It’s been a complex relationship between the MG6 and AROnline. Strange really, as it’s yet to be consumated… but, as is often the case with the car industry, it’s the backstory that provides the frontstory. We’ve followed the car’s development slavishly since its first appearance as a disguised mule in Australia, through its launch as the Roewe 550 and subsequent development into a UK-built MG.
It’s been fascinating and a real microscosm of how the industry is set to develop in the coming years – China learning quickly, by working with the Europeans. Let’s face it, now China is the world’s second largest economy, with the USA firmly fixed in its sights at number one, we should all take notice.
Adam Sloman, Clive Goldthorp and our mysterious friend in China have all driven the car on behalf of this website (at various points during its development programme), so I feel like I should know this car – but, as I’ve yet to get my sweaty mitts on the MG6, I’m going to reserve judgment until those all important First Drives take place next month.
However, despite all that – and my own in-built pessimism and cynicism – I really hope this car succeeds – if only for the psyche of our great nation. Mass-production of mainstream British-badged (and design and/or engineered) cars here might just be a distant memory now, but the thought of MG building its cars in the UK to line-up alongside Jaguar Land Rover, MINI, Honda and Toyota fills me with some kind of hope that we haven’t retrenched the UK volume industry to the point of extinction.
I like to think that, thanks to the efforts of Clive Goldthorp, Adam Sloman and Steven Ward, we’ve provided the most comprehensive online launch coverage you’ll find on the MG6. The interaction from you, the readers, has been invaluable in driving us onwards with this – the feedback has certainly been mixed, with an overall feeling of cautious, realistic optimism being the flavour of the day from the AROnline readership.
I’m aware that this is an enthusiast website, so thought that we might all be a little close for a rational view. Hence, via Twitter, I’ve also asked for Vox Pops from the people who follow AROnline‘s tweets. The roster includes a mixture of general car enthusiasts, magazine editors and writers, and PR people. It’s an interesting mix of car people – but far from partisan.
The responses back have been numerous and fascinating. Here’s a selection of answers to my question: ‘will the MG6 make it, does it have what it takes? Yay or nay?’
- @aronline_uk Nay don’t see what it can offer as a brand unless it has a zillion year warranty and loads of free servicing and undercuts oppostion
- @aronline_uk Prob a good car underneath, but the badge will be its biggest problem. MG is a dead brand to UK car buyers. Hope I’m wrong.
- @aronline_uk YAY I think a reasonable effort – but no doubt everyone will slag it off and not give it a fair chance.
- @aronline_uk No, it won’t. Why buy an MG6 when you can get a Skoda Octavia for so much less?
- @aronline_uk More Nays than a French slaughterhouse I’m afraid.
- @aronline_uk Nay – the brand doesn’t represent much any more and the product doesn’t make up for the apathy.
- @aronline_uk Sadly, nay… this is now a brand in name only, divorced from history and emotion.
- @aronline_uk Not without a diesel. MG3 will be a hit though, I think.
- @aronline_uk I’d like it to succeed. Here’s hoping they release an “in your face” version akin to the ZR, ZS and ZT.
- @aronline_uk It’ll depend on the UK media. TG will destroy it for sure, and I’m don’t think the rest will like it as it’s not German.
- @aronline_uk It’s a Nay from me, I think. I met the MG crew at MPH in Nov and it all seemed a bit… lacklustre. Ambitious, but not quite there.
- @aronline_uk Chinese will win on price at first (as did Japanese, then Koreans). That means UK-built car will struggle, I think.
That’s, of course, a purely random selection of quotes, but it’s an interesting cross-section of the wider industry view. I suspect, as one influential Tweeter says, the MG6 may struggle until the diesel arrives, but the MG3, suitably jazzed-up for the UK market, could well go down a storm.
Either way, we’re rooting for it here at AROnline, however irrational that may look. We want to see a five-star NCAP rating, a great dealer experience (from those I know, that’s guaranteed), and tactile quality that suggests good build. Finally, let’s just hope the driving experience lives up to my high expectations (Andy Kitson and the guys behind it know more than a thing or two about chassis development), and it masters the black art of body control in a way that British cars do better than anyone else…