factory in the first place and are certainly under no obligation to keep it. They can’t ‘sell off’ the site either, MGR had already done that under a lease back scheme. All Saic could do is hand it back to the site owners (St Modwen Group). They’re obviously hanging on to the site and paying rent on it for a reason.

  68. Very sad, it really isn’t a bad car. I was hoping they could follow this Nissan model that started with the deeply ordinary Bluebird in 86, but I am having grave doubts.

    Deisel, MG3, decent advertising and get some cars out on show…with sporting stars such as 2012 Olympians for example, do motorsport, for Christ sake DO something!!

  69. lets face it the fleet market arn’t booting mg’s doors off the hinges to buy this car diesel or no diesel,so this car is going to be bought by the private motorist and everyone is skint.we are in recession that hasnt even started yet,me?never bought new – a mugs game always second hand because the previous owner has taken a pill on them two/three year old insignias are very good value a two litre(cdti)elite loaded up to the stones with extras 2009 model £9k £27k new why get stung? i hope dearly that MG suceed and i think its a waiting game,we can all be monday morning quarterbacks predicting what MG/SAICs next move is but like previous commentators have stated SAIC owe us nothing and dont need to be at longbridge but the fact that they are seems to me be some sort of commitment to uk operations.Lets wait and see what comes from the horses mouth!……

  70. The 6 whilst not perfect is a great deal better than most people give it credit for. It does need a wider range of engines and I think it’s price could do with a little realignment downwards.

    The 3 looks pretty good. It reminds me a little of both the Suzuki Swift and the Skoda Fabia.

    The 5 looks excellent.

    Who knows what the future holds but everyone dismissed Hyundai/Kia and now look where they are. I’ll bet SAIC making a global success of MG.

  71. It’s a perfectly acceptable car, but unfortunately the market is full of highly compelling cars. Really, why would ANYONE buy a new car currently, unless the new car were totally exceptional?

    You’re right about China & Korea. Japan’s first efforts were mocked – now look at Japan. Korea’s catching up nicely. China may well overtake Korea.

    And bear in mind, VW and BMW owners have been driving cars built in South Africa and Mexico for ages. There’s no justification in assuming developing countries being used for manufacturing will result in a bad product – particularly when that product is designed for the target market’s tastes (i.e. an MG designed in Europe).

    Now, maybe MG needs to look upmarket and use Longbridge to produce a low-volume halo product, whilst selling profitable, high-volume vehicles developed in the UK, but manufactured wholly in China. What could they produce? There’s absolutely no point competing with Jaguar, which really knocks any suggestion of a Vanden Plas, RWD 75-platform derivative.

    Realistically, MG’s halo product should be to use emerging Chinese hybrid technology and Britain’s continued strength in electronics design and manufacture to produce a car similar to the Tesla Model S or Fisker Karma – a four-door, four seater, high tech, high spec plug in hybrid or fully electric car. Longbridge would be an ideal base for such a vehicle, close to at least one University with extensive programmes in hydrogen and electric technology, and close to low-volume composite panel producers.

    No-one should be dismissing SAIC, and I don’t think anyone is. However, the 6 is not the right car, it’s been poorly marketed, effort has been wasted on pointless ‘sub-branding’ in a misguided attempt to generate publicity. The car itself isn’t bad.

  72. They should have developed a decent replacement for the Rover 75/MG ZT, not this half hearted car which is as rare a sight on the roads as an eighties Fiat. All they needed to do was put all the resources into developing a large saloon with an engine of at least 2 litres, put in the quality wood and leather fittings which MG and Rover owners loved, undercut its German rivals on price and advertise like mad. Instead we got something which resembled a Hyundai from ten years ago with the same low rent feel and an engine that should it play up, will be very expensive to fix.

  73. This doesn’t surprise me at all. This car does not look ANYTHING LIKE an MG, it looks more like a Kia or something that a pensioner would drive and doesn’t even look sporty or powerful like a MG should.

    The ZT had all of that and looked a million times nicer and I would choose a used ZT over this any day. Even if I won an MG6 in a competition I would not be interested in being given the keys. I have also never seen a TV advert for this car or any on the road.

    The MG6 is apparently based on the work MG Rover did for RDX60, but I find that very hard to believe looking at this dullard, and my only conclusion is the Chinese have watered down the styling so much it is unrecognisable to anyone who originally helped style this project.

    The Chinese have proved they have no idea what they are doing in regards to the cars they are styling, marketing and selling in Europe. They should have kept the ZR, ZT, ZT-T and TF in production at Longbridge, and concentrated on developing direct replacements for these models that look like MGs.

  74. @Simon Weakley – November 5, 2011 youre probably right, perhaps they should give a rental company say 20 of them for loaners (and retain the rights to have them back after 12months). insepct them refurbish them then sell them on). alex

  75. Unfortunately the market is skewwed by high residual prices for German cars, meaning perfectly good cars do not sell well new. (Rover 75 for example – just a good – or better than a BMW)

  76. “This car does not look ANYTHING LIKE an MG, it looks more like a Kia or something that a pensioner would drive and doesn’t even look sporty or powerful like a MG should”

    Depends on what an MG should look like. The MG saloons of the 60’s didn’t look all that much more sporty than the Austin/Morris versions.

  77. Surely the main problem is that hardly anyone knows the thing exists.

    If it was not for my interest in MG Rover and my visiting of sites such as this and .org I could easily have missed it and I am a petrolhead.

    Even if budgets for marketing are low until the potential volume sellers are there (MG3 and MG5) there are things that could be done:
    – Park cars with branding and logos in prominant places
    – Virals on the internet e.g. a stunt video or comedy video
    – Wrap a london bus or a commuter train
    – Increase the warranty period to 8 years (who dealer maintains a car for that long?)

    The other problem is that there are so many offers from volume makers (a 60 plate Insignia for under £13k for example) so its tough out there.

  78. MG doesn’t have much of an inherent ‘look’. Except perhaps the grille (which was slatted in the latter days of MGR).
    Sporty Rovers, kind of like AMG or M-division.
    Rover is no more, so no base as such (though they are kind of ‘sporty’ Roewes).

    Hyundai are more than a match now, the quality and reliability are a lot better than the ‘Stellar’ era and the i40 looks like an impressive Mondeo competitor.
    The Veloster that was getting promoted around the MTV awards (the likes of which MG marketing should be embracing!) looked impressive, even if the examples were all dutch registered pre-production models.

  79. People talk about ‘heritage’, but what did Kia have when they started in the UK? Nothing at all, and yet they established themselves by providing basic affordable cars that people actually wanted to buy.

  80. @ IanS

    And it’s not that long ago either that owning a KIA was nearly as embarrasing as bringing dog muck through your neighbours house on your shoe.

    I recently drove a C`eed and i can say it was not a bad old Hector either, but about as exiting as Chesterfield!

  81. Remember when Kia was launched, a local dealer was peddling the Pride (a Mazda 121 also built for Ford as the Festiva) and an old Mazda 323 built in South Africa as the Sao Penza.
    Seemed to be aimed at the Lada/Skoda (pre-VW) market.

    Seems to have thrived under Hyundai ownership.

  82. @point 17 (David Knowles)

    My point about ‘wallowing in nostalgia’ is that it only creates nostalgia for those who remember the brand in the first place. Showing MGAs and MGBs and the like will not necessarily tempt new and, most importantly, young buyers to the marque. Appealing to the past is not a good way forward. Yes, MG has a heritage that other marques would die for but those other marques remained in business selling cars people wanted (or came to want) whilst MG folded. If heritage were all, MG would be the biggest and best manufacturer in the world.

  83. Dennis
    So, update (or even replace) the TF (make it a Elise for the masses)”

    Perhaps not the best example – Lotus sold even less than MG

    I do know what you mean but the pesky Japanese made a Elan for the masses and the MX 5 is the best selling sportcar of all time!

    Ian Langfield

    “MG is as relevant to the modern car buyer as Sunbeam or Triumph”

    Not sure I fully agree with this, as MG (in various guises) has managed to keep going for sometime. However, at 43 years old, the name “Magnette” has not been on a car in my memory (although possibly in my lifetime) and as you quite rightly said, along with Sunbeam et al has no relevance to today’s “younger” car buyer

  84. Hyundai and Kia have won fans due to a broad range of products sold at a very keen price and packed with goodies and warranty. OK so they are not the last word in quality or image but they do very well indeed. SAIC/MG can compete with them but they will need a broader range of products, warranteed to the hilt and at a lower price than today.

    The 6 is a nice car but the wrong car to launch here due to the size issue. It might offer more size than a Focus for example but that does not translate into value to the consumer who instead is left with a car that depreciates horrifically and costs a fortune to fuel. Heritage counts for very little these days so focus instead on the product and pricing. Bring out the MG3 and 5 and things could be turned around. Most people wouldn’t even care if they came directly from China. Afterall how many people really know or care where their cars are made? Certainly most people I have ever met just buy on colour, looks and price.

    I’d still like to hear from someone at MG on this subject. I’d even welcome an authoratative but anonomous source to comment on the current state of play.

  85. “Afterall how many people really know or care where their cars are made?”

    Fair point, the vast majority of buyers would assume a Renault was made in France, a VW was made in Germany and a Volvo was made in Sweden. But Renault Twingos are made in Slovakia, VW Polo’s are made in Spain and Volvo S40/V50’s are made in Belgium.

    Few people even realise which manufacturers are linked VW, Audi, Skoda, Seat for example. I’ve even heard people saying how a Saxo is a far better car than a Pug 106, even though other than a few bits of plastic trim they’re the same car. Those that will tell you French cars are utter rubbish and they’ll never have anything to do with one, as they climb into their TDCi (aka HDi) powered Ford.

  86. most french cars are utter rubbish,thats why they only sell small cars over here in any number and the tdci/aka hdi (DW 10 series engine)is co developed with ford. ie 1.4-1.6 and 20-2.2.even nissan micras wear clio hubs so everyone is in bed with each other!

  87. Renault owns a substantial stake in Nissan, so shared components would make sense, no? Particularly as the Micra is a shared platform vehicle.

    PSA’s expertise in diesel is undeniable and well-founded.

    Most French cars are excellent. Most French car dealers in the UK are crap. Which is why in France, the damn things take immense amounts of abuse, yet keep on going.

  88. Nissan and Renault are also effectively the same company. Micra’s and Clios have a lot more in common than just the hubs.

    “DW 10 series engine)is co developed with ford. ie 1.4-1.6 and 20-2.2”
    Ford used Pug supplied diesel engines long before they joined forces. The 2.0 and 2.2 also existed with PSA before Ford joined them. Clearly you’re one of the individuals that kids themselves the Ford engines are better than the PSA ones. Awful lot of pug 406’s, Xantias, C5’s, 405’s etc etc still knocking around on our, yet you say they never sell large cars in any number? You don’t see too many Velsatis or C6’s about but then they are in the Executive class, which even Ford doesn’t bother with these days.

  89. the french have always been light years ahead in certaian automotive techical areas way ahead of the japenese and germans because they are subsidised heavily (renault,state owned of course)but making it reliable was another matter,trust me when i say this most french cars are not very good the previous series of laguna was as comfy as a settee but fell to pieces inside after three years,the arse shaped megane (the best looking renault i think)was a nightmare for widow regs and can-bus maladies,water leaks keycard reader failures etc etc and im talking about real world ownership not a year long leased hack,i also understand that renault and nissan are in an alliance as opposed to any ownership-please correct me if im wrong.The expertise on the diesel engines is i agree second to none the xud one of my favourite of yesteryear superseded by DW8 and then DW10.The only really reliable french car ive found to be is the petrol powered 1st series of picasso!

  90. im no fan of ford engines and i dont kid myself,ford was using a pug engine in the sierra (2.3)when ford co developed the engines what are in both current fords and indeed psa cars they are markedly different than in the past,especially the comman rail fuel system notably the seven stage injection process if i may be so trite!the 406 was a lovely car i owned a hdi model and miss it to this day!C5 are dog meat and look massive and who cares about xantias?when did ford last make thier own engine?apart from a yank V6?all petrol ford engines in europe are either yamaha or mazda based,look under the hood of a new mx5 oh gosh mondeo engine or is it mazda?!lets not get pedantic over the ecoboosts roots eh?

  91. Seems i hit a nerve with you Francis. I was originally making the point that barely any car buyers are bothered with or understand the origins of the cars they buy. They simply look at the nationality of the badge.

    However you decided to inform us that France sells few large cars in the UK, which is clearly wrong.

    You also seemed to imply that somehow PSA engines were useless until Ford got involved, even though they’re all derived from PSA units, although you’ve since admitted that wasn’t the case.

    But far from French car’s being ‘utter rubbish’ they apparently have arguably the best Diesel engines available.

    Now perhaps you could stop throwing your toys out of the pram and get back on topic?

  92. Owned 2 Espaces (yes built by Matra you pedants) but full of shitty French electrics that make Lucas look good. Nissan & Renault own shares in each other, be nice if they where all rebodied Nissans – reliable & avant garde 🙂

  93. e.g. Had to bang the glove box to make the blowers come on and lashed up a switch on the dashboard cos the electric fan sensor was french connection (UK) – gauge goes over half-way flick the switch till temp goes down! Made traffic jams very interesting!

  94. How old were these Espaces? Don’t get me wrong – there are many reasons to hate working on the Espace when it gets old, particularly the heater matrix and steering rack. But my 114’s fan didn’t work. Admittedly, when faced with a thermoswitch that doesn’t operate as designed, I don’t lash up a switch, I find out what’s wrong.

    My first XM overheated a bit on the M6, and obviously it was all “Grrr”. However, what had happened was the fan connector – which pushes onto the fan, behind the radiator which clips in and tilts forward – had been pushed out instead of plugged in when the car’s radiator was removed during replacement of a sticky hydraulic valve (at 85,000 miles). The car’s electrics were fine, the mechanic had left a step out when reassembling the car and checking it. I can’t possibly blame Citroën for that.

    Chances are if you had to bang bits of the car, to make electrics work someone had been in there previously and disturbed the wiring. My Mercedes SL had similar issues – when I went to fix it, I removed kilos of wiring from previous alarms, navigation systems and other tat, all spliced and wedged in behind the dash.

    FWIW, my experience of Nissans has also been dodgy wiring (radio fitters usually) and rot in the rear suspension mounts (Micra, Cherry). Oh, and extensive rot and premature clutch failure on a Laurel. The clutch failure was not the Laurel’s fault, but – once again – the mechanic working on it…

  95. Sadly the only person who “got” what MGR was about in the UK was the much maligned Alex Moulton. When he tried to buy Rover and was upfront about the impending massive redundancies and concentration on niche sports cars he was hounded out of the race. He was, of course right all along.

    The MG6 does not sell because::

    1) It is a crap car (I know – I have tried three different examples now).

    2) There are plenty of crap cars out there, which sell well because they have watertight (long) warraties and have subsidised finance packages which make them attractive to folk on limited means – as RK rightly says in his previous post, the MG6 has neither of these.

    3) It is available in one old tech petrol engined model, when all of Europe is now obsessive about fuel consumption, and has thus gone diesel (even people who only use a car to go up and down the stairs), and as such it completely misses the market.

    4) It is unsure whether it is targetted against the Focus/Astra/Golf size point or the Mondeo/Insignia/Passat size and consequently fails to compete in either sector.

    5) It is a boring blandly styled 4/5 door mid-size car which is as enthusiasm inducing as the average street bollard.

    6) Only about twelve people (most of them on here) know it even exists.

    7) It is being marketed and sold (I’ll use the latter term loosely) by ex- Rover people, who didn’t understand the market then (and failed miserably as a result), and certainly don’t understand it now.

    All that said, the Chinese are not going to go away, and as they bring on stream smaller more niche products, you will see the MG6 retreat quietly into the shadows, and yes – in about three years you will be able to buy one for 10p.

    The smaller niche products will appeal and quality in China is improving in leaps and bounds just like it did in Korean product over the last decade.

  96. @Keith

    That statement needs a “LOL” at the end of it. Or maybe, reflecting trends of the era, a picture of Wayne & Garth going “…NOT!”

    MG UK could be doing far more with the 6 and promotions. They seem to have all the marketing skills of a bad dealer – including on their VIP event, managing to photograph the back of the VIP getting into the car. Flattering AND relevant – a schoolboy error for a PR event of any kind.

    However, MG UK won’t be living or dying by the success of the 6 – which I suspect is doing very well thankyou in China. If that were the case, the pathetic performance of the TF (again, a car which should have hit the market running as a stripped out, sub £10K sportscar with a cast-iron warranty and attractive finance packages – even if it were then possible to spec it up to £15K, the headlines would have been worth the hassle) would have seen the UK operation closed before the 6 even surfaced.

    This is the Hyundai Pony, or Proton, for an era which has far greater expectations and frankly, much, much better secondhand cars to pick from if budget really is the driving factor. SAIC’s i40 is a few years away yet, but only a few. Maybe 2015, Insignia based, UK-styled.

  97. I’m sorry for the brand MG, but not surprised. So what is the MG Motor’s USP?

    They aren’t sporty

    They aren’t ridiculously cheap, so you can take a punt and not worry about losing too much

    They don’t have a phenomenal warranty (min 7 years now)

    They don’t have a high profile dealer network

    They aren’t British – Lets be fair, Longbridge is a CKD operation at best and at least the thousands of Farina’s, 1100’s and 1300’s that were badged MG, were actually made in this country. You aren’t going to kid previous generations.

    They aren’t cutting edge, ground-breaking or feature amazing innovation.

    They have no diesel, so company car buyers won’t even short-list them

    They aren’t handsome or even particularly good looking. Fairly bland actually (in my opinion) so I can’t see the younger ‘I-Pod’ generation wanting them like say a Citroen DS.

    They have limited advertising in mainstream media and they aren’t common on British roads (see all of the above!!)

    They are effectively a completely new car make to most people and the public won’t go leaping about to buy one until more are about and any inherent faults (or good points) have surfaced. There is no third party recommendation or buzz in the market as the company have been gone for far too long.

    Not easy for SAIC or MG Motor, but I think they need to raise the profile generally, stop dwelling on MG history (the MG6 is not even a distant relative of any 20th Century MG, it just shares a badge) and try and find a list of relevant sales benefits that mean I should buy an MG6 and not any other Euro, Japanese or Korean box

  98. “They aren’t British – Lets be fair, Longbridge is a CKD operation at best and at least the thousands of Farina’s, 1100′s and 1300′s that were badged MG, were actually made in this country. You aren’t going to kid previous generations”

    As said above, few car buyers would realise or even care about the origin of a car. They just look at the brand and assume nationality.

  99. @Keith8

    “Owned 2 Espaces (yes built by Matra you pedants) but full of shitty French electrics that make Lucas look good. Nissan & Renault own shares in each other, be nice if they where all rebodied Nissans – reliable & avant garde”

    Like the Nissan Cherry Europe/Alfa Arna, Oh hang on, they got is the wrong way around! (tee hee)


  101. I think the dealer side isn’t the issue; servicing may be. Perhaps they should team up with Halfords to provide servicing. Oh, wait, didn’t Daewoo already try that with less-than-stellar results?

  102. Yes I meant Jon Moulton – my fault for trying to write a description of an Austin Maxi for sale just before I logged in here…..

    I agree with RK – the MG6 is merely a door knocking exercise. Remember Kia hardly advertised originally, but the product got better and better and better. In the early days the cars sold purely on the price and warranty package.

    The MG6 at present offers nothing exceptional in either of these areas and that is why it deserves to fail. If you could buy one for £199 a month with a five or seven year warranty, they would have half a chance of shifting a few privately.

    Not offering a diesel option in the 21st century is also a grave no-no, and this effectively excludes the car completely from the fleet market, in even a limited way.

  103. “They aren’t British – Lets be fair, Longbridge is a CKD operation at best and at least the thousands of Farina’s, 1100′s and 1300′s that were badged MG, were actually made in this country. You aren’t going to kid previous generations.”

    Previous generations are becoming less and less relevant. How many MINI buyers would remember Minis if it weren’t for BMW’s efforts to link the vehicles and build the Mini brand when they owned Rover. In fact, if I were a cynical type, I’d almost think that the Mini’s continued life post 1994 was a cunning investment to shore up the MINI’s brand recognition entirely, and BMW had no intention of hanging onto the larger cars longer than necessary. Had BMW released a FWD small car under other brands available to them… well – it simply wouldn’t have worked.

    Anyway. What does British mean? Most ARM core chips are made by Samsung, though they’re also produced by Texas, Intel and countless others. None of these firms are making chips in the UK, Cambridge has little relevance to it – and yet ARM is British. Acorn’s brand is gone and thankfully, after a zombie appearance on netbooks, forgotten by most people (rather than than abused the way the Commodore brand is; the industry bike as it were). The Intellectual Property in the 6 is pretty British, after all.

    Manufacturing matters for jobs. For character and taste, the IP is more important than where it’s made. So, the 6 can be considered British to a degree.

    What’s a shame is that Nissan, Honda, Toyota etc. didn’t make more of their British plants. Maybe if the Quashqai were branded as a Morris 1500 Nomad people would get the hint…

  104. Richard – “Previous generations are becoming less and less relevant. How many MINI buyers would remember Minis if it weren’t for BMW’s efforts to link the vehicles and build the Mini brand when they owned Rover.”

    The Mini is an icon of the 60s, so it was quite easy to tap into that heritage. The Fiat 500 does the same, and Renault are rumoured to want to reintroduce a modern R5. A small 2 seater (even FWD) MG Roadster could cash in on the MG Midget and MGB heritage, whereas the MG6 is more like a modern day MG Maestro 1.6, not such an iconic vehicle…

    Very few people would go into an MG showroom and assume that it was full of 100% British cars, made in a thriving factory employing thousands of people in the UK, because the public know the history of BL/Rover/MGR, and the final closedown in 2005, it was a massive story at the time, so effectively you’re looking at the complete relaunch of the company, which is an expensive business.

  105. Mikey: Which is why I’ve always said SAIC should have relaunched the TF as a stripped-out. basic spec model for under £10K. Even with some cheesy marketing concepts like “feeling young again” – the incredibly stupid thing being that they tried exactly that route with the B and 6 in their short-lived TV campaign (probably not remotely paid for by the car sales yet).

    I would even go so far as to be self-consciously cheesy – it plays well these days – by having a clear generational link. The idea being that the TF, at such a low price (and supported, ideally, by low-cost financing) is almost disposable cash for a car enthusiast. Which it is, being fair – £99 month wouldn’t even touch what I need to spend on my NSU or Metro to keep them in ‘new’ condition. Hell, I couldn’t make a cheap F workable in that sort of budget.

    With the demise of the Elise, the TF is still relevant and could still enjoy that market position. I’d even go so far as to only show it in plain colours, and make a passenger airbag optional (though I’d offer a clever option of a classic rally timer to fill the otherwise empty space).

    Crazy thing is, if Caterham cars were to turn around, as a producer of basic, low-volume sportscars, and say they were considering producing a family car for the enthusiast, many more people would take note. And forgive the car some crude trim.

  106. “Previous generations are becoming less and less relevant”

    Then why draw reference to cars built under the ownership of BMC/BL/Austin Rover etc in the advertising for the MG6? You could have staged the advert in Abingdon as it has as much relevance to that location as it does to former bearers of the marques badge.

    As I have said on here before, selling my Grandad’s medals to a Chinese guy, doesn’t entitle him to drink in the British Legion club.

  107. Cookie1600:

    Medals aren’t brands. Car production isn’t an award or recognition of anything. And if the Chinese guy fought on the side of the Allies, I am sure he’d be welcome.

    You need to build the brand regardless. MG has foundations, just as Mini had foundations – remember that there was a time when the Mini was not a quaint little car, but a badly made, unreliable anachronism that was long, long past any reasonable replacement date – a car that should not have survived beyond technica relevance in the aspirational, wealthy climate of postwar Britain.

    MG UK got it wrong linking the B to the 6. They could, however, have linked the MG Montego and Maestro Turbo; emphasising the Turbo branding, capturing the Ashes to Ashes ’80s revival zeitgeist and generally poking a bit of fun at themselves for making a car which really is like a dream thing from the ’80s – gadget laden, prominent Turbo branding.

  108. I have seen one. It is awful. Looks like an Insignia from rear three quarters and a Kia from the front. Loads of space true, and the boot is massive but …. the interior is seriously naff, the plastics like they came from the 1980s and the fit and finish overall was pathetic. Switches aren’t nice, doors clang and it wasn’t something I would want to own. From the figures, neither performance or fuel consumption are anything to shout about and the whole package looks well off the pace to me.

    Didn’t get to drive it but I sure as hell would not want to own one either!

    Expect depreciation to be truly massive. I can’t think that anyone in their right mind would buy one of these. Even worse than the dreaded Tata/Rover of a few years ago.

  109. “Loads of space true, and the boot is massive”

    Enough room to get ones bowls set, club whites and tartan thermos in?

  110. dennis @103 you didnt hit a nerve as im quadraplegic,anyway im not going to split hairs alnight over what cars i like and dont,but i will say this as i have intimated at my previous comments ford i believe have never really made a good engine (refined nvh whatever)just because ford co developed the engines with psa im not saying one is better than the other(i err on the psa side on diesels)im also not tossed how many cars the french sell because they are shite at longivity ie trim electrics and other nonsense as i said the only real number of cars the sell are small ones,206,clio etc so before you have a thrombie comment 97 should be re read!now dont have nine heart attacks and a runny bottom over things we all love and hate cars thats what polarises opinion and keeps things interesting.

  111. 252 units sold since january Whats the”Big surprise”here then? When so many of the public A.discovered what was under the bonnet(or the lack of whats under the bonnet)B.As dated looking as a London route master bus and C.SAIC haven”t a clue about marketing in the UK or Europe for that matter Its an “alien” market for them as so many people have said before on these pages(and have been rebuked!) This car”s a half baked effort and the public dont buy half baked products anymore..For this car to have suceeded It should”ve been re~launched with a variety of new engines and first and foremost a Diesel Otherwise forget it!!

  112. i dont think the diesel would change a thing gary,for one if it was introduced at uk launch in the first place whose diesel engine would it be?bought in or SAIC’s own the public would be scared to death of buying an unknown quantity-dont get me wrong im sure the chinese are very capable engineers but you only have to see the A3 rip off as well to make you do a ben johnson.The trouble is at the moment MG/SAIC dont have the capacity/capability to fuel a fleet market that does not exist for it northgate,enterprise,hertz or arnold clark havnt even looked at one,so its joe public you and me who is left and to be frank not even us are looking,we need a concise segment line up like the rest of the manufacturers be it mg3 mg5 and the like and they need to be sold cut-throat just like everything else we buy from china and they have to be good.

  113. “dennis @103 you didnt hit a nerve as im quadraplegic”
    Well if you are then frankly it has about as much relevance to the subject as being black or asian. If you’re not, well…

    “as i said the only real number of cars the sell are small ones,206,clio etc”
    So i’m seeing things when i see all these large French cars on our roads then? Clearly they sell them in good numbers.

    “im also not tossed how many cars the french sell”
    But you’re the one who brought up the subject of them only selling small cars in large numbers. Why if you’re not interested in it?

  114. oh dennis you dont half go on… how many vectras do you see and how many 407’s do you see?how many mondeos do you see and how many(before i wet myself)c5’s do you see?how many insignias do you see and how many pug 408 0r new shape lagunas do you see-in fact i see more hillman avengers than new even see more A4’s and beemers conpared to large french cars and ther must be a reason people aint that keen on em that said im not tossed about how many cars the french sell its not terribly important to me.there are far more small french cars sold than large french ones and that is a fact.the insinia,astra and corsa are very popular as are comparable ford models 408’s,lagunas and c5’s are about as popular as a turd in a swimming pool.Thats another fact,unless you live in dieppe or something.

  115. Francis:

    I see more 407s than Vectras, plenty of Lagunas, huge numbers of C5s. You do see more BMWs and Audis than most things – on the motorway – but the latest C5 has been quite a success.

    However, as you seem somewhat fond of the word “Fact” – here are some.

    I like this extract “UK-built cars outperformed the market, up 17.4% over year-to-date and 7.4% in December. The market share was the highest since 2005.”

    Some extracts from the spreadsheet.

    YTD – in other words, 2010 sales:

    The real winners:

    Volkswagen Group – total 356,615
    Volkswagen, Skoda, Seat and Audi
    (174,655 + 41,240 + 32,935 +99,828 +(Porsche and Bentley – 6,784, 993))

    Single-Marque winners…
    Ford – clear leaders as a single marque, but mostly the Fiesta etc. – 280,364

    The French:

    PSA – 182,641
    Citroën – 73,317 and Peugeot – 109,324

    Renault – 95,808

    Those common BMWs
    BMW Group – total 153,312
    BMW -with a range made up of primarily premium models – 109,418
    MINI (a fair addition to BMW’s figures) – 43,894

    Oh, and MG sold 282 cars in the whole of 2010.

    So, more French cars than BMW (including MINIs), and more VW group than anything else.

    Facts are useful, And you really don’t see more Hillman Avengers than New Lagunas, unless you own an Avenger and never leave the house. Notice, on the other hand, is another matter.

  116. how many C5’s out of the 73,317? also how many 408’s out of the 109,324 and more importantly how many lagunas out of the 95,808 total cars have they sold?i merely stated in comment 97 the french only sell small cars in any number(the inference being the majority of thier cars sold would be small or indeed maybe medium)now,maybe its geography or demographics or just north of england idiosyncratic behavior but there simply not a lot of C5’s,408’s lagunas around here to be seen or noticed.It has to be said 207’s are waltzing out of elton garages nearby because free petrol,free servicing and free insurance not so 408’s now you really dont have to furnish me with such figures which are not representative of my point-large french cars dont sell in huge mumbers thank you anyway.

  117. Year-to-date

    1 Fiesta 84,506
    2 Focus 72,875
    3 Corsa 67,259
    4 Golf 54,413
    5 Astra 53,201
    6 Insignia 41,309
    7 Polo 39,944
    8 3 Series 37,314
    9 Qashqai 33,552
    10 MINI 30,305

    Looking at the Top 10 to the end of October shows few surprises, but highlights how well the Insignia has done in a shrinking sector of the market. C5s are fairly rare, new 407s/508s aren’t common, and I can’t remember the last time I saw a Laguna 3. The Mondeo 3 is a bit of a flop too…

  118. How Many Left helps here.

    2010 – new vehicle registrations:

    A4 (a tricky one to narrow down, may have errors) – 34,246
    (Note – A5, 20,987 – Passat CC is included in Passat figures)

    Insignia – 34,099

    Mondeo – 29,790

    Passat – 21,632

    C5 – 3444

    Laguna – 3072

    407 – 2344 (508 sales look set for about 3,000 over 2011)

    They’re not selling 408s here, which might explain why you’re not seeing many. But if you want to make a point, find some data instead of ranting.

  119. “how many C5′s out of the 73,317? also how many 408′s out of the 109,324 and more importantly how many lagunas out of the 95,808 total cars have they sold?”
    I thought you said you “didn’t give a toss about figures”?

    “if you want to make a point, find some data instead of ranting.”
    Exactly, making a blanket statement without any data is meaningless. You’ve said there are hardly any large french cars, but on the other hand i’ve seen lots around here. When i was in a rural independent workshop every other car seemed to be a big french diesel, more often than not, estates. The picasso was once the biggest selling MPV, i would count that as a large car, it’s certainly not small.

  120. im not ranting,why should i?im merely having cogent dialogue that is salient to comment 97.Im not the one foraging the net or whatever for numbers of large french cars that dont sell and no one really cares the way,how many citroen C6’s found homes?was it as many as the current MG6?get over yourself its a forum not a spleen venting site get in your citroen with its DRL’s and enjoy yourself.And ill t=cut the brake pipes on the avenger!

  121. About 1,000 C6’s found homes. In total. I don’t own a C6 anymore, but when I did there were about 700 registered, of which 106 were in the dealer network.

    I like knowing stuff. It’s sometimes useful.

  122. There are 15 C6’s in my street…. no i’m joking.

    “im not ranting,why should i?”
    The comment below looks like a rant…

    “its a forum not a spleen venting site get in your citroen with its DRL’s and enjoy yourself.”
    You seem to be the one venting your spleen?!

  123. well,whats looks and sounds and knowing is another matter,the fact will always remain that french cars that are large dont sell that well in huge numbers do they?i hope you enjoyed your C6 which i found both beautiful,graceful and brave-second only to the last 5 series that i found had poise and felt like a substantial place to be.why would i not have a C6?parts-pure and simple,some people would be put off ownership in the second hand market because (1)there aint that many about(2)some parts will be dealer only,and could charge what they want(3)aftermarket -GSF etc would only have small stock of general repair parts (4)after six years i believe manufactorers are no longer obliged to stock parts for cars out of production and so a worry for owners.Not everyone who enjoys cars are in the lofty posistion of owning a new car every other year and many want to make them last.Large french cars have a bad reputation for reliability wether now justified or not and it wasnt earned overnight,owners were put off them another reason the xm didnt sell huge numbers-omegas did im sure the provisional wing of the french car lovers club will bay for my blood but figures or no figures small french cars sell large ones dont.its only a forum i dont get mad or rant i think it gets a bit anal and rediculess when we have to quote (discounting mikey c whom was most helpful in elaborating the top ten figures-thank you)sales figures for cars and what are left?i was only making an observation anyway as per comment 97 now we have all gone off topic and forgot what this site is about.

  124. I intended to write a blog about the C6 – it was a mixed car. In Europe it’s been a moderate success; the production line is now headed for China apparently.

    However, I didn’t enjoy it, ultimately – and regret not spending the money on an identically-engined Jaguar XF instead. The car’s design, as much as reliability, was at fault there, but also PSA dealers are truly awful, amongst the worst, and positively harmful to the reputation of Peugeot/Citroën in the UK. Cars are complex, things go wrong – it’s whether the dealer can fix it and keep the customer happy that counts; when the XJ was launched I had a chat with the dealer about the XF’s reputation.

    When asked the straightforward question – “Was I right to be worried about the new Jag’s quality at launch” – I was told that they’d got about 50/50 on those first XFs for customer service. Half of the car’s reputation was down to simply being put together properly – and half of it was down to the dealers being given the support and backup to ensure that the customer was never unhappy if their car developed a fault.

    Compared to the Citroën dealer, which when confronted with some fairly straightforward issues – a failing balljoint (common on 407 and the C6 is related) and sticking rear brakes – needed to be argued with repeatedly. Had they just replaced it promptly, with minimal disruption, I’d have been perfectly happy.

    XMs are good cars; in Europe they’re highly regarded and held their value.

    (FWIW, Omegas had a terrible reputation in the trade where I grew up, no-one wanted them, and if one came in as a trade, it was guaranteed to be back-of-lot, please let it be a trade sale and never seen again material).

  125. My Dad had 2 Omega, the first from 1996 to 2000 had more than it’s fair share of minor faults, mostly electrical.

    The 2nd from 2000 to 2003 was almost trouble free in spite of being a high spec model.

  126. “the xm didnt sell huge numbers-omegas did”
    Can’t say i see too many Omega’s or XM’s about, so perhaps neither lasts any better than the other.

    Large cars as a rule don’t hold their price as well as small ones, simply because when a small car becomes older it’s ideal for 17 year olds to buy. Whereas when a large car becomes old the old people that can really afford to run them can generally afford a newer car. Because older large cars are cheap, they generally get scrapped when they need repair as cheaper to buy another than repair it.

    “the fact will always remain that french cars that are large dont sell that well in huge numbers do they?”
    Surely you can say the same about Ford’s though, they sell many times more Fiesta’s than they do Mondeo’s, so does that mean Ford don’t sell large cars in numbers either?

    “PSA dealers are truly awful, amongst the worst, and positively harmful to the reputation of Peugeot/Citroën in the UK.”
    Quality of service from a dealership does make a real difference, i think we’re lucky here, the local Citroen Dealer is my Former Rover dealer, they offer an excellent service always helpful and would highly recommend them. However i bought some parts from the local Vauxhall dealer once and was treated with utter contempt simply for asking if the parts department was open. I think it depends on how tight the reins from the manufacturer are with regards to franchised dealers. Some seem to buy the Franchise and are left to get on with it, others are frequently checked up on.

    “It’s not an MG”
    Yes it’s definitely an MG, it has MG badges on it and is designed and built by MG motor. DVLA, SMMT etc call it an MG. By definition that makes it an MG.

  127. “Yes it’s definitely an MG, it has MG badges on it and is designed and built by MG motor. DVLA, SMMT etc call it an MG. By definition that makes it an MG.”

    Well, if it has MG badges on it, then it must be…..

    Dream on Dennis.

  128. richard at@141 the dealers really are truly awful and i even had to show a technician how to use the peugeot planet machine!i have stood at the service receptions awaiting to book in warranty work off our fleet and have never before seen a customer treated so shoddily its a wonder really they exist as dealers at all.

  129. Well it certainly isn’t a Ford or Vauxhall is it?

    I’m sure we’ve heard it all before when a Metro came out wearing an MG badge, the 1300 having an MG grille bolted on the front, the Farina having the same, the cry of “It’s not an MG!” was heard from various ranks. Today, the Metro, Maestro and Montego et al (not EEEEEETAL!) are considered MGs in the true sense of the word. While the 6 may or may not be an MG in spirit, it may still get there such as the above did. Saying that however, it’s not goping anywhere until the marketing department pull their bloody socks up and get on with selling the damned thing.

  130. “richard at@141 the dealers really are truly awful and i even had to show a technician how to use the peugeot planet machine!i have stood at the service receptions awaiting to book in warranty work off our fleet and have never before seen a customer treated so shoddily its a wonder really they exist as dealers at all.”

    Round here it’s the Ford and Vauxhall dealers that are poor, perhaps explains why i see more large French cars than you…
    Dealership spread does have an impact on sales though, i’ve noticed that small towns with a franchised dealer, tend to have lots of cars from that marque. I think perhaps many people don’t travel to far to buy a car, crazy when it’s the second biggest purchase they’re likely to make in their life!





  132. Ihave to say teh deales are totally crap, i am STILL waiting for two dealers to inform me about the magnette launch, one of which said quite clearly i would be invited to teh launch.

    I have to say it is about to time to put up or Shut up… If they dont do something soon, then MG will more of a laughing stock than they already are in amongst motoring circles.


    There in lies the problem – the UK is not now MG’s home market, it’s just where it’s previous history lies buried.

  134. The girlfriend’s small home town has been a Citroen dealer for years.
    See various C5s, C3s, Saxos, even the occasional XM.

    Likewise, the town where I was born has one of the first Hyundai dealers in the province, so there are loads of Getzs, i10s, Accents etc.

    I have had good experiences with local Alfa Romeo, Peugeot, Honda and even Ford (her old car, wouldn’t have another after the Orion).

    Worst parts buying experience was in GSF though, which I now avoid. Totally uninterested.

  135. “Worst parts buying experience was in GSF though”

    When i’ve bought stuff from GSF i’ve found them good value, high quality parts for a good price. Trouble is they seem to sell such a random selection of bits, even stuff that you can get from any local factors they don’t stock.

    I think they were better when they were just German & Swedish, they seemed to do most things for Merc, BMW, VAG, Volvo etc.

  136. My problem wasn’t so much the breadth of stock, and prices were ok, but the totally disinterested way in which the guy serving seemed to deal with my inquiry.
    Think Basil Fawlty as a Motor Factors employee.

    Whereas EuroCarParts are always more than helpful, even tracking down and ordering Hydraflush which seems to be as rare as hens teeth these days!

  137. AndySpares – the F part of GSF – were nothing like as pleasant to deal with as the old German & Swedish.

    I think having anything to do with French cars in Britain requires a determination to provide the worst possible service, just to enhance the “Frenchness” of it all.

  138. I understand that of the 15 MG6’s registered last month 8 were Dealer and Manufacturer Demos, making the Retail registrations a sad 7 !

  139. JLR are taking on 1000 workers at Solihull which is great news. If I was working at Longbridge, I’d be asking for an application form…

  140. To be honest I think there are several other Major factors here as to why MG is bombing sales wise As I have said before SAIC Since acquiring the MG brand have been sitting on the fence re the launch of the MG6 Dont forget MG/Rover are out of business now near 7years and the Company ended on a sour note in the publics mind tarnished goods People have basically&sadly forgotten about MG&Moved on to different brands I also think SAIC using the MG brand as a return to”Mass production” is bad marketing The MG brand isnt or never was a strong brand in this section Maybe they(SAIC) should have gone down the “specialist” built car route i.e Caterham or morgan? The Rover brand(I know its dormant and SAIC dont own it)Would”ve been a better bet for this sorta relaunch

  141. “The MG brand isnt or never was a strong brand in this section”

    The popularity of the ZR and ZT (we’ll ignore the ZS as, like the 45, it’s just never been a popular “genre” of car), let alone the F and TF, would suggest otherwise.

    And that’s just the thing. In the latter years, with the emphasis on X-Part branding, the prominent racing MGs, the practical ZRs, the very sporty – for a generation starved of overtly sporty family cars – ZTs and the small halo effect of the ZT 260 and SV, MGR did a fantastic job of making the MG brand contemporary, relevant and usable.

    SAIC have squandered that, no doubt, but I disagree that MG “never was a strong brand in this section”.

    Morgan and Caterham aren’t for sale. Caterham, far from being tiny and struggling, is a strong contender for acquiring Lotus, or at least, Lotus branding and assets, once Bahar is done cocking up the simple strategy of making light, affordable sportscars.

    And no. I don’t think the company really ended on a sour note. Warranties were honoured, parts availability maintained really to a higher standard than, say, Yugo or Dacia’s exits from the market (and don’t get me started on Ssangyong’s first flop).

    MG UK deserves some criticism, but let’s be reasonable. The 6 is simply an average car with below-average economy and little performance benefit, balanced by very high equipment levels for the budget. If it had a compelling sales package, it would be worth marketing – but without low-rate finance and a solid warranty, as we’ve seen few people are going to buy it.

    They won’t have bought a bad car, by any means, and without the MG brand – if it were a Roewe or SAIC or Free Wind Spirit or whatever – I doubt the car would even have found that handful of buyers.

    (Repeat point about stripped out TFs as a more effective way of building the brand than any TV campaign).

  142. I know little about the chief designer of the MG6 but when i first saw it I thought it was desperately dull. As others have said it seems to straddle the Astra/Focus and Insignia/Mondeo market; why? BL tried that with the Austin 1800 and we all know that was a flop. The Chinese made a huge error in this car; they needed a model that was a huge technological advancement and a sea change in design to give it a fighting chance. Instead we get a dull looking car in a crowded market place. If the Chinese are serious they should employ the best designers in the industry and adopt the best technology. They have not done so and are reaping the whirlwind.

    As for those suggesting the MG3 will improve fortunes I would just say that sounds like desperation. That car too already looks antiquated.

  143. Just to get back to the original blog by Keith, Lotus, a strong brand selling exceptional but specialist cars, sold, or rather registered 4 cars last month. MG, a re-entrant to the crowded UK marked and off most peoples radar, registered 15. This is not good for MG, but perhpas less shocking than the Lotus position..
    MG’s position seems to me to rest on 3 points:
    1. Those that know about the MG6 (including those wrting the 181 posts before me) are not buying it because it’s too big, not fuel efficient enough, not different enough, too expensive, has poor depreciation, the dealers are miles away, there is no engine choice, or options list at all, no finance package and so on and on..
    2. Those who have not heard about MG being back in the market because of limited advertising – However, when they do know about the ‘6’, they will also not buy it for the reasons given in point 1, above.
    3. Like the TF in 2008 trying to re enter the UK market just before a global recession, the 6 has come to the UK at the wrong time. MG’s only hope is that their dealers and SIAC keep faith with the UK operation until the UK spec MG3 arrives and that the 3 is good. Very, very good.

  144. The MG6 was always going to be a flop and the “worry” is that, in failing to even get close to the unambitious target of 2000 sales in the year, the brand may have been damaged beyond repair in the UK (much like Lancia was back in the 1980s).

    I say “worry” because it isn’t really a worry. It isn’t a British car (it’s not even a British-built car), it isn’t a particularly good car and it certainly isn’t an MG, no matter how many badges it wears. If the Chinese owners decide to call it a day then it won’t be any great loss to the UK, and proper British- built cars (such as Honda Civics) would most likely create more jobs than the closure of the Longbridge “Badge and Wheel Fitment Centre” loses.

    I AM going to say “told you so”

  145. RJ@162

    As for my previous comments; if MG had done a stripped out, warranted £10K TF with say, 10% deposit and £99/month lease/contract hire/whatever, I’d have one right now. But I don’t want a 6. I’m not in the market for a family hatchback, and if I were, I wouldn’t want the 6 because I don’t care about the equipment, and do care about the material quality – and ultimately, don’t want that class of car at all.

  146. @Richard I think your missing the point i am making No matter what sector the MG brand falls into 242 sold since january(sold on its home turf might i add)and owned by Such a massive Corporation(SAIC)That has owned MG for the past5/6years is nothing short off Disgraceful and i beg to differ But MG/Rover stung alot of people when they went under Though i think the Phoenix group would”ve sold a whole lot more cars than SAIC! There has to be somthing wrong somewhere?

  147. I’m not missing the point – I’ve already said the brand equity has been squandered. I’m disputing the fact that the cars weren’t good sellers. They were; MG’s early 2000s sales were strong, they were popular cars and improving constantly.

    MGR stung a lot of people in the industry. A lot of work went into ensuring the consumers were treated reasonably – depreciation is not under the control of X-Part, Powertrain or anyone other than the buyers of the used cars. We nearly bought a Streetwise when MGR went under and the dealer wouldn’t haggle enough; it did sell, eventually, for £1000 less than I’d offered assuming the car to be worthless after 3 years.

  148. Richard ““The MG brand isnt or never was a strong brand in this section”

    The popularity of the ZR and ZT (we’ll ignore the ZS as, like the 45, it’s just never been a popular “genre” of car), let alone the F and TF, would suggest otherwise.”

    Let’s not get carried away with the popularity of the Z cars, the ZR sold 82000 in 4 to 5 years, a useful performance, but hardly enough to scare the global giants, and I bet MGR made bog all money on them!

  149. I passed the Belfast MG dealer today, took this picture –

    As you can see, not on MG at the front of the forecourt, mostly brand new Subarus with some second hand VWs and Vauxhalls there, very odd way of doing things.

    They had a blue stickered up one around the corner, I personally like the look of the car and it’s a lot bigger than I expected, especially at that price.

  150. “The Rover brand(I know its dormant and SAIC dont own it)Would”ve been a better bet for this sorta relaunch”

    Agreed, and that’s exactly what they wanted, however BMW still owned the name and had a condition built into their sale agreement of Land-Rover with Ford that Ford would get first refusal should the name ever be sold.

  151. @Jonathan McCormack – Thats the one I mentioned earlier, when taking the other half shopping on Boucher. Great you took a pic! 🙂

    RMG Motors.

    Couple of MG6s at the back of the lot, behind the Subarus and even the trade-in Clios etc!

  152. Lighten up folks, the far from perfect (but far from bad) 6 is here and is just beginning to breathe life back into MG. It was never going to carry all before it and clearly SAIC never thought it would. It’s here to pave the way for what comes next (the 3 and 5). It’s here to help SAIC/MG iron out faults in their approach to the UK and continental markets. A bigger, stronger range will attract more dealers which will in turn give MG better coverage across the country. I think this will come with the 3 and 5.

  153. The Z cars(or MG badged Rovers) did sell very well when they were first launched 10/11 years ago but the cars ZT ZR ZS were already 5 years old & their “Rover” badged clones still sold stronger than the MG branded ones Its just a pity phoenix hadnt the money to produce new models as the sales soon dropped massively after the 2nd year of production I think in hindsight John Moulton”s alchemy Idea of making MG a specialists sports car make like morgan etc might”ve been a better bet for the brand What SAIC are doing(or@least trying to do)is sell MG as a Kia hyundai type mass produced car and the badge doesnt suit the car.

  154. The only way MG’s are going to sell in any numbers is with small and medium cars like the 3 and 5,were the MG6 fails is it doesnt know what it is,is it in the focus segment or mondeo segment?is it just a bit big for the focus segment?is it repeating the past mistakes of rover group with the 400-in mondeo territory when it was clearly from the segment below.If and when the 3 and 5 arrived they have got to exude quality inside at least a match for a audi A1 and the like.what is an mg? i used to think MGA,B that sort of thing,the last rover MG were just that,but it breathed life into the range what was at best staid.

  155. problem is its a damaged brand and not good enough dealer network i live in orkney i was buying a new car september i was going to have to travel to newcastle to look at a mg and may well bought one as my family has had a lot of austins/rovers over the years test drove hondas fiat punto and vws,in the end i have a new fabia monte carlo in the drive

  156. Couldnt agree with you more george 242 sold since january and only 15 in october and this a product owned/produced by one of if not the biggest auto manufactures in china..A joke! someone else said it looks better than a mazda 6.think they need to go to specsavers Its a flop lack of dealer networks and as you said tarnished brand name people have moved on.

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