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The 1996 Motorshow presented Rover with their first opportunity to present the MGF to the motoring public at the National Exhibition Centre. They were able to announce that the MGF is now on sale in all markets of Europe and is already proving a major success in the Far East. Demand has constantly outstripped supply with UK sales approaching 7,000 and world wide sales at 12,000 vehicles. Three cars were displayed in a small triangular area in the corner of the huge Rover stand.
The star car, finished in red, was bolted (so I was assured) to a single steel beam at a gravity defying angle so as to show off the underneath of the car. This was joined by the two further vehicles, an amaranth VVC fitted with a leather and walnut interior and a metallic green car showing off the black hardtop. Market rivals to the MGF are few and far between. The Suzuki Cappuccino is no longer imported to Britain and Maxda MX5 had a low key position in the show. The new Fiat Barchetta was present, resplendent in bright orange, but this is only available in left hand drive in limited quantities. All the other open sports cars cost much more than the MGF. One can only wonder about the real size of the market for such cars from Mercedes, BMW, Porsche, Alfa Romeo, Renault, TVR and Jaguar, to name but a few. None of these are rivals to the MGF which now looks set fair to dominate the market for mass produced open sports for some considerable time. Well done to Rover for cornering the market and providing a huge pool of new members for the M.G. Car Club.
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