Blog : MG6 – Balancing the books

Andrew Elphick

MG6 residual values
MG6 residual values

Without trying, the MG6 has been my shadow all weekend.

At the fabulous AROnline birthday bash Ian Pogson highlighted the pleasures (and frustrations) of working within China . Letting slip European NCAP testing gets under way this week, fingers crossed the 6 can carry on the safety legacy of the 75/ZT. Good news number two is Ricardo’s new diesel is just months away (even though the G-Series, tooling and 30 new L-Series lumps have sat unloved in a corner since the unpleasantness.

Stepping outside to the Gaydon sunshine (approximately 15:27 for two minutes) I poured over Paul Wager’s MG Magnette press car. In the metal the saloon is far more cohesive shape carrying a prestige Alfa-esque ambience, rather than the ‘Is it a Mazda?’ effect of the liftback. Criticism of the interior plastics has certainly been addressed. In my mind the 6 is reaching potential used purchase status, though a new purchase beckons surely only for the corporate/Motability customers. (I write this as multiple purchaser of privately funded new cars).

An equally wet Sunday stroll at a local show had me crossing paths with a pair of MG6s again. Chatting to a dealership rep highlighted some surprises – the MG franchise had replaced a SAAB one… very poor manufacturer back up from SAAB being cited. A healthy mark-up of 10% on the MG might help if you have a sackful of cash you’re itching to spend. Overall the representative was bullish, yes the price seems dear but when compared to an Insignia occupying the shared showroom space is markedly good value. However if no diesel burner appears, game over for MG. A rolling of eyes made me grin when I mentioned the PR Jurassic Park customer hand over shots.

Popping the boot I was offered the only worry, as pictured at the head of this piece; ‘Guaranteed future value’ at three years old.

Slipping from £4823 to a paltry £3727 – Would you be brave enough?

Keith Adams


  1. The ugly truth though, retained value after 3 years is 40% and on the par with any repmobile of the same size and price…Selling private may gain a few 100’s, but one can find one years old insignia for half RRP at vauxhall dealers!!! Says it all.

  2. Well, I suppose these residual values are to be expected. After all, MG Motor UK Limited is a new company and is in effect experiencing the same lower than average residuals that many Far Eastern marques such as Hyundai, Kia and Proton also experienced when they first started trading on these shores. It also shows that the MG marque currently does not have the so-called ‘magnetism’ that enthusiasts postulate over.

    If MG Motor UK Limited can continue to deliver new models that the market wants and without creating over-supply, offer value-for-money and excellent after sales service – something that most of the Far Eastern manufacturers excel at these days in the UK – then in the medium to long term, residual values could start to improve.

  3. I have have had direct feedback of a major marketing supplier that MG have sold just under 300 MG6’s since launch and that the Chinese are really worried. The dealers are not performing and as many are multi franchise are not putting efforts into selling the 6. Also lack of competitive finance is killing the car. So unless you are that ellusive buyer with hard cash and willing to bet on residuals of 30% you will walk away. However the Chinese are committed to this launch so expect some money behind the product and marketing before long. I wish them well but they need that diesel and some fleet deals which probably account for 80% of sales in that price bracket.

  4. Simon :
    I have have had direct feedback of a major marketing supplier that MG have sold just under 300 MG6′s since launch and that the Chinese are really worried.

    It would be interesting to know what they expected (or hoped) the figure might be

  5. 25%? What the hell do they expect? The 6 is a completely bland looking underengined domestic appliance of a car. If MG came up with something near the quality of the ZT with similarly carismatic engines I’d have one but not the boring irrelevant nonsense currently on offer……

  6. Well, they were planning for 2000 in a year – so 300 sounds to be off target after what, 3 months? Residuals will be high if they keep supply below demand, but that’s clearly not happening. I guess they’ll see if the Magnette brings some improvement, but if it doesn’t they’ll have to pour money into sales – discounts, long-term warranty, free insurance etc. Exactly the path they want to avoid, because they want a relatively up-market reputation, but the market is weak and maybe the product isn’t attractive enough.

  7. Don’t forget the value is a guaranteed minimum value, dealers would expect it to be worth more than this to provide equity towards the next purchase. Whilst the figures are not good neither are they for a Vauxhall Insignia or a Ford Mondeo and they cost 000’s more.

    I’d be wary of sales figure numbers, i’d prefer to see some SMMT figures. It’s early days and the product is not 100% polished yet. Until they get the diesel demand and sales will remain low outside the niche market. The car itself though is pretty good and I was impressed at SIlverstone with how it drove. Likewise the excuse of lack of competitive finance would appear unfounded as those deals offer very attractive interest and low payments.

  8. 6.9% with £0 deposit and 4.9% with a 30% deposit is pretty competitive. I don’t see Tesco Loans matching that let alone a real bank.

    GMFV is just a number at the end of the day, I doubt we’d be able to buy one at that price in 2014.

  9. What will hurt the values though will be the launch of the diesel and 2nd gen petrols which should offer a more competitive combination of fuel consumption and running costs. It’s a shame that the current engine is so thirsty (relatively) as actually I was surprised how refined and smooth the installation was. However you cannot get away from the fact that the tech is old.

    Incidentially I checked the SMMT data for June which shows that last year MG registered something like 181 cars which was a surprise. THe June figures show YTD of 127 registrations, 48 of which were made in June. this puts them ahead of proton but behind Perodua and Maserati. Still they are way ahead of Infiniti.

  10. Just been on their website and it seems that Santander is providing the finance. No mention of the £0 deposit deal on there though.

    As for the sales figures, 300 since May is pretty good considering the dealer numbers are low. More and more dealers are coming on stream all the time and now the saloon is out the numbers should increase, however holding the diesel back til 2012 is very wrong.

    I imagine the best dealers are the sole marque sites where they just concentrate on MG, as Rob Copson said some time ago, selling them alongside other estbalished marques is hard because if the customer doesn’t get the deal they want they will simply buy from the other brand if its price not badge thats important to them.

  11. The car’s only been on the market for two months so, at the rate of 300 cars sold every two months, that puts them on 1800 in a year which is just about what they’re aiming at. More dealers and the Magnette coming onstream plus the introduction of the diesel will give the 6 a wider appeal. Whilst I’m sure MG will do whatever they can to make the car as attractive a proposition as possible, I’d be surprised if they’re worried.

  12. I read the MG6 road test by James Martin in LIVE magazine… sadly although he wanted to love the car, it had a faulty burglar alarm which couldn’t be switched off except by the AA. Then it broke down twice in the week he had it. MG could do without reviews like that at this early stage of the game. Depreciation just adds to the woes.

    I saw my first (LHD) MG6 in Yorkshire – looked nice enough but I didn’t feel the same level of excitement that I did when I saw the ZT for the first time.

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