It’s not dead, it’s just resting.
If they have any sense the MG side will survive.
It’s been dying for years. It’s too small to compete on volume sales and too big to operate as a niche player like TVR.
I can’t see anyone taking it on - it has next to no assets (it sold of the land at Longbridge during it’s last cash crisis) and a whole as big as an American’s appetite in it’s pension fund.
I work in capital brokerage and the board at Rover have been scrabbling around for short term finance for a while now but S&P and Dunn and Bradstreet had them at CCC rating - so no one would touch them.
MG is a viable proposition for someone without a sports car marque (maybe renault or peugot?), but Rover is dead.
And for all those who bemoan the loss of 6,000 manufacturing jobs (probably more like 10,000 once you count the ripples) - do you now understand why the EU is such a bad thing for Britain?
(also it’s not the last independent British car maker - Manganese Bronze is)
It’s difficult to figure out the British car industry. Morris Garage (MG) started production in 1912, then merged with Austin in 1952 to become The British Motor Corporation. In 1968 they merged with Rover, The Leyland Motor Company, Jaguar, and others to become British Leyland. Ironically, archrivals MG and Triumph were now part of the same company! (Incidentally, Triumph were always chronically short of money. Having read a couple of rather poor histories of Triumph and MG, it seems they cut so many corners trying to reduce costs that they eventually could not keep up with the rest of the world and did themselves in.)
Now Ford is making Jaguars, and BMW is making Minis. I have a sneaking suspicion that many or most of MG Rover’s continue being made under a new owner.
FWIW, I think that MG Rover missed an opportunity by not offering the new MGF, aka MG-TF, not to be confused with the TF from the 1950s, in the U.S. They probably would not have gained much market share against the Mazda Miata or the Toyota MR2, but I think they could have sold a fair number of vehicles.
You see how slowly I type before coffee? Two replies, when there were none when I opened the thread!
Interesting. The only MGs you see in the U.S. are classics. The newest ones were made in 1980. On the other hand, Rovers (Land Rovers, anyway – not the saloons and coupés) are roving round all over the place!
They make/made rather nifty little sports cars (even if it does scream “hairdresser” at you).
Rover, or MG? Actually, I kind of like the looks of the MG-F. And I’m the guy who gets his hair cut short, then lets it grow for months until I can’t stand it and have it cut short again! No hairdresser, me.
MG - They make a nifty little range (and one big bugger of a car). Google MG cars and you’ll soon see. I’d put the link but this computer is having a nervous breakdown and won’t C+P.
It’s just pining for the fjords.
I just got my hair cut for the first time in seven months, I used to live near Seattle, I own an MG and I’m a pilot. This is kinda spooky.
[sub]It’s an MGB-GT and I fly fixed-wing, but still.[/sub]
Someone in Nashville has one of the Rover coupes. I think it’s a Rover 2000, but I might be mistaken. Not a bad looking car.
Fill your boots yanks:
I think these wil survive, and I’m amazed they dont sell them in America as they are pretty much perfect for a hot country where people drive a lot
Those are some nice looking cars, and as for why they don’t sell them over here, I can only guess that it has something to do with Lucas’s reputation for “quality” having reached it’s long arm across to this side of the pond.
Or the chjevvies.
I agree with Tuckerfan that those are nice looking cars. One thing that jumps right out at me though is the price. The MG-TF base model lists for £13,500. I don’t know what the rate of exchange is at the moment, but I’m guessing that makes the TF about $24,300. A very quick google search brought up an MSRP for the 2005 Mazda Miata of $22,100.
The Miata has been called ‘The MGB That Works!’. Of course, the MGB used the same engine from 1962 to 1980 (except for the change to five main bearings in 1964 or 1965). The Miata used much newer technology, and was brought out after the rapidly-changing emissions and safety regulations of the 1970s. Unfortunately, British Leyland cut too many corners in the 1970s and couldn’t keep up with the Japanese. The TR6, for example, was a nice little car in its day; but it was being outclassed by the Datsun 240Z. When Datsun brought out the 260Z and 280Z, what did BL do? They looked for a replacement for the TR6 and came out with the TR7. It’s not a good idea (IMO) for your new flagship car to have less power than the car it replaced!
And it seems to me that BL focused on the Triumphs and did virtually nothing to update the MGB – once the largest selling sports car after the Corvette. And the dollar was getting stronger, making British cars more expensive. (ISTR reading that BL were losing $900 on every MGB sold in the U.S.) The production lines were closed.
So Mazda came in to fill the void with the Miata, which was better in all respects than the MGB or Midget. When MG created the TF, they were already out of the American market. I think that they could have sold a lot of them if they had brought it over. Now, however, I think they’re too expensive to compete with the Japanese sports cars.
But owlstretchingtime points out that MG offers more than sports cars. I haven’t gone through the entire product line, but I did notice the prices. The ZF starts at £9,995 – about $18,000. A Ford Focus starts at less than $14,000. It seems to me that they just can’t compete, price-wise. Not to mention that they’d all have to be ‘federalised’ – i.e., they’d have to meet emissions and crashworthiness standards – which would cost them money they apparently don’t have.
That’s too bad. I remember in the 1980s you could buy a new Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Peugeot or Renault car in the U.S. Not anymore. (At least as far as I have seen.) There are lots of interesting cars out there, but many of them are not sold here. AFAIK, you can’t even buy a Smart Car here (and those are so cool!). Maybe we have too many choices already. Maybe the weakening dollar is pricing them out of the market. Maybe reputations for poor reliability turned U.S. buyers off. Maybe some of these cars aren’t suited to American roads and driving habits. Maybe it’s too expensive or too much trouble to meet U.S. regulations (especially in California, which would be a large market but has the most strict emissions regulations in the U.S.).
Whatever it is, I think that MG Rover have missed their window of opportunity. MG-TFs would probably have sold very well in Southern California. Now it’s too late.
Although I’m usually a labour party supporter, I must say, its about time it died off.
The strike prone days of poor workmanship during the '70’s are ultimately what led to this.The management was also severely lacking too, maybe even more so than the workforce.
The UK taxpayer sunk immense amounts of cash into this, and other workshy adventures.
If there is any guilt, maybe the lazy bastard parents who misruled this industry might feel a twinge or two for their children now carrying the torch.
I have little sympathy, and I wo not want to see the rotten edifice bailed out yet again, only to find it in the same condtion maybe two years from now.
I mean, the whole history of the Brits is a study in how NOT to make automobiles! Take MG-they made basically obsolete cars for years-and sold them through undercapitalized dealers-who never had enough money to hire decent mechanics, or carry enough spare parts. The engines were basically 1924 tractor engines-and most of the other technology was staright from the Ford Model A! Take electrics: the Brits used generators while everybody else switched to high-output , reliable, cheap alternators in the 1960’s. Or starters-my 1976 MGB had a Bendix drive starter (of a design patented in 1925)! The thing would jam up-so you had to get underneath and free it up with a wrench. When I brought my car in for service, most parts were on back order-so you had to wait for a slow boat from England. Finaly, the advent of US Federal emission standards 9and collision standards) in the mid -1970’s just about finished them off. The Japanese (on the other hand) kept improving their products-and actually LISTENED to their customers-which explains why there are Mazda miatas around today 9and NO MGBs).
I think it was the Triumph engine that was a development of the tractor engine. I know Triumph did make tractor engines.
The British electrical problems can be traced directly to Lucas Electrics. I don’t know, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there wasn’t some kind of political reason why the Brits continued to use Lucas when there were plenty of other companies out there that made decent electrical gear before Lucas and his invention of sudden unexpected darkness. Supposedly, Lucas has improved in recent years, but ever car collector I’ve met who’s owned a car with Lucas electrics has yanked them out and replaced them with a different brand entirely. (In theory, this would lower the value of a collector car, in reality, it doesn’t seem to negatively affect the value of anything originally inflicted with Lucas’s crap.)
Certainly, this doesn’t mean that everything which rolled off a British automotive assembly line was Ogawful. Jags, for example (at least before Ford bought 'em), were great cars once they’d crossed the 50K mile mark and had all the kinks worked out of them.
Know why the English drink warm beer?
Because Lucas makes their refrigerators too.
(Hey, it’s only a joke on the stereotypes. )
From what I’ve read, the quality of Jags went down pretty low in the 1970s and stayed there until Ford took over. Chevy V-8 conversions seem to be very popular with '80s Jags because they’re more reliable than the Jaguar units. My boss had a brand new XJ-6 in 1991, and it was a wonderful (new) car.