The MG6 and why I won’t be buying one any time soon

Posted on March 2, 2011 by


A new MG is on the way to market from the Chinese owners SAIC. The car has a good stance, it looks the business and as an MG enthusiast I feel I should be eager to go and try one; maybe even put some money down as a deposit.

The new MG6

Still, I don’t think I will be…

I find myself looking back to the demise of MG Rover back in April 2005; at the missed opportunities, poor management and political interference.

MG Rover’s history was already splashed with ripples of industrial conflict and then was bought by a government nationalising vehicle companies into one blob ready for eventual failure.

It’s easy in hindsight but there were times when we could have made something of this. BMW bought Rover and turned it around but had their own ideas of what ‘Rover’ meant, one of class and quality but not at the expense of their own brand. This meant MG was not going to be anything other than a two-seater convertible.

It was the sale to a group of four businessmen for £10, plus covering debt (and more) for a period after the sale that gave new life to the MG brand.

The ZR/ZS and ZT came from the changes and at this point we could have made something of MG Rover. The only long-term issue was the replacement of the ZS which had a few body changes stemming from Honda’s partnership with Rover in the 80’s (Rover 400/Honda Civic). The ZS – Rover 45 was the last variant before the new car came out. In 2004, a year before MG Rover folded, the company was asking the public for their opinion on the design for the new MGR car.

This new design and ZS/45 replacement was to be launched during 2005 but instead MGR went to the wall taking the last mass car production in this country with them.

In the background were the Chinese waiting to pick up the pieces from the collapse and like any good business cheaply amass the ability to reproduce good design and technology.

I look at the MG6 and see a car designed in Britain over six years ago being reborn in China with some minor tweaks and then sent back here for sale.

The only thing that makes me both happy and proud is the fact that some jobs are coming back to Longbridge, the modern home of MG, and that SAIC see the Union Jack and the MG brand as a strong point of sale.

I do hope the brand goes from strength to strength and perhaps I will buy one in the future but for now I can only think of all the missed opportunities.

The new MG6 can be found here.

Feel free to comment.

Posted in: Motoring