MG in Japan



With the launch of the MGF, the MG brand name has once again made headline news in Britain. Advance orders for the MGF are said to be flooding in, suggesting that it is going to impact on Mazda MX-5 and Toyota MR2 sales.

The MGF press has overshadowed the other MG that is still in production; the MGRV8. Launched modestly in 1992, the limited production of 2,200 cars set by Rover caused a brief rush to buy from die-hard (and wealthy) enthusiasts. But the 26,000 price tag was soon seen as too expensive at a time when the UK economy was in deep recession.

Due to the slow UK sales, Rover decided to show the MGRV8 at the Tokyo Motor Show in October 1993. Within a week of the Show more than 1000 firm orders were received, backed with cash deposits from Japanese buyers keen to buy a piece of Britain's motoring heritage. Even the long lead times in production did not deter them.

The rush of sales from Japan has now overshadowed the car's sales in the UK. UK buyers now have to wait up to a year as the tiny factory in Cowley churns out no more than 20 cars per week. By the end of 1995, the quota of 2,200 will be completed and the production will cease.

The MGRV8 has done a marvelous job for Rover in priming the market in the UK and especially the Far East for the return of the MG marque.


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