A non Rover owning midlander speaks... - MG-Rover.org Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-04-2005, 12:43 Thread Starter
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Smile A non Rover owning midlander speaks...

I have to say that I have only ever owned one Rover and to be honestt hat put me off for life, but please don't be offended as i have watched with great concern the unraveling of Rover.

I am a Brummie and unlike most proud of my Midlands heritage, I am a trained engineer and have a fascination with cars. I studied at university the BMW years and wrote thesis on Rover and the development fo the company.

As I mentioned earlier I am not a particular fan of Rovers, I have always seen them as old people cars but as they have reinvented each model I found myself surprised that they were still going and in some way proud I guess. Rover is the typical tale of a British company which has fought on throughout countless years of underinvestment. I would hate to see Rover dissappear and certainly have no problem with tax payers money going towards sorting them out in a permenant and practical way.

What seems to fox me is the fact that no one can see the simple problem, they need new models. This is the only thing Rover need, a great new car that will sell but this seems to be lost on the money men. Its to our own disgrace that we as consumers i guess have allowed ourselves to be tempted awy by the best Germany has had to offer. I bought a Smart car and run a Smart owners club www.smartz.co.uk but the simple truth is Smart are doing little better than Rover, Mercedes made only 32 million last year thats a drop of 97%.

The car market is going into meltdown, and I feel Rover will be only the first casualty, yet I do pray that a buyer can be found and I for one would certainly consider buying one of the new breed should they ever make it into production.

Matt
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-04-2005, 12:53
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Matt

Couldn't agree more. I didn't live in the UK in the years prior to BMW investment, so don't know how good or more likely bad the products were in those days. However, with the dismal resources at hand, I think that the current team have done admirably well, in fact, in my and many other's opinion, they've done better than BMW. But, sad truth of the matter is that without investment they were on a road to nowhere, and to tell you the truth, the MGR story is merely a prelude to a major tragedy for the country as a whole, unless something is done about it. In the same way that supermarkets have been the death knell for small, local retail outlets, so, with the dawning of globalisation, global giants will eliminate the 'small man' in many other areas of life. If the UK does not do something now to become a player in global alliances the whole country is going to go the way of your local trader.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-04-2005, 13:44
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I believe that killing off Austin had a large part to play. There is a false assumption made by car companies that traditional buyers of that brand will switch to another brand within your group. Well, some do but many (most?) don't.

Lots of Austin drivers deserted ARG when they dropped the Austin bit to become Rover Group. Many wil have seen Rover as an expensive, snobby brand instead of the good, honest value for money Austin brand.

This loss of sales leads to a watering down of the economies of scale which are essential to keep car building viable.

The decison to not replace the Metro, Maestro and Montego was foolish in the extreme, and I feel that the comapny is now paying the price for that. The decision to replace the first generation 400 with a rather poor, off the shelf Civic and the crass error of trying to replace both the 600 and 800 with the 75 also have their part to play.
 
post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-04-2005, 13:51
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Originally Posted by Smartz
I bought a Smart car and run a Smart owners club www.smartz.co.uk but the simple truth is Smart are doing little better than Rover, Mercedes made only 32 million last year thats a drop of 97%.
That's an odd comparison Matt, as SMART are built by, er, SMART, and are owned by Daimler Chrysler, not Mercedes Benz. The nearest link was the Mercedes design consultancy that assisted with engine development.

Like Rover, MB are having a hard time. This is down to all sorts of factors, but build quality is a major one, with a many surveys showing the humble 45 ranking above the C class, and the 75/ZT ranking higher than every model in the MB range, but SMART financially stand or fall on their own balance sheet and not the MB account.

DD
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-04-2005, 13:59
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DD - don't forget the DaimlerChrysler are the parent company of MB.
post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-04-2005, 14:07
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Oh yes, very true, but it is they who own SMART so if MB went bust they would (theoretically) be seperate from it, different brand, trading as different name, different accounts etc.

BTW - people harked on about the ageing MGR product range but the (relatively) aged 25/45 still slaughtered lush and expensive MB models in the surveys, showing what damage can be done the image that the likes of Clarkshun prefer to convey, whilst singularly ignoring what the actaul figures tell us. It gets to something when customer satisfaction of a 'prehistoric 45' whups the all new C class by a massive 40 odd places in Top Gears own survey...
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-04-2005, 14:08
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Moss
I believe that killing off Austin had a large part to play. There is a false assumption made by car companies that traditional buyers of that brand will switch to another brand within your group. Well, some do but many (most?) don't.

Lots of Austin drivers deserted ARG when they dropped the Austin bit to become Rover Group. Many wil have seen Rover as an expensive, snobby brand instead of the good, honest value for money Austin brand.

This loss of sales leads to a watering down of the economies of scale which are essential to keep car building viable.

The decison to not replace the Metro, Maestro and Montego was foolish in the extreme, and I feel that the comapny is now paying the price for that. The decision to replace the first generation 400 with a rather poor, off the shelf Civic and the crass error of trying to replace both the 600 and 800 with the 75 also have their part to play.
A good point Richard!
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-04-2005, 14:13
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There is over capacity in world car production. That's true.

That is part of the rationale behind letting MG Rover go - it's inevitable.

But why is it always 'inevitable' in the UK and not everywhere else? Why do we have to always blink first?
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-04-2005, 08:50
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Originally Posted by nickZR120
agree with you there m8.if mgr had a proper new motor i think they would have a chance. everyone writes them off as a constant failure from day 1 but its yet to be seen what they can do with their own car.the amount of ppl on this site proves theres interest but noone wants an old style car
I think they have the proper new motor, and that is excatly why more than a dozen businesses are said to be interested in buying MGR as a going concern.

I cannot see any business wishing to buy MGR in it's curretn state if there were no new motors close to production.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-04-2005, 08:57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iaan
There is over capacity in world car production. That's true.

That is part of the rationale behind letting MG Rover go - it's inevitable.

But why is it always 'inevitable' in the UK and not everywhere else? Why do we have to always blink first?
Exactly! The world market for cars may be shrinking, but people are still buying them! (adding 19billion to our trade deficit - 19.6 billion if MG Rover go).

MG Rover have 3% of the UK market - all we need is 6% and they'd be into profit!

If they can corner 3% of the market with such an old range - think what they can do with a new model (assuming it is good).
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