MG's battle to regain a significant share of the UK market seems far from over.In its heyday, Morris Garages (better known as MG) was one of the halos of the British auto industry. Despite its often-cursed Lucas electrical system, it was also one of the best-performing British brands in the United States and a good portion of MG Bs and Midgets built were sent there.
MG fell upon dark times in the 1980s and the 1990s and was sold by BMW to China's Nanjing 2005. At the time the purchase was extremely controversial, but it saved it and Rover from certain death.
MG's new owner has vowed to reestablish the brand in the UK since acquiring it, but a recent report suggests that the battle is far from being won.
Britain's Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders recently indicated in a sales report that 249 MGs have been sold in the UK since the beginning of the year, and that only seven of them found a home last month. Four of those were 6s, and three were TFs.
By comparison, November's best-selling car in the UK was the Ford Fiesta, with 6,195 cars sold, followed by the Vauxhall Corsa and the Volkswagen Golf, with 5,234 and 4,924 sales respectively.
The 6 was introduced in the UK last spring and was supposed to spearhead the company's comeback. It recently got a good load of positive publicity by earning a four-star EuroNCAP crash test rating, but that is not enough to win buyers over.
MG sells two versions of the 6, a five-door hatchback called the MG6 GT and a four-door sedan called the MG6 Magnette. Neither is available with a diesel or with an automatic transmission, two musts in the UK. The only engine offered is a Rover-sourced 1.8 four-cylinder that is derived from the K series of engines, introduced on the Rover 200 in 1988.
The only other model sold by MG UK is the TF, an mid-engined roadster that has been essentially unchanged since its launch in 2002.
MG is currently working on new models for both China and the UK, including a small hatchback called the MG 3.