It is always hard to say you won't survive, even if it is about cars. But, unfortunately,
it seems that the last British [ autonomous ] auto maker [ of mass production] will die
in the next years. Its financial situation is disastrously bad, the models are not quite
up-to-date and money for developing new models lacks thus.
This is no gloating statement, no expression of being proud of the German automotive
achievements and no sarcastic obituary. These are the facts, the naked truth, the story
of a traditional European brand that is going to be torn in pieces by competitors, a true
tale of a manufacturer that lies on the altar of the global carnivore-capitalism that has
made us, in the Western World, unthinkable rich but most of us also fat and dissatisfied.
Exactly this is what has made the MG models possible, or supposed necessary. The story
began a few years ago. A good example of what ran wrong is the pretty Rover Twenty Five,
formerly 200. Though the car looked absolutely great it was an economic miscarriage from
the start. The trouble with it was that the vehicle was simply too expensive to be a mini
car but just too small to be a European compact vehicle. Honda and later BMW, the previous
owners of Rover, did their very best to make it competitive but the market felt no sorry
with the little one.
And, the situation with other Rover models was not significantly better. BMW's patient
finally came to an end as the high Pound notation didn't decrease and the losses rose further
and further in the end of the 1990's. As a result of this, besides other causes, they sold
Land Rover, inclusive the great all new Range Rover, to Ford and the rest, including the
brand MG, to the Phoenix consortium, a pool of British investors. That they won't be all
too happy with that patriotic investment, was no secret for automotive economy's experts but
they dared that adventure despite the high risk.
The first step to reach sufficient mass that allows surviving was making two brands out of
one. Henceforth each Rover model got its sporting counterpart labelled as MG, formerly a
manufacturer of fine roadsters. The new MG line was conceived as an offer to young sporty
buyers but in the end it doesn't look that much of them spend money for the cars so that it
would enable Rover to earn means for developing new vehicles.