MG Roadster Hints at U.S. Comeback
As far as cars with a convoluted past go, there aren’t many like MG Cars and the infamous MGB Roadster.
Ownership has historically been British, as MG Cars gave way to British Motor Corporation, which yielded to British Motor Holdings, which evolved to British Leyland Motor Corporation.
Production lasted, in some form or another, from 1962 to 1980 with a range of 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder engines and even an iteration with a Buick V8 under the hood. There was a brief comeback between 1993 and 1995, which had a slightly updated body, suspension and a 3.9-liter V8. The strategy for all MG cars was simple: Create a lightweight, front-engine, rear-wheel-drive sports car.
The cars, while not great, did have some popularity and sold well. Following decades of financial turmoil and mismanagement, though, MG struggled, quit production and has sat dormant for over 30 years. In 2005, it was purchased by Chinese company Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, with hopes of rebuilding the brand. Nearly a decade later, where does MG stand?
Wishing for another run at the U.S. market, apparently.
Edmunds has learned
that exploratory MG sports car work has been scheduled into the 2014 agenda of the recently opened SAIC design studios in Shanghai.
That’s exciting stuff, but it’s by no means confirmation that MG will be resurrected from a long-dead past. With a hot new market for rear-wheel-drive sports cars, though, now would be the time to make it happen.
Obviously, if SAIC is just starting potential design work, actual production would be years away. What this news does is open discussion on the possibility of MG coming back and selling cars in the U.S. again.
More immediate, perhaps, is the reminder that used MGB cars are out there. They are somewhat rare now, but remain an affordable option for a classic, fun and good-looking sports car. Buying new is years away, but buying used could happen today!
Should the MGB Roadster come back from the dead?