Last year I was invited by the executive board to the MG Rover factory to
discuss the possibility of becoming the/a distributor for MGs in North
America. I think I can tell you with confidence that the answer, pure and
simple, is money.
When MGR was under the stewardship of BMW, MG was prevented, nay prohibited,
from developing a car for the North American market, lest it compete with
the Z3. Nor were they allowed to develop a relationship with any North
Since the Phoenix Group took over, they have neither had the money to
develop a car engineered to pass US certification, nor enough money to start
the distributorship network, dealer network, marketing, advertising,
training, parts network, etc. that would be necessary.
If someone had enough money (about 25 million Pounds as of last year) and a
product package engineered such that it could pass US certification in terms
of engine management, lighting, and crash worthiness, you would be in
business. But thus far it has not been the interest of MG Rover or any
partner to spend that kind of money on a market which is of an unknown size.
The first 10,000 cars could easily be sold. There are probably that many
enthusiasts that would buy one. But the real problem is in the second, third
years, and beyond which is the hard part. To be successful in those years
one must attract the average, non-enthusiast, consumer. People who in all
likelihood have never heard of an MG. People who have other brand loyalties,
or who would decide between rock-solid reliability of Japanese cars and the
decidedly questionable reliability reputation of British cars of 20 years
I have no doubt that MG will return to these shores. But it will not be
until MG has a certifiable car and when someone with very deep pockets and
the passion of an enthusiast steps forward to build the network in North
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf
Of Dan DiBiase
Sent: Thursday, September 25, 2003 8:37 AM
To: Paul M.; Telewest (PH); MG-MGB@yahoogroups.com
Cc: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Re: Why no MGs?
Paul, I think a lot of it is the necessity for starting from scratch with
a dealer and support network in the US (NA, really). What they probably
need to do is look for another company to tag along with - maybe Land
Rover or Jaguar (even though both are Ford) as a way of sharing
It's a shame as I think they are missing out on a potentially big
market... I recently purchased a new Audi A4 and have been on a message
board at audiworld.com for about 2 months. Most of the active participants
seem like mid-20's to mid-30's males, who spend money modding their cars
with chips, body kits, wheels/tires, etc. Seems to me that MG - if they
could price a car in the low $30's - could make some hay here.
PS On the Puegeot thing - there is a guy in my neighborhood who has a
Peugeot 605 (I think) with manufacturer plates (he's also had several
other Peugeot models, including a nice looking wagon model). I need to
stop by and see if he works for Peugeot and if they are thinking about
re-entering the market. The sedan is a nice looking car. Of course, in
light of recent events in Iraq and the current general feelings towards
the French the timing may not be right.
Paul sez -
> What's the official reason why MG isn't planning a
> return to North America?