Originally Posted by EbeneezerGoode
...... 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.
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