30 September 2011
Some MG Rover Sales Peaks Of The 90's
When BMW took over MG Rover, they lost Honda as MGR's partner and cost savings associated with the tie-up. BMW's bizarre response was to quickly ramp up sales to get volumes and maintain profitability. However, you simply cannot turn a relatively small, almost niche manufacturer into a much larger company over night. MGR quickly sank into red ink and BMW mocked it's "English patient', rather than admit it screwed up big time.
Anyway, the brief sales flurry of the relatively small company did produce a few highlights. Below are sales from peaks in the 90's in certain markets, market share and rankings:
1997 Italy 57,700 2.4% 10th two years running
1994 France 47,000 2.4% 8th three consecutive years
1998 Spain 23,000 1.9% 11th
1998 Portugal 6,600 2.7% 11th (10th one year)
Some good figures and market shares there. All these figures exclude Land Rover, they cover the car range only. The problem is shown in the statistics above. Notice how only Southern European nations appear. Northern Europeans were not as keen, especially the critical UK home market, where sales were high but declining through the decade. Of course BMW needed a partner to replace Honda - not just sales - as they would never be enough to support MGR carrying new model development costs on its own. BMW know how to manage premium brands but not mass produced ones. It is all about big volumes at the lower end.
Now SAIC will try to do what BMW failed so badly at, getting MGs back on the roads en masse. They will do a better job eventually, but with more patience shown.