The Future

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    Magnette

    Number of posts : 93
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    Registration date : 2014-02-26

    The Future

    Post by Magnette on Fri Jul 17, 2015 4:59 am

    So... it's been a long 10 years. What about the next 10? Until now, SAIC has seemingly let MG just trundle along. Sales have not been spectacular in the UK or any market outside China, in fact China hasn't been spectacular either. Will SAIC let this happen for another 10 years? Probably not.

    I think to understand where they go next, we have to understand what has happened so far. To date, they have had to build a car company and it's platforms effectively from scratch. They've learned some hard lessons there; the MG6's history in the UK is something they really need to bear in mind for future reference. The MG3 shows they've learned an awful lot in a short period of time and bodes well for the future. But sales just haven't taken off to the level that they have continually predicted. They have pushed MG to the Chinese as a British brand and a Chinese success story - it's a bit of a confusing hybrid. The Chinese certainly haven't taken MG to their hearts like other western brands, and the British have been so sceptical (and critical) that they've repositioned it as a 'budget' offering. They've spent very little on advertising, I suppose in the belief that a good car sells itself. However, the cars haven't really been good enough to do that. In addition, there are very few 'bad' cars around nowadays - anything is good for 100mph and all cars will start when you want them to; the basics are covered. So your car has to differentiate itself from the herd and MG hasn't managed it. To their credit they have struck out on a modern path, to have done a retro car would have been easy but limited in the long term. Also a retro car wouldn't mean anything to the Chinese because it's a new brand to them anyway.

    The UK is the largest market outside China and showing some growth, the Chinese demand seems to fluctuate with some models doing very poorly, even new ones. So if the Chinese market is staying somewhat resistant to a range of cars designed for them specifically, shouldn't MG now start to take on board the needs of the European market? Designing cars for China is the reason we don't have a 3-door option on the MG3, or a sunroof, or a broader range of engines. The UK gets a standard spec car based on the (fairly limited) Chinese range, and then has to make the best of it. The MG3 could have been a real hot hatch, but it isn't ever going to be that. The UK company is trying to overcome the limitations of the basic unit by loading it with add-ons and gadgets - this is fine but doesn't fully mask the one bodyshell, one engine situation. European buyers like choice. Is it time SAIC stopped aiming solely at China and took the plunge?

    Western cars will sell in China, Chinese cars won't sell in Europe. MG have managed to make cars that haven't really appealed to either market because they've tried to please both.

    The other point to make is that, even after all these years, people associate MG with roadsters. MINI are going to bring out their car before MG do - MG will be the runner up here which is mad. It's what the brand is all about. They have enough traction in the UK market now to really make a splash with a car people want to see. If they unveiled a traditional roadster - just a prototype - they'd have coverage in every paper and covers on every motoring magazine. The cost of designing and building at least one prototype or show car from the parts bin is probably cheaper than commissioning a TV ad and paying for airtime - as a PR exercise it could be invaluable. If they don't make a roadster, exactly what is different about MG compared to SEAT, Kia, Hyundai etc etc? Soon ALL brands will have a sports offering; MG will  be last to the party again, whereas this is it's USP. They need a halo model to show what MG is all about. In the past it was always a faster Morris, faster Austin or faster Rover. MG now has to stand on it's own and be the bog standard offering AND the exciting car too. It needs to do something the brand has never been before. The most striking way to do this is to make the car that the motoring press and the clubs and the fans and the European market want to see. Sales of the rest of the range will rise as a result. People still don't know much about the 3 or 6, a roadster will get them in their local showroom for a look. It's the reason Morris sold so many Minors in America, the reason Austin dealers demanded the Austin Healey - they needed glamour in the showroom. It could still work like that; the roadster could have a long life cycle and sit alongside their existing product programme.

    They've put a lot of money into the 3, 5, 6, GT and GS and they probably aren't seeing much of a return on that investment - if they don't do something soon, they probably never will.

    snifferdog1

    Number of posts : 240
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    Re: The Future

    Post by snifferdog1 on Tue Jul 28, 2015 6:18 am

    Well, youve convinced me!

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