A very interesting thread as it is bringing many issues to the surface, to say nothing of the emails that are winging their way behind the scenes, and it also shows the somewhat bipolar nature of the client base of Morgan.
Firstly Gerwyn's post, which I think was made as a genuine concern about the strategic direction of the Morgan marque that he obviously feels passionate about.
Here we go. Insufficient development budget; sell it in limited number to clients who then have to take it back to the factory in a monotonous procession because MMC just have not got the funds to sort the interface between the Bavarian stuff and their own electrics.
MMC trade on huge client goodwill.
There is little doubt that the Aero's increased in quality between the first ones and the Series III's, and after a bit of fettling the early ones give reliable service with only one or two major issues, such as the power steering failure (Series I's), rectified by fitting the later system.
The Series IV, and the concomitant AeroMax, have experienced in some cases difficult electrical problems and consequently, quality really took a step backwards though not it all cases; my Aero for instance has been totally reliable, but then it was probably pampered by the works, even if driven hard by the motoring press.
I would even go so far as to say we have one choice. We buy our barely affordable (to me anyway) £50-100k hand built unique (as in pretty low numbers) vehicles with the expectation that some fettling is still to be carried out. And after all one thing the factory IS good at is getting the problems sorted in most cases.
I have no issues about getting my car 'fettled' at the works, it gives a reason for a pleasant drive up there and the people in the works are a pleasure to deal with and do a very good job. However, if I lived in Scotland or Italy, or even New Zealand, I am not sure that I would have the same tolerance. Launching the new car at Pebble Beach shows the focus for the new EvaGT's target market and as such, MMC cannot afford to get it wrong. Simon's post adequately covers this point I feel, even if it does not touch on the geography issue.
First time owners will have very different expectations to a repeat customer - as has been said, this isn't like buying a BMW. I believe expectations have to match experience (and this is not simply down to an improvement in quality but also an education of the new owners as to what to expect).
I found the following post also interesting, as I have felt for some time that if it were my business, at worst I would have Aero and its siblings. including the LIFEcar in a SBU, and the Trads in another one; very different businesses in my view even if they share a heritage.
MMC is a company with a split personality, Trad range all dexion chassis and wire wheels is for the beer and cloth cap brigade, relatively penniless, the Aero brand, bonded aluminum and 35 series tyres for the champagne [trust-fund] Charlies. The new MMC factory showroom is aimed squarely at the latter, all 'Barcelona' designer chairs and ice-white walls, more botox clinic than enthusiast car showroom. The parochial dealer network will be left to service the former whilst the MMC showroom cream off the top-end stuff, thing is how long can the two brands exist side by side?
One of the Dealer's told me a story in Geneva, probably apocryphal, about one of his Trad customers asking if he had any 'second-hand engine oil' as he wanted to change the oil in his car!
No offence intended Easter, I also own a 4/4 Sport!
MMC build a new botoxed showroom for the upper end of their range and leave the Trads with the traditional Dealer network. It was noticeable that the first Aero SS delivered went to Dick Lovett in Swindon
before any of the main Dealers.
Is this the beginning of the split between Dealers in Morgan Trads, and Dealers in Morgan Aero (and siblings)?
Easter's question is very relevant imho and if Morgan take this route, can their quality match the aspirations of new owners coming from Porsche, Ferrari, Maserati and BMW customers, sometimes from the same Dealership? I don't know the answer, but it is a very relevant question?
The first 100 cars of a limited run are planned to begin production mid 2012 and the “on-road” price will be competitive for a car of this class.
Lastly, if Morgan are going to continue to play the limited run/edition marketing ploy they have to be honest with their customers. The initial run for the AeroMax was 100-cars and they stuck to it, thus gaining credibility and ensuring robust re-sale values. For the Aero SuperSport I have seen quantities from an initial run of 125-cars to as high as 250-cars, and several figures in between. Nobody currently seems to know how many cars they will produce out of this limited run; how many cars is a limited run?
Now they say for the EvaGT - "The first 100 cars of a limited run are planned", now without wishing to be pedantic what exactly does this mean? Is the limited run 100, or more likely is it the first 100 out of a limited run of, say 1000-cars?
Maybe the lawyers amongst us can explain the meaning, as it will effect the re-sale value of the car and they have a responsibility to their customers and clarity is part of this responsibility.
Sorry for my rather long 2p-worth, but just having watched the England match I am probably feeling somewhat liverish!