Goodbye MG Rover

Discussion in 'Community' started by geese, Apr 7, 2005.

  1. geese macrumors 6502a

    geese

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    #1
    Goodbye MG Rover,

    You built some of my favourite cars ever, the SD1 (the BMW M5 of its time), my dads 800 (known as Sterling in the States), the MG B's and MG F's, and the original Mini.

    And lets not forget the Triumph Stag. Or the Spitfire.

    If only had not been mismanaged since the war, not been turned into British Leyland, not been renationalised, not had appaling industrial relations in the 70s, made absolutly stinky cars like the Allegro, the Marina or replaced the MG brand with the nasty Triumph TR7, learnt the meaning of 'build quality', made cars that didnt fall apart after 2 years, didnt lose the partnership with Honda in favour of a disasterous aquisition by BMW then you wouldn't be receivership now.

    Well, hope the receivers manage to salvage something. Hopefully the MG brand will live on.
     
  2. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

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    #2
    Well, a £40 million support package just been announced for firms that supply Rover. But things don't look good for the firm itself.

    Link
     
  3. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #3
    Good ridance. Many of the excellent cars listed above were not built by the shambolic mess this company has turned into. The original Mini, the MGB and so on were built before the disaster in the mid-late 1970s when all the small British manufacturers were forced together and nationalised leading to where we are now.

    I say resurect MG as a proper sports car company. Build a new MGF. Built a track focused Elise competitor. But let Rover die.
     
  4. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #4
    It's sad, but expected, has been since BMW offloaded them in 2000.

    If BMW (one of the most profitable car companies in the world) couldn't turn them around, then a private consortium who only seemed interested in lining their pockets damn well weren't going to be able to.

    Once the receivers come in I'm expecting SAIC to pick and choose the bits they want (Technology, Brand) and all without the risks and liabilities they would have also acquired had they purchased MG Rover as a going concern.

    But it all seems a little too convenient to me to be honest.

    It'll be interesting to see what happens to MG, whether SAIC will want to take the brand on, whilst it's surely one of the most recognised classic brands in motoring, you're going back at least 3 decades to when they actually produced a car worthy of the name. The brand died the moment the Maestro and Montego were adorned with the MG badge, and the current MG range just further tarnishes it's memory.

    That said if they do go under, if I can find one of those new 75 4.6 litre V8's going cheap, I'll take one of those... a bit of a giggle so I understand. :D
     
  5. geese thread starter macrumors 6502a

    geese

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    #5
    But i think they've done good with the MG brand recently. The current MG F is a decent MX-5 competitor, a real successor to the MG B.

    The saloon MG's were a little... off, especially the bizarre looking MG rover 75. I think the MG brand could live on, but on a much smaller scale, more like Lotus.

    As for the Rover name? Dead dead dead.
     
  6. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #6
    The current MG F is a decade old though, looks it and drives like it... and the SV isn't isn't even a bespoke motor with FIAT Punto headlights and heaven knows what else underneath the bodywork. Hardly doing good.


    The saloon and hatch range are shockers, it's not that they're bad or anything because they're not. It's just that they aren't MG's, they're Rovers with body kits a precedent set by the tragic MG Maestro, Metro and Montego of the 1980's.

    And there lies the problem, MG has a serious image problem... it's hard to define what MG is and what brand values it has. Think of MG and one automatically thinks of the classic MG B, but that was 3 decades ago, not the stuff they've been knocking out for 20 years.

    Lotus still struggles, even though it was acquired by Malaysian giant Proton. But Lotus never had their brand watered down to the point of insignificance like MG has, Lotus is still a desirable brand, and it's brand values are still world renowned and completely intact.

    What brand values has MG currently got? none. And that is a massive problem for any prospective purchaser because they have 2 decades of crap cars to erase from the publics memories.
     
  7. petej macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    #7
    It's going to be a pretty crap year for all those connected with MG Rover. The death of a large company such as MG Rover will decimate a big chunk of Middle England.

    I am a big fan of the MG F and love mine to bits. It may rattle and creak a bit but the fun and looks make up for that. The other cars in the range are all pretty hopeless. The 'facelifts' that they have experienced since BMW all look like the worst type of aftermarket addons. Plastic bumpers with sharp angular line just don't fit with unchanged bodyshells that are all about curves. The dealer network is a shambles in my experience, there are 1 or 2 good ones but they are hard to find.

    I hope that something can be salvaged from the mess but I'm not optimistic. Given the seeming huge overcapacity in the car market, others may well follow suit. I would love to see MG continue but I don't see it happening. A few years ago my colleages / friends were all clammering after the latest TVRs and Lotuses but now there just doesn't seem to be as much demand for sporty niche models.
     
  8. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #8
    But let's be serious here. The MGF is hardly competing with a TVR is it. And it's not really competing with an Elise. It's basically up against the MR2 and the MX5, both of which are better built. The current MR2 seems to struggle for any luggage space at all so perhaps the MGF makes sense against it but the upcoming NC MX5 will pretty much kill MGF sales. I've no idea how much Mazda have spent to develop the car (it's a new car from the ground up) but I doubt MG will be able to spend the same amount.

    I think the best hope is that a brand-desperate far eastern company buy MG and throw the engineers a load of money.
     
  9. petej macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    #9
    I was trying to make a serious point but probably left a few words out. There is a lot of speculation that MG should be saved but reduced down to a low-volume manufacturer of sports cars and bring in models that do compete with Lotus and TVR. The (T)F would not really fit into this business model. I personally do not see there being enough demand in this market segment for MG to squeeze it's way in.
    Mazda must be over the moon - brand new model and their biggest UK competitor gone (probably).
     
  10. geese thread starter macrumors 6502a

    geese

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    #10
    Most likely that SAIC (or maybe India's TATA) will buy off the bits it likes, like the k-series engine, the 75, and some of its technology and hopefully aquire the MG brand and do something positive with it.

    Wont the demise of MG Rover cause problems for other manufacturers who use the K-series engine, like Lotus for instance?

    Its a sad situation, but i really hope MG will be around in some form. How have the French managed to keep a car industry, yet the british not?
     
  11. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #11
    It's been sad to watch the decline of the British auto industry over the last 20 years, as one nameplate after another succumbed or was absorbed into foreign concerns. FWIW, it hasn't gone much better over here in the US. Many "American" cars are now made in either Canada or Asia, and General Motors (the biggest of the big) is now in serious if well-deserved trouble, from which some believe it may never recover.

    So, which motor works in the UK will close as a result of Rover's failure?
     
  12. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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  13. 840quadra Moderator

    840quadra

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    #13
    We don't, didn't get any of the recent cars in question. The Sterling had more problems then it was worth. It was a great looking car, but just not there.


    I would love to see more us offerings from the Britts, but it is doubtfull. This country is so obsessed with SUV class vehicles.

    SUV? No thanks, I will stick with my Golf and Jetta..
     
  14. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #14
    Yep... especially Lotus and Land Rover (Freelander) that use the K-Series from 1.6 - 2.5.

    That said, Lotus have already squeezed the Toyota VTi into the Elise for the U.S. market so if they get stuck for supplies then they can switch over to that, not sure about Land Rover though. The Freelander is getting on a bit and a replacement is in the works, although I have no idea if the new model it based on the K-Series or not.

    Someone will pick it up though, it's still one of the best and most frenetic engines available with a redline around the 7 grand mark. :D

    I wonder what will happen to all the car stock though...?
     
  15. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #15
    Okay then... reading up a little more.

    SAIC have already bought the rights to the 25, 75 and the K-Series engine.

    No surprise that SAIC decided to pull out now then... they've already got the bits they want. :rolleyes:
     
  16. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #16
    The Sterling was essentially a re-badged Honda Accord built as a joint-venture at the Rover Group's Cowley plant, near Oxford. I lived not far away from it for a few months many years ago -- my landlady actually worked on the assembly line. She candidly told me about the frustrations their Japanese partners were experiencing working with the Rover employees. She was quite certain the project would fail (which it did) and she'd end up on the dole. I don't know if the latter occurred since Rover's Cowley works ended up in BMW's hands. I amuse myself thinking that she assembled my Mini, all these years later, and hope her work is better than her cooking. ;)
     
  17. 840quadra Moderator

    840quadra

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    #17

    LOL that is a good story!!

    I will have to remember that when I go to look at the John works cooper (i write freelance automotive media). I shoud put in my article, I hear that one of the factory workers is not that great at cooking, but the quality of this car, appears to be baked out just fine!!

    ;)
     
  18. Blackstealth macrumors regular

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    Bradford, UK
    #18
    Just to add my tuppence worth...

    BMW did the same; realised what a mess Rover was to begin with, saw they could make a fair amount of money with the new Mini and helped themselves to a few tasty patents and technologies before laughing their way back to Munich.

    Can't say I really give a monkey's about MG and Rover going under, they haven't had anything going for them since the SD1. I do find the whole situation slightly amusing tho', one of my colleagues bought a new MG ZR last week - ugly car with a very temperamental alarm (keeps going off every half hour or so).
     
  19. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #19
    I can well imagine how Britons feel about being colonized (or is it cannibalized?) by US and continental corporations. But in this case, at least it can be said that some fragment of the British auto industry is being kept alive by the likes of Ford, BMW and VW. I also have to say in all candor that I might not have bought my Mini had it been the product entirely of Rover's manufacturing and design. My last all-British car (a '73 MG) wasn't exactly a mechanical marvel. It was something to be loved in spite of its flaws, which were all-too apparent all-too often. The Mini is quite another story.
     
  20. iGav macrumors G3

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    #20
    They certainly did... although to be fair, they did instigate the 75 project which at the time was bang on the money and if not class leading right up there with the best, if I could source one of those 75 V8's for 5 Grand once the receivers have sharpened their knives, I'd buy one like a shot. :D

    It's still beyond me why BMW didn't buy the rights for the K-Series for the MINI, rather than cripple it with some of the worst engines in the world. :confused:
     
  21. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

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    #21
    That's a real shame. The same thing seems to be happening over here though as Ford and GM flop around aimlessly seemingly unable to get a cohesive plan together.

    Aside from the occasional winner the cars they are selling are increasingly outdated and inferior in most regards.

    This article, cleverly titled "An American Idle" sums up what GM has become in modern times.

    I sure hope that they take the authors advice and purge management before GM slides beyond the point of return. They are a huge company so it will take some time, but what a miserable death it will be.


    How does this relate to MG, well, it sounds like MG needed to do the same thing years ago. Maybe they will have one last chance to get some people in there who have a genuine interest in developing and selling great cars.
     
  22. geese thread starter macrumors 6502a

    geese

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    #22
    I heard that the BMW Mini Mk2 will ditch the Chrysler engine (why Chrysler???) and replace it with the new Citroen engines.

    By the sounds of it, the company was so laden with debts and liabilities, going into administration was the only way to take things forward.

    My optimistic prediction: SAIC (or some venture capitalists working with SAIC) will continue production of cars, but on a much smaller scale. They'll assemble and finish cars, like the Rolls-Royce factory does (they import all the bits from Baveria). SAIC will try and enter the European market using the MG and/Rover name.
     
  23. iGav macrumors G3

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    #23
    I know... tragic isn't it :p the rev'tastic K-Series would have been well suited to the MINI, I suspect it was to do with the K-Series not meeting the power crippling U.S. emissions regulations (Lotus encountered similar issues and went with Toyota's VTi)

    Either way, a 1.6 or 2.0 litre K-Series powered MINI would've flown.


    Sounds feasible. I still think SAIC have held out from any deal knowing that MG Rover would eventually end up in adminstration.

    SAIC don't actually manufacture any of their own cars at the moment, instead building VW's and the like. So buying MG Rover would give them an instant brand, and to a degree credibility in the fickle European market that a SAIC branded car simply wouldn't otherwise have.
     
  24. geese thread starter macrumors 6502a

    geese

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    #24
    MG Rovers problems were far greater then that. Since the Second World war British car industry went from being the biggest in the world, to practically nothing.

    I guess they were in GM's position in the 80's but didn't have the money to develop their own cars from the ground up. They eventually co-developed cars with Honda. So by the 90's their whole range of cars were based on a similar Honda model.

    Not a bad thing though, the cars were actually very good, better then anything that Ford were putting out. Then in 94 Rover was sold to BMW, which annoyed Honda greatly and they withdrew their arrangment from Rover. BMW developed the Land Rover range, developed 1 Rover model, and the new Mini. Then they sold Rover for £10 in 2000 when they made a right dogs breakfast of it, but split away the Land Rover division, which they sold to Ford for ££££££££'s. They kept Mini which made BMW ££££££'s.

    Which brings us this point now. The 2 'best sellers' the 25 and 45 models are based on a 10 year old Honda Civic, which no number of facelifts could disguise. Rovers best cars, the 75 and the MG TF couldn't sell enough to keep the company afloat, let enough raise the millions needed to develop new models they so desperatly needed.

    So now they've died.
     

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