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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm aware that there are people on this board who know a whole lot more about MG-Rover than me, but it sounds a lot like some folks can't see the forest because of the trees.

The buck must stop at the door of the Management.

Let's use a crap analogy. If you're footie team is doing badly, who gets the blame? The Press? The football governing body? The supporters of the other teams in the league for daring to support someone else?

Whilst I agree in part with other folks sentiments on this board about the British public being "anti- anything British", if this is the case, whose job is it to try & change people's perception of the brand?

The Management.

Anti Blair as I am, it smells of scapegoating to point the finger at the Government on this one. If MG-Rover can't stand on their own two feet, tough titties.

It's up to the Management to forecast trends. It's up to the Management to promote their product accordingly. It's up to the Management to find out why their product is doing badly, to address these issues, & to take action accordingly.

I may not have the "insider knowledge" of the senior members on this forum, but that's just how I see it.
 

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The management did there best and I fell they have been one of the best that Rover, MG, Austin, Rover etc. The other manage that stands in the same league is Micheal Edwards he also did a great job running BL.The main reason the cars wear not selling is because the press was always saying they wear rubbish and out classed which simply was not true. Also with the press constantly on the P4 backs people lost trust with the company. The other big reason was the badge ROVER. Most people think Rovers is uncool a grannies and granddads car. The was no real drive for the under 25's to buy a Rover.
 

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I agree with you for the most part.

All the V8 models, SV included, were a complete waste of time and money as was any motorsport expenditure. All that money would have been better spent on advertising. I cant remember the last MG or Rover ad i saw on TV.

As for not knowing as much about MG-R as others on here, well dont put yourself down, from what ive seen lately no one on here knew jack.
 

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Mackinnon said:
Let's use a crap analogy. If you're footie team is doing badly, who gets the blame? The Press? The football governing body? The supporters of the other teams in the league for daring to support someone else?
Bad press doesn't affect the performance of the players, but it does affect the sales of a car firm.
 

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chrismm27 said:
I agree with you for the most part.

All the V8 models, SV included, were a complete waste of time and money as was any motorsport expenditure. All that money would have been better spent on advertising. I cant remember the last MG or Rover ad i saw on TV.

As for not knowing as much about MG-R as others on here, well dont put yourself down, from what ive seen lately no one on here knew jack.
So did you not see the MG ZR & ZS advert on TV with the football theme with the cars playing in the car park, or the adverts for the CityRover with balloons. Or the Rover 25 in the roulette wheel?

Did you not see the bill board advertising hoardings for the MG ZS and the newspaper adverts for the New 25 and 45? Or the adverts for the MG SV?

How do you know that the V8 and SV models were a waste of money - you do not know what profits they made for the company - no-one knows except those that have access to MG Rover's books!
 

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Mackinnon said:
The buck must stop at the door of the Management.
They made mistakes with handling publicity, definitely.

However, from the start they looked for a partner. In the meantime, they developed the MG brand, launching the Z range and trying to develop a range topper, which in the end became the SV. The MG TF was successfully up-dated. They tried to get a Polish car factory, and too raise some money through collaboration with TATA.

Then disaster. Their first attempt at a tie-up in China fell-through, and their engineering suppler TWR went bust.

This was 2003? and from then on, time was against them.

The press never look for what they did right, only what they did wrong.
 

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chrismm27 said:
All the V8 models, SV included, were a complete waste of time and money as was any motorsport expenditure. All that money would have been better spent on advertising.
The Rover range was crying out for a V8 version for nearly twenty-years. The 75-V8 is an excellent car, it just needs a faster version.

The motorsport WAS advertising. The Le Mans car got a lot of publicity.
 

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Yup, the buck stops with management I agree 100%. So does John Towers, hence when asked who was to blame, he replied 'Well yes I am to blame. I was involved, so I must be to blame'.

And you're right, it is management's job to effectively manage any business within the remit of their responsibilities. However, managing any business when the press are printing rubbish about that business and on occasion that business is even being undermined by 'sources' in the corridors of power... is akin to trying to successfully land an aircraft after taking a direct hit from a missile. Very rarely can it be done successfully.

I am of absolutely no doubt that John Towers and his colleagues will continue to leave no stone unturned in their quest to secure a future for MGR.

In short, the current circumstances are largely the result of external pressures rather than internal failings within the company.

John
 

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The SV was rubbish, sorry but it was. The 75 and MG V8s were good, but outclassed by rivals and cost a lot to develope, surely they cant have made a profit on the few they sold. Did anyone apart from the guys here actually care Rover had a V8 again? No one i work with knew about it, and they are the sort of people in the market for a £30k car. The V8s certainly didnt enhance the brand one bit, they were just to slow, thirsty, in the 75s case ugly, and in the SVs case expensive.

I have seen a few ads yeah, but not many and not very good ones, certainly nothing in the league of the other manufactures. They all looked like cheap local TV ads, with the exception of the football ad which instantly turned me off the brand anyway.

Motorsport advertising? Well does anyone actually watch touring cars anymore? No one i know does. Le-Mans? Is it still going? Thats the reaction i got when trying to defend Rovers image.
 

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JohnSwitzer said:
However, managing any business when the press are printing rubbish about that business
But what did 'the management' do to counter these stories?
Kept silent, leading to the conclusion the press were right, maybe keeping the prototypes to secret hasn't helped? forever seeing spyshots around, but nowt from MG rover camp, so nothing to stir up interest in the future of the brand.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but at least it's not over yet....
 

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chrismm27 I feel MG Rover's ads wear clear and to a point. Take the C4 the catch phrase is 'Alive with technology'. I am still bemused by this. I have looked at all the spec list's of a C4 and can't see anything radical or new about equipment on the car so it could be classed as false advertisement. The other advert which I feel is crap is the new Focus. What it says to me is all new Focus owners are pri*ks and know nothing about cars which probably correct. The NEW ZR and ZS adverts did not get the result that was expected but it still sold some new cars. The V8 (I had the pleasure and I will use that word because it was a pleasure to drive it) is a good flagship. admittedly it's not super fast but 0-60 in 6.8 seconds for a 1600KG car is very good. The buyers Rover though off wear people who wanted to waft to there location in the car. The SV yes has been a bitter disappointment for them but I don't know how many they planned to sell in a year.
 

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Im not saying its fair, but Rovers ads were dull and just didnt have any impact. The Citroen ad is a great ad. Its modern, memorable, clever and fun.

Maybe the focus ad does appeal to non car fans, but the focus is selling and thats what counts at the end of the day. Taking the moral high ground is all well and good, but sales are what counts. WE all know the ZS is one of the best handling cars you can buy with FWD, but did rover ever actually advertise that fact on TV? No, it just let everyone else say it was a coffin dodgers car that thought it was an XR2.
The only memorable MG-R ad was the footy one, but that only appealed to footy fans. It risked alienating people, like me, who detest football and everything it stands for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
EssexMGR said:
So did you not see the MG ZR & ZS advert on TV with the football theme with the cars playing in the car park, or the adverts for the CityRover with balloons. Or the Rover 25 in the roulette wheel?
Interesting that these adverts have undoubtedly been on television, & yet I cannot remember one of them. Yet even the crappy Vauxhall ads with Griff Rhys-Jones , which lost them money, remain in the memory, as do (unfortunately) those w**ky Focus ads on just now. And the abstract but cool Honda ads.

Last national Rover ad I remember hearing was last week, on CLASSIC FM.

I suppose you've got to play to your strengths though!
 

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MG have done a lot of "Let's take the MG" radio ads on certain stations (e.g. Xfm) over the last couple of months, and they've been pretty good, up to the same level of humour and irony that would be expected for them to be taken seriously.

Presumably they just haven't been able to afford much/any TV advertising for a while.
 

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Dan Lockton said:
Presumably they just haven't been able to afford much/any TV advertising for a while.
Therein IMO lies a big part of the cause for low sales - the last Rover advert I can remember (i.e that sticks in my mind) is the one for the 1995 400 (Civic model) with the bomb disposal officer having a relaxing ride so he could concentrate on the job when he got to the bomb, what was that 1995ish?
There may well have been TV ads since then but none that have stuck in my mind - which is what an advert must do to make people think of a manufacturer when they are considerng a new car. I understand that there have been radio ads but I suspect that the TV audience is larger - and the old saying "a picture is worth 1000 words" still holds good anyway.

Conversely, there is hardly a TV ad slot that doesn't have an ad for Citroen, Renault, Honda, Toyota, Ford, BMW, Audi, Seat, VW, et al - often for more than one of them in the same slot. These serve the purpose, keeping the brands in the mind of potential customers - and pushing other brands out of the mind.

This is a pity because I'm sure that if people had only thought "Rover" when thinking of buying and had gone to a dealer the cars would have almost sold themselves. Facelifted old designs they might be (especially the 45) but poor quality/value they certainly are not, nor IMO outdated.
When I ordered my 45 in February I was upgrading from a 1996 414 so Rover was in my mind. Having looked at the specs on the MGR website I was "sold" on that alone - which was convenient since when I went to the dealer they were setting up for a Kia promotion weekend and actually had no 45s at all on site! That didn't deter me and I had no qualms at all in placing my order "unseen" that day. I didn't expect to be disappointed when the car arrived - and I wasn't.

Marketing is the name of the game nowadays and I do feel that this is one area that MG-R slipped up badly. I know that TV advertising isn't cheap but in a fiercely competitive car market it's practically essential. I believe that if MG-R do survive (and I do hope they do in at least some form) then this is an area that must be addressed by whoever gets to run them.

KRs
Chris
 

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iaan said:
They made mistakes with handling publicity, definitely.

However, from the start they looked for a partner. In the meantime, they developed the MG brand, launching the Z range and trying to develop a range topper, which in the end became the SV. The MG TF was successfully up-dated. They tried to get a Polish car factory, and too raise some money through collaboration with TATA.

Then disaster. Their first attempt at a tie-up in China fell-through, and their engineering suppler TWR went bust.

This was 2003? and from then on, time was against them.

The press never look for what they did right, only what they did wrong.
Top post that man, spot on.
 

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chrismm27 said:
The SV was rubbish, sorry but it was. The 75 and MG V8s were good, but outclassed by rivals and cost a lot to develope, surely they cant have made a profit on the few they sold. Did anyone apart from the guys here actually care Rover had a V8 again? No one i work with knew about it, and they are the sort of people in the market for a £30k car. The V8s certainly didnt enhance the brand one bit, they were just to slow, thirsty, in the 75s case ugly, and in the SVs case expensive.

I have seen a few ads yeah, but not many and not very good ones, certainly nothing in the league of the other manufactures. They all looked like cheap local TV ads, with the exception of the football ad which instantly turned me off the brand anyway.

Motorsport advertising? Well does anyone actually watch touring cars anymore? No one i know does.
Chris, they were designed to be range toppers, brand halo cars and in that regard they worked. Ok, they may not have been money spinners, but often the halo cars aren't. The BTCC was good brand awareness amongst motorsport enthusiasts - the kind of people who would buy MGs. Again, good advertising too.

TV advertising doesn't work for MG Rover, it may work for other people, but they found out it doesn't, why spend money adveritsing cars with a medium that doesn't work?
 

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JohnSwitzer said:
In short, the current circumstances are largely the result of external pressures rather than internal failings within the company.

John
That's a get out clause if ever I've heard one!

There have been too many bad marketing decisions, the cost cutting exercises, partially successful facelifts, prices too high, recent improvement in spec too little too late.

Yes, the model range was / is dated and money wasn't available to bring in new models quickly, but management failed to increase the desirability of the existing models.

They succeeded with the MGs mainly because they filled a gap in the market left by the disappearance of the XR and RS Fords, Peugot & Golf GTIs, etc. The current versons of these are not true to the originals, whereas the MGs are clearly what buyers want.

But MGR did nothing to boost sales of the 45. Presumably naively thinking that a facelift would do it. They should have thrown just about every option at them so the spec alone would attract buyers. Instead they introduced cost cutting which saw that cheap MFI wood effect trim, less soundproofing, etc etc.

They ignored owners and press critiscms and have only themselves to blame for their current predicament. Outside influences can only be used as an excuse.
The P4, now being investigated by the DTI, are unlikley ever to be on the dole, not so many of their employees.

The only positive note, is that they managed to hang on until the new pension protection legislation came into force last wednesday.

The timing has in my opinion been carefully orchestrated to coincide with this pension legislation coming into force and the general election being used to pressurise politicians into 'helping'.
 

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Yeh mackinnon but two Chinese companies who mucked em about. Tata who did'nt really give them what they wanted. Proton. The Brit people who never support the uK. The Police and just about every body else who almost ban them. The press and media who derided them all the time. Need I go on.

Stacked against them wasn't it?
 

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Yes things were perhaps against them to degree but I think they got wrong in a number of respects.

If you want to compete in the mass market place then you have to produce the goods as we have seen the market doesn't put up with excuses or the made in britain tag simple as that.

When they tuck over if they wanted to remain mass market then clearly they needed a partner, but also if enough money was a available then they needed to produce a new car for that maket as a priority and that should have been the focus, farting about with the V8 and SV were a waste of time (unless you want to become a smaller niche player), a halo effect car to me is about getting into the showrooms a car that the majority of your customer base can afford and are likely to want to buy.

If the money wasnt available to produce a new model then they should have looked at a major facelift to at least one of the models to hold sales until such time a either a new model could be developed with a partner or you look at downsizing and becoming more of a niche player.

Instead we seemed to spend time developing niche models ok if thats direction you want to go, shall we try and buy a plant in Poland and pinning hopes on a partnership for which time ran out. seems to me that there was a complete lack of focus as to where the company was going.

If there is to be a future for MG Rover then clearly it has to be as part of another car company which can share platforms and investment or as a niche market operation probably along the lines of what alchemey envisiged.
 
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