Production has officially ended at Longbridge.. - Page 3 - MG-Rover.org Forums
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post #41 of 238 (permalink) Old 17-09-2016, 21:17
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That was my point. A 'heavyweight' MD, who knows and understands the UK car market, and given free reign by SAIC, would hopefully not have made many of the poor decisions that we have sadly witnessed over the past few years. If the MG badge was to be used, one would have hoped that the cars would then have contained more MG DNA.
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post #42 of 238 (permalink) Old 17-09-2016, 22:25
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The 3 deserves to do better, and if it had then these guys would still have a job.
Which brings us back to first base. Is the problem the image left behind or the ineffective marketing from the management team at Longbridge? I agree with your point that it deserves to do better. It's not ugly, it's well priced and a good all round product. If more people knew about it in Britain and were aware of what a compelling proposition it was these guys would still be in work.

I've always been surprised by how many good deals were available on the MG3. There's always been cheap pre-registrations about and there's also the scrappage deal which is reminiscent of the DFS Sale in its near permanence.
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post #43 of 238 (permalink) Old 17-09-2016, 22:31
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Frankly if the only source of hope for MGR was an outdated 10 year old design, it's no wonder it failed!

The 3 struggles because MG of old is still fresh in potential buyers minds, how many times I say I own an MG to be asked has the head gasket been changed yet is laughable.

The 3 deserves to do better, and if it had then these guys would still have a job.

Question if they did a performance version would you buy one?
Well, they did fail, and the inability of MGR to fund an up to date replacement for any of their elderly designs was undoubtedly a very big factor in their demise.

I have to say that nobody has ever poked fun at, been rude about, or made snide comments about head gaskets about any of my K engined MGs or my earlier Rover, but it is true that the old attitudes and stereotypes from the earlier cars does still colour the disposition of people over 10 years later.

If there was a higher performance 3, I would probably want one, but as I experienced when I first had a ZR, I couldn't afford to buy a new car, and in any case, the insurance on a 160 would have been more than I would have sensibly wanted to afford. Nowadays, my financial position is significantly less rosy than it was back then, so I would be unable to afford even a recent second hand MG3, let alone a higher performance one. I am also one of those people for whom buying British built is a major factor - I would have considered a part UK assembled MG3 in the early months, but after a couple of years, I would have expected that MG Motor would have built up sales to a level where more substantial assembly would be justified at Longbridge. If I had the finances to do so, I would be very happy to buy a new higher performance MG3, assembled or partly assembled at Longbridge. The cessation of any final assembly at Longbridge as a result of their failure to stimulate the sort of growth in sales to justify an expansion of UK manufacture would be a major issue for me. If it is assembled entirely outside the UK, I don't want it, no matter how good it may be. Period.
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post #44 of 238 (permalink) Old 17-09-2016, 22:34
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Originally Posted by snifferdog1 View Post
The MG3 is a better car all round than the ZR. I own both. The '3 feels more of an MG than the ZR.
Can't help but think the impression would be different if there was a hot or warm version (with a tasteful bodykit). They could also offer the same body kit on the standard cars for a low insurance cost option.

I also can't help but think they would be better off offering something like that rather than the low spec 3s with their sad hubcaps. Not least as these seem to be really unpopular (whilst the Fiesta ST Line and Corsa "Limited" Edition are really good sellers).
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post #45 of 238 (permalink) Old 17-09-2016, 22:37
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The attraction for me to MG Motor in the first place, even though Chinese owned, the TF85th had been built in the UK.

I do hope that a niche vehicle is put through Longbridge so these workers could be taken back on.
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post #46 of 238 (permalink) Old 18-09-2016, 08:45
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I can't see final assembly returning in the medium term and it is now very very unlikely any form of real manufacturing returning to Longbridge as the sales are so pitifully low and now real signs of tangible growth that would justify investing in staff or lines to do otherwise. They need to be shifting 100,000 per year really not a couple of thousand.

I wonder if St Modwen are working up plans in case of a hand back of land? The technical centre could easily relocate meaning there is no further use for the site.
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post #47 of 238 (permalink) Old 18-09-2016, 11:51
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Seems a strange move by MG Motor to cease production at Longbridge with it's continued success seeing the greatest UK car industry growth over the last three years.

MG have gone from nowhere selling just 360 cars in 2011 to 2300 in 2014 and 3150 last year, and set for 4000 this year

With the introduction of the new GS and more new models planned, surely there must be future plans for manufacturing at Longbridge. There was even recent talk of converting the paint shop to a production facility.

When MGR folded in 2005 there were around 25,000 new MG's being built. Who knows a few years down the road with a few more models / engines launched we could once more see these figures.
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post #48 of 238 (permalink) Old 18-09-2016, 14:08
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Barrie Wills backed project Kimber, NAC should have taken him on
Uncle Barrie says he's flattered thank you 😉
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post #49 of 238 (permalink) Old 18-09-2016, 16:27
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Seems a strange move by MG Motor to cease production at Longbridge with it's continued success seeing the greatest UK car industry growth over the last three years.

MG have gone from nowhere selling just 360 cars in 2011 to 2300 in 2014 and 3150 last year, and set for 4000 this year

With the introduction of the new GS and more new models planned, surely there must be future plans for manufacturing at Longbridge. There was even recent talk of converting the paint shop to a production facility.

When MGR folded in 2005 there were around 25,000 new MG's being built. Who knows a few years down the road with a few more models / engines launched we could once more see these figures.
I suspect from a business perspective production was unsustainable at these numbers. You have to remember that the numbers we are seeing now are only at the level that was desired and predicted in 2011 with the MG6 which unfortunately failed to meet those heights. Their strategy from there was to increase things further with new models making Longbridge production ever more sustainable. Back in 2011, they were probably hoping to be at that 25,000 figure by now between the MG3, MG5 (at one point this was meant to come here) and MGGS. Instead, the re-launch has proved slower and more difficult than they expected. I think they have also managed to prove to themselves with the batches of fully-imported MG3s that importing Chinese-built cars (which is probably working out cheaper) proved to be no barrier to customer demand or have any negative effect on build quality.

As well as this there is the European factor. Early on European exports were part of MG's business plan for Longbridge. Whilst I'm not going to pin the demise of these plans on Brexit as has been Matthew Cheyne's excuse it's undoubtedly the case that European sales would have made Longbridge assembly more sustainable. Under the original business plan there would be tens of thousands of cars being sold in Britain and the EU. In reality, the only thing they have transpired to get in the region is the few thousand cars being sold in Britain which has meant the sums haven't added up. I'm sad for the workers who are looking for new work but the brutal fact is that as a business decision it makes perfect sense.

As for them returning to the number of UK sales of the MGR days with "more models/engines" you forget that MG Motor have never shown much interest in offering British customers a choice. Some people got excited about them moving on to a three model range earlier this year but the MG6 was quickly dropped after that. As things stand, we're on a range of two cars with one engine each which is actually a regression from what was available three years ago (two cars, one with two engines and the other with one). The choices offered by MG also correspond to what China has rather than what is popular with European customers. Again, that's because it makes business sense to them. We'll get the small SUV and an updated MG3, I have no doubt, but probably with one engine each. Nothing like enough to improve sales six or seven fold.
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post #50 of 238 (permalink) Old 18-09-2016, 18:02 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by NickTL View Post
Seems a strange move by MG Motor to cease production at Longbridge with it's continued success seeing the greatest UK car industry growth over the last three years.

MG have gone from nowhere selling just 360 cars in 2011 to 2300 in 2014 and 3150 last year, and set for 4000 this year

With the introduction of the new GS and more new models planned, surely there must be future plans for manufacturing at Longbridge. There was even recent talk of converting the paint shop to a production facility.

When MGR folded in 2005 there were around 25,000 new MG's being built. Who knows a few years down the road with a few more models / engines launched we could once more see these figures.
I suspect from a business perspective production was unsustainable at these numbers. You have to remember that the numbers we are seeing now are only at the level that was desired and predicted in 2011 with the MG6 which unfortunately failed to meet those heights. Their strategy from there was to increase things further with new models making Longbridge production ever more sustainable. Back in 2011, they were probably hoping to be at that 25,000 figure by now between the MG3, MG5 (at one point this was meant to come here) and MGGS. Instead, the re-launch has proved slower and more difficult than they expected. I think they have also managed to prove to themselves with the batches of fully-imported MG3s that importing Chinese-built cars (which is probably working out cheaper) proved to be no barrier to customer demand or have any negative effect on build quality.

As well as this there is the European factor. Early on European exports were part of MG's business plan for Longbridge. Whilst I'm not going to pin the demise of these plans on Brexit as has been Matthew Cheyne's excuse it's undoubtedly the case that European sales would have made Longbridge assembly more sustainable. Under the original business plan there would be tens of thousands of cars being sold in Britain and the EU. In reality, the only thing they have transpired to get in the region is the few thousand cars being sold in Britain which has meant the sums haven't added up. I'm sad for the workers who are looking for new work but the brutal fact is that as a business decision it makes perfect sense.

As for them returning to the number of UK sales of the MGR days with "more models/engines" you forget that MG Motor have never shown much interest in offering British customers a choice. Some people got excited about them moving on to a three model range earlier this year but the MG6 was quickly dropped after that. As things stand, we're on a range of two cars with one engine each which is actually a regression from what was available three years ago (two cars, one with two engines and the other with one). The choices offered by MG also correspond to what China has rather than what is popular with European customers. Again, that's because it makes business sense to them. We'll get the small SUV and an updated MG3, I have no doubt, but probably with one engine each. Nothing like enough to improve sales six or seven fold.
The Chinese were deluded to expect the 6 to shift 2000 units a year, a tiny dealer network, little or no advertising, the wrong car in the first place, also questionable interior & lack of power train choices. They have mucked it up from the start, and if they'd properly invested in the 6 then just maybe MG would be in a different position in the UK. As said before in thus thread, they need some decent people running the operation, decent advertisement ( the GS is **** poor ad wise) European standard interior, soft touch isn't everything, but to keep the motoring journos happy. It just seems so poorly managed. Also, if SAIC had been clear with their intentions with Longbridge from the start, then perhaps that'd be a start, but I doubt they planned far ahead. IMO longbridge should be the hub for all RHD cars globally, with full production. But we'll never see that again, more of the factory will most likely be demolished. Not all MG'S should be built in the UK, China and Thailand factory standards are as good as some European manufactures,but MG UK should be also producing cars fully for other parts of the world. (My view) Nissan adds more to British manufacturing than MG, and even builds cars for Japan, SAIC could take note....
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post #51 of 238 (permalink) Old 18-09-2016, 18:07
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Originally Posted by NickTL View Post
Seems a strange move by MG Motor to cease production at Longbridge with it's continued success seeing the greatest UK car industry growth over the last three years.

MG have gone from nowhere selling just 360 cars in 2011 to 2300 in 2014 and 3150 last year, and set for 4000 this year.
Nick, you've been reading far too many of Matthew Cheyne's press releases. 4000 sales, if they manage it, is still dismal.
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post #52 of 238 (permalink) Old 18-09-2016, 18:19
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The numbers for sales...are they sales or registrations as they are not the same thing? The 6 struggled with sales right from the start but registrations were kept in double figures through rentals and pre-registrations.

SAIC got this all so wrong from the start...remember they were wrong footed by NAC in the fire sale... and are also perhaps reaping what they sowed by allowing MGR to fail so they can pick over the bones rather than buy a 'going' concern.

I do my best to buy British built cars like Nissan, Honda and Land Rover. I can see no reason for anyone to want to buy an MG now.
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post #53 of 238 (permalink) Old 18-09-2016, 19:31
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If you buy your car based on which country the robots are in then no, I guess there isn't much reason to buy a new MG.

Out of interest, do you just apply this rule to your car purchases or is everything in your home from UK?
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post #54 of 238 (permalink) Old 18-09-2016, 19:50
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Just cars. But other things if I can find them too..just bought a British built garden rake..quality job too and a multi fuel stove from Clearview

Robots are primarily BIW but of course increasing in final assembly. However still thousands of people employed building cars in the UK. Was in Halewood a few weeks back amazing place keep the faith buy British built cars.

Chinese built MGs have no desirability to me after having so many Rovers and MGs...sad times
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Last edited by RolandRat; 18-09-2016 at 20:52.
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post #55 of 238 (permalink) Old 18-09-2016, 19:57
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Unfortunately it's the standard reply's from the same few above... Rubbish cars, rubbish company. Rubbish marketing, blah blah Thing is MGR has gone for ever. Most British car brands are now in foreign ownership. I'm just happy that MG, Land Rover, Jaguar, Lotus etc are still producing cars. Hopefully MG Motors will continue to sell more cars year on year who ever they are owned by.
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post #56 of 238 (permalink) Old 18-09-2016, 20:38
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If you buy your car based on which country the robots are in then no, I guess there isn't much reason to buy a new MG.

Out of interest, do you just apply this rule to your car purchases or is everything in your home from UK?
If it wasn't still important would MG still keep on referring to themselves as an "Iconic British Brand" in every press release?
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post #57 of 238 (permalink) Old 18-09-2016, 21:10
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Unfortunately it's the standard reply's from the same few above... Rubbish cars, rubbish company. Rubbish marketing, blah blah Thing is MGR has gone for ever. Most British car brands are now in foreign ownership. I'm just happy that MG, Land Rover, Jaguar, Lotus etc are still producing cars.
Jaguar Land Rover and Lotus may be foreign-owned but the companies are still British which MG, for the best part, isn't, and that key difference is where a lot of people's 'beef' arises.

I believe the strength MG's future in the UK lies primarily in SMTC not MG Motor UK.
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post #58 of 238 (permalink) Old 18-09-2016, 21:53
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...... it's undoubtedly the case that European sales would have made Longbridge assembly more sustainable.
I'm not so sure - back in the MGR days, exports to other markets worldwide accounted for about a third of total production; obviously Europe would have been a significant portion of that share, but even if European sales of the current MG vehicles could reach 25% on top of the current UK sales figures, it really wouldn't make a deal of difference to the viability of Longbridge final assembly (and I think you would have to very optimistic indeed to expect EU sales to exceed UK sales, let alone by enough to make assembly here viable).

Sadly, I think it has to be accepted that the car buying public are not attracted to the current models - the constant harping on about advertising is a red herring; there have been periods of quite intensive advertising on TV channels that might be expected to be viewed by the type of people MG Motor are aiming at, together with paper advertisments in various newspapers and magazines with a similar demographic. These periods of advertising appeared to make only a slight impact on sales. Similarly, the various promotions and offers didn't seem to boost sales significantly.

Why so many potential buyers don't want the MGs is open to debate, but reading through the various reviews (and even some of the comments from owners on this and other forums), I get the distinct feeling that whilst they seem solid enough and perform/handle acceptably, they leave the feeling that they lag behind their percieved competition in many respects - it sometimes seems that potential buyers conclude that they are perhaps even a generation behind where other similar vehicles are (particularly in the mechanical/engine department).

And before anyone start accusing me of hate again, be aware that what I am experiencing is an unbelievably extreme form of utter disappointment with regard to SAIC/MG (bordering on total despair), which has been building up really ever since the UK launch of the MG6.

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Originally Posted by RolandRat
SAIC got this all so wrong from the start...remember they were wrong footed by NAC in the fire sale...
I'm not sure that they were exactly "wrong footed". SAIC only bid for the engine equipment and blueprints from Powertrain - they were never remotely interested in the assembly lines, Longbridge factory or marketing their cars outside China at that time.

Their subsequent enforced 'marriage' with NAC then landed them with a factory lease and plans for selling/assembling cars from Longbridge which they hadn't planned for, hadn't expected to have, and didn't really know what to do with. By that time it had also become clear that NAC didn't have much real idea about what they were going to do with regard to Longbridge and future models either!

The saddest thing for me is that they are giving me the distinct impression that they still don't have much real idea
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post #59 of 238 (permalink) Old 18-09-2016, 22:15
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Jaguar Land Rover and Lotus may be foreign-owned but the companies are still British which MG, for the best part, isn't, and that key difference is where a lot of people's 'beef' arises.

I believe the strength MG's future in the UK lies primarily in SMTC not MG Motor UK.
MG is a British brand the same as JLR. TaTa could move production to India any time they wanted to because it is an Indian owned company. I would predict more and more JLR models being built in India and China in the future. Just look how they are treating the once great British steel industry..
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post #60 of 238 (permalink) Old 19-09-2016, 09:13
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MG is a British brand the same as JLR. TaTa could move production to India any time they wanted to because it is an Indian owned company. I would predict more and more JLR models being built in India and China in the future. Just look how they are treating the once great British steel industry..
JLR is highly profitable so I don't think Tata will sell off sections of it as it has done with Tata Steel.
I do think MG and JLR cannot be easily compared; MG was effectively a start-up company with no dealerships, model pipeline and workforce whilst JLR has all of these. MG as a UK car manufacturer ceased to exist when MGR closed down in 2005. JLR closing one of its factories in the UK would make the headlines in the way that MG laying off a dozen contractors never would.
I'm not sure how the JLR story will develop. It's been busy opening plants in the main customs unions around the world in order to supply those markets tariff-free. However, I'm not sure how Brexit will affect it; if we go back to the days when the UK was outside the EEC, car companies like BL would assemble their most popular models in the EEC to avoid tariffs. Some Brexiters say that after leaving the EU, we should not apply tariffs to EU goods even when they apply those to our goods. In which case, if I was a car manufacturer then over time I would be better off manufacturing within the EU and this might make JLR's Slovakian plant a better plant to invest in than its UK plants.

The MG story is an interesting story to follow. SAIC has been sending out mixed messages including:
- 33m investment in Mayfair showrooms.
- giving the Maxus contract to an external company and not running the import operation itself.
- closing down the UK MG assembly lines.
- continued expansion of UK dealer network.
- heavy investment in Thailand that doesn't match the sales figures in the country.
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