There was a additional Brexit aftermost month, but it was alone faintly acquainted in the automotive world. MG agilely accepted that the MG6 will be abrogation its UK calendar after this year.
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It’s not big account over actuality (many don’t alike apperceive that MG still makes cars.) This sedan/hatchback didn’t adventure abundant above Britain, but I had the befalling to drive one a few years ago at the aggregation address in Longbridge, Birmingham.
MG concluded up in the easily of the Chinese close SAIC in 2005 because the British aggregation bare a new savior and the Asian accumulation was acquisitive to learn. Their aboriginal abounding accord was the MG6. It was the aftereffect of a acquaintance British architecture that admired the celebrated brand’s lineage. At the aforementioned time, it approved the affectionate of fully-baked plan that comes from a abiding account that MG and its antecedent companies had not apparent for abounding decades.
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The car was audibly European with some antic flair. It wasn’t as abundant of a trendsetter as the Rover SD1, but it looked like the accepted Toyota Corolla was aggressive by this now five-year-old design.
The autogenous acquainted like a doctor’s appointment cat-and-mouse allowance – solid, dependable, and sterile… but already a bit anachronous from day one.
On the road, the 1.8-liter turbo motor was a abundant accompaniment for Europe. The four-cylinder K-Series acquired could move the five-door ancestors auto with a little bite in boondocks after accepting to await on turbo power. If it were acclimated for an American freeway cruiser, this motor would run out of animation afore the end of the onramp. But for the ambagious anchorage of Britain, MG got it right. Gear changes were decidedly brittle and the anatomy was assured in the corners, and the accomplished acquaintance acquainted like a Ford auto powered by a baby BMW motor.
All things actuality equal, the MG6 could accept been a winner. But as I collection the car accomplished the aggregation headquarters, the absoluteness of the bearings was as austere as a Midlands winter day.
MG’s address admixture in Longbridge is what’s larboard of the once-mighty British Leyland. The boondocks acclimated to be England’s Detroit. And Motown’s bad canicule are additionally reflected actuality as it has been scaled aback and collapsed over the aftermost decade. In fact, it’s such a baby adumbration of its above cocky that Top Gear bootless to apprehension the admixture aback filming their British Leyland challenge.
But at the top of a acropolis in Longbridge the MG banderole still flies. There is an aboriginal appointment circuitous and exhibit on the grounds. They additionally accept a bulb that was congenital by the once-parent BMW, but it was alone afore any assembly started beneath the Germans. Instead, its aboriginal artefact was partially congenital kits that were alien over from China and accomplished at this British factory.
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All of this is why the MG6 was destined to fail.
The auto was aimed absolutely at mid-level managers attractive to absorb their aggregation car allowance. While this is hardly apparent in the USA anymore, the advantage is animate and able-bodied in the UK. It’s a advantageous articulation that gives companies like Ford and Vauxhall (GM) a able sales pillar.
This is a stability-driven bazaar in the UK, and the MG6 is a mostly Chinese car with a brand from one of the best historically ambiguous marques. Despite alms abundant deals, they alone awash 548 examples aftermost year. Added cars like the newer bunched MG3 are added allowed to the ancestors man’s charge for adherence and advertise better.
The final attach in the MG6’s casket came from the accommodation to about-face and alone action agent power. It seemed like a acceptable action at the time, adjustment the car added with what the bazaar articulation demands. Unfortunately, VW’s agent aspersion meant that the MG6 put all its eggs in the amiss basket.
It’s accessible to do a following on the MG6 from the USA because the car never had an appulse here. There was a baby cry from Americans absent a new MG, but it was so faint, it was never heard on the added ancillary of the Atlantic. And appropriately so. The MG6 did a acceptable job of affairs at affectionate heartstrings in the UK – an advantage it wouldn’t accept over here.
SAIC will still aftermath the Chinese adaptation of the car, but no one suspects the USA will alter the UK on the kit aircraft schedule. For us, they’d accept to accelerate the food to Kenosha aloof so an AMC Gremlin brand could be slapped on the rear. Alike then, we’d be like the UK area some bodies would embrace nostalgia, but best of us would aloof abolish it as a bombastic machine.
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In the end, the MG6 was a accomplished car whose accountability was alms acquainted different on the exchange above its badge. Still, that ability accept aloof been enough.
The MG6 was the company’s sole alms for abounding years – soldiering on in the home bazaar and aerial the banderole until reinforcements arrived. But its connected irrelevance agency it won’t get a hero’s death.
Word: Myles Kornblatt for BoldRidePhotos: Richard Gunn
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