It’s back to the future as the latest MG dealership opens in the brand’s historic birthplace.
Lodge Hill Garage in Abingdon is just a stone’s throw away from the site of the original MG factory where cars were built from 1929 to 1980. Now the latest MG3 and MG GS models are proudly displayed in the showroom of the UK’s latest MG dealership.
The Abingdon dealership joins one of the fastest growing brands in Britain and new MGs in the Oxford and Abingdon area have created a wave of interest. Lodge Hill’s Principal, Nigel Murrin, said: “We’ve had a huge response from people wishing us well and saying how glad they are to see the MG name back. It’s just a reminder how much passion there is for the brand.
“Now we’re planning to repay that with a huge official opening weekend event and we will be confirming the dates very shortly.”
Lodge Hill Garage is on the busy Oxford Road in Abingdon, the main commuter route between Abingdon and Oxford. Drivers can’t fail to miss it – because high on a plinth on the forecourt is a full-size replica of an RAF Spitfire!
Peter Jewson, the co-director of Lodge Hill, installed the fighter as a tribute to the mainly women pilots who formed the Air Transport Auxiliary. They flew the planes from the UK factories, where they were built, to their operational stations. Peter is also behind a fund to raise £10,000 to have a permanent memorial to the ATA in the Imperial War Museum.
Lodge Hill Garage was established in 2003, but the addition of the MG franchise has created three new jobs – an MG trained technician, an apprentice technician and a receptionist. More new jobs could follow if the business expands.
Nigel, who served a mechanical apprenticeship at the start of his career, has worked in the motor industry all of his working life, including working in the car trimming business and running the retail side of dealer operations.
He said: “We can’t wait to get started with MG. The brand has a rich heritage, beginning on our doorstep. Both Peter and I have owned, and still own, classic MGs, but it’s the new models that are so impressive.
“The MG3 is just a great little car offering so much value for money and it drives so well. While the MG GS is just stunning – it’s an exceedingly good car.”
Matthew Cheyne, MG’s Head of Sales and Marketing, said: “It’s always great to welcome new dealers to our brand, but even more so to now have a dealer representing us in the very birthplace of MG.”
MG’s summertime sales boom continues to accelerate, with dealers up and down the country reporting record requests for MG3 and MG GS test drives. MG Motor UK sales so far this year are way ahead of last year’s figures and it is expected that 2016 will be a record year for MG sales.
While the UK car industry has increased by an average of 2.8 per cent so far this year, MG’s growth is more than five times that level, with official figures showing the brand is up more than 15 per cent year to date.
New MG dealerships have recently opened in Swansea, Bradford, Ayr, Warrington, Epsom, Wolverhampton and Brandon in Suffolk. More new dealers will be announced in the near future.
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