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Re: MGF vs BMW Z3

To: (Todd Mullins), (mgs)
Subject: Re: MGF vs BMW Z3
Date: Sat, 9 Dec 1995 09:12:16 -0500

On Fri, 8 Dec 1995, (Todd Mullins) wrote:
>> The purchase by BMW ended that.
>A couple of points:
>- The MGF is not a rival of the Z3.  The MGF is a mid-engined
>  Hydragas-suspended roadster, while the Z3 uses front-engine/rear-drive
>  and conventional BMW suspension.  Okay, so they're both roadsters.
>- The MGF meets all current US emissions and crashworthiness
>  legislation.  I'm desperately clinging to the Pollyanna dream of Rover
>  "changing their mind" in a year or two.  Letter-writing campaign,
>  anyone?
>The current issue of _european car features both cars, with nothing but
>high praise for each.  Recommended reading.
>Actually, I'm very serious about an organised mass opinion attempting to
>sway the powers-that-be.  Does anyone have a postal address for Rover?
>Can we all get together and complain about this?
>Todd Mullions
>   On the lovely Mississippi (USA) Coast
>"A life lived in fear is a life half lived."
>Todd: This is America. Of course their rivals: They are about the same size 
price. In Britain their was a lot of concern about the prices of both cars as 
the MGs didn't want to compete with a cheaper BMW.

I am afraid that realities and perceived realities have doomed our chances. 
The question of dealerships is one problem.  In England they selected  only a 
small number from all the the Rover dealerships. Our local Rover dealer in the 
shore area of New Jersey is a Porsche Audi dealer who also sold Alfa's until 
they withdrew from the U.S. Clearly an established network of dealers are 
important. Back in the 40's ( no I don't remember them) the first MGs came in 
from small importers who bought a few cars at the gate in Abingdon and paid 
cash. The factory shipped its first cars in 1947 by driving fifty to the docks 
in South Hampton. ( I have a picture of that event from an old newspaper 
  Today everything is so expensive and complicated that cars that will be sold 
in small numbers can't make it here. Only the big boys can play. Sure Cadillac 
got hit recently with a big recall because they cheated on emissions, but the 
cost of this is off set by the relative few cars that compete in our market. 
Just think of the wonderful and many times strange cars that were imported and 
sold in the U.S. in the fifties. In 1952 the MGTD was the number one imported 
car in the U.S.! 
  One constantly hears of another problem. It is some times stated that the old 
British Leyland dealers have some claim to market the MG in the U.S. and thus a 
legal war would occur if the MGF was imported. I doubt this very much. I can't 
conceive that their is merit to this claim after so many years and corporate 
  This all boils down to the fact that the corporate decision makers are not 
Kimbers or ourselves, but look at their products as goods and at the U.S. as a 
market that can be satisfied with the BMW through a well established dealer 
network. Letter writing is a great effort (what's Rover's and BMW's E mail 
address anyone?) but this issue is not a TV show and I am afraid that those who 
make the decisions will not be impressed. 
  If you doubt some of what I say, set up a stand in a local mall and ask 
about MG or British cars. If they know what an MG is, they will tell you that 
they were cute or they once had one but they couldn't keep it running, or it 
always broke down. (the fact that the local mechanic didn't know what he was 
doing never occurred to them). This is the real market out there and the 
Japanese and Germans have spent decades building an image of reliability and 
strong dealer network. I don't know how many times a friend of mine had serious 
problems with his M.Benz 300E and it was fixed even out of warranty. Their was 
almost a conspiracy between MB the dealer and the owner not to tell the world 
about the engine mounts that failed at 18000 miles or the window motors that 
kept breaking or the other electrical and mechanical problems the car had.
  I've run on on this subject because I am so frustrated over it and so 
pessimistic. . Boy do I hope I'm wrong.  

   Mike Leckstein

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