[Cross-posted] We should have some conﬁdence in the MG TF under Nanjing—principally because its competition is worried. The closest rival, the Mazda MX-5 Mk III, in pretty much every respect the better car, has spawned a limited edition in the UK to coincide with the relaunch of the TF at Longbridge last week.
Limited editions and the British go together like Morecambe and Wise, but this quotation in Motortorque was telling:
“Since the demise of the MG TF and Toyota MR2, there is no longer a deﬁned ‘roadster’ segment within the non-premium sports car market,” commented Mazda UK’s Managing Director Rob Lindley.
Mazda gently reminded people that the previous MG had died and there were dangers about buying the resurrected car. It’s very subtle, but I am sure that the MD’s statement was geared to do that.
However, it just shows that Mazda is concerned that a relaunched TF will snap sales up, and there’ll be Brits holding off buying an MX-5 because of the developments at Longbridge.
I think NAC MG has been very kind to Mazda given that it could bring up the war … oops, did I just write that? Whatever you do, don’t mention the war.
I mentioned it just then, but I think I got away with it.
‘You started it. You invaded Manchuria.’
Just kidding. But seriously, the Chinese connection could be sold to the British in a humorous, World War II-themed way. After all, the Republic of China was an ally, ﬁghting the Axis powers in the eastern theatre.
China is not some strange, oriental nation, but one with connections to Britain—including a shared history of sacriﬁce during some of the 20th century’s darker years.
I actually don’t recommend this tack, since MG needs to seek younger buyers, not just people with facial hair who watch Fawlty Towers. But I put it out there as an alternative.
Actually, price and heritage—which NAC MG seems to be using—should be the basis of the marketing efforts that should bring younger buyers in, especially those who don’t want to stretch to an MX-5. The fact that the TF is mid-engined must appeal to some.
It may be a bit of a 21st-century MG Midget-type audience, but these buyers can grow to plusher models as MG releases them.
This method is also true to MG’s brand—value-for-money plus a sense of fun. It is already in the public’s consciousness—one very good reason for owning a brand with positive connotations. I have said this all along about NAC’s smart moves when bidding for the remnants of MG Rover in 2005. It is interesting to see it play out, so far, as I predicted.
Meanwhile, more recent speculation in the British media is about the MG TF’s price, which by most accounts needs to be lower than it was when MG Rover collapsed in 2005.
In the blogosphere, Paul Stowe, NAC MG’s own blogger and the company’s quality boss, is rightly upset about the negative tone some in the British media have taken. He points out two alternatives in his blog, in some way reinforcing my own points that NAC didn’t have to reopen Longbridge, and that its boss, Yu Jiang Wei, should be applauded for pushing through its restart last week.
PS.: To those who do not know me, I should point out that no malice is intended toward the people of Japan in this post. Most of my Japanese friends know my sense of humour and how I use World War II as part of my jokes.—JY Posted by Jack Yan, 05:46
Comments: Post a Comment
Links to this post:
NoteEntries from 2006 to the end of 2009 were done on the Blogger service. As of January 1, 2010, this blog has shifted to a Wordpress installation, with the latest posts here.
With Blogger ceasing to support FTP publishing on May 1, I have decided to turn these older pages in to an archive, so you will no longer be able to enter comments. However, you can comment on entries posted after January 1, 2010.
Individual JY&A and Medinge Group blogs
DonateIf you wish to help with my hosting costs, please feel free to donate.
Copyright ©200210 by Jack Yan & Associates. All rights reserved. Photograph of Jack Yan by Chelfyn Baxter.