Today’s Random Nugget

Idly I wanted to know what John Simister is up to…

2014 MG3: source
2014 MG3: source

He wrote for the Independent and is a freelancer now. I remember him from his days writing for Car magazine (1995-1998). This review turned up, of the MG3. Since I don’t live in the UK, I never see these cars and had forgotten about them. This part of the review is a surprise: “Despite this, there is a precision, a deftness, a transparency to the MG3’s responses that are rare in a new, mass-market model. It steers beautifully, it rides smoothly over bumps, it flows in a way which just makes you feel good. You do have to work the engine hard, but it’s not too noisy and a tidy gear-change action helps get the best from it.”  Simister is known for his fondness for French cars so I read this as meaning the car drives like a Peugeot 205.

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

13 thoughts on “Today’s Random Nugget”

  1. He’s what I consider to be a reliable sage, Mr Sinister, and enjoy coming across his articles. As for the MG3, I think it’s a neat and funky looking little thing, and I like the interior, even if the quality of the plastics is pretty rough. I’ve never driven one, but the chassis tends to get good words, the drivetrain less so.

    1. I would not mind the plastics – that´s over-rated – it´s the front end that bothers me. How many of these things do they sell? Are they unusually rare, not unusual or ubiquitous? I am reminded of the Chevrolet Epica. It looked like nothing special but had intelligently set-up suspension. And nobody cared. That is unfortunate.

  2. You’re not missing out on anything – current MGs are very rarely seen on UK roads.

    1. Hello Laurent: Have you seen the new CUV they make? I notice their mid-sizer has disappeared from the website leaving a “range” of two cars. It might be easy to poke humour at them but the news yesterday was of a concerted effort being made, ten years on from the Great Wall and BYC debacle to crack the European market. As poignant metaphor, the Opels dealer in Kolding and in Silkeborg are now Kia/Hyundai dealers. That took about 20 years. I expect the Chinese, if they are serious and lucky might take two model cycles to get established.

  3. Another school of thought is that Mr Simster’s observations could work against the MG. He might see it as precise and deft. Many of the people who are comparing this against a nondescript Korean hatchback might see it as “twitchy and nervous – it just didn’t feel as safe as the Hyundai.”

    Of course MG probably feel that a more sporting feel goes with the badge but, regrettably, for the numbers they’d want to sell, most people in that marketplace probably don’t know or care about MG’s history.

  4. For some badges it’s never too late. October China sales: MG GS 3659. Qoros 5 1375. Borgward BX7 5188.

    Total sales for the five model MG range were less than 2000 ahead of one-model Borgward. Hapless Qoros’s total was 2610.

    In the interest of balance, I should note that SAIC’s recently introduced Roewe RX5 SUV managed a storming 20,001 sales in its home market in October. It’s an impressive looking thing, like a mash-up of current BMW SUVs, and the new Tiguan and Skoda Kodiaq. A bit overpowering up in its frontal aspect, but otherwise devoid of awkwardness.

    Roewe is a synthetic brand founded on IP bought from MG Rover before the 2005 collapse. It has been consistently more successful than MG, formed on Nanjing Auto’s acquisitions in the post collapse fire sale. They say no good deed goes unpunished – Nanjing’s penance was being peremptorily subsumed into the SAIC conglomerate, as Roewe’s poor relation. The MG badge has been used on Roewes in SAIC export territories – If you insist, the list comprises:

    Laos
    Thailand
    Vietnam
    Israel
    Nee Ziland
    Cambodia
    North Korea
    Hong Kong SAR
    Sri Lanka
    Australia
    Algeria
    Ghana
    Morocco
    Nigeria
    Senegal
    Sudan
    Egypt
    Sith Efrica
    Angola
    Kenya
    Azerbaijan
    Ukraine
    Belarus
    Kazakhstan
    UK
    Bahrain
    Iran
    Syria
    Oman
    Kuwait
    UAE
    Jordan
    Lebanon
    Iraq
    Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
    Aruba
    Chile
    Peru
    Panama
    Dominica R.
    Uruguay
    Bolivia
    Costa Rica
    Colombia

    They do seem to favour the er, NON-ALIGNED nations – and one with aspirations in that direction.

  5. In November the home-made Roewe brand sold 21,334 RX5 SUVs in China. That’s close to three times the total MG number – 7551, of which 552 were MG3s.

    Another solid month for Borgward – 5032 registrations. Down 156 on October, but it won’t stop them cracking open the Becks and dancing in the streets of Sebaldsbrück, Hastedt, Neustadt, and Osterholz-Scharmbeck.

    1. If only my German grandfather had lived to see this day…

      (For he was a proud son of Bremen/Bremerhaven. This news should’ve been good enough to warrant a celebratory lunch at Grashoff’s Bistro.)

  6. The James Last non-stop dancing LPs are stacked high on the Garrard 2025TC autochanger in the Parazitas residence tonight…

    1. A friend of my dad’s actually used to live in the old Borgward villa. It had been converted into flats at some point, probably during the 1960s.

    1. Richard, Grashoff’s is the single best reason to visit Bremen. The crayfish salad and Dover sole are stalwart favourites.

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