Rover 75 and MG ZT – The Next Stage to being a ‘Classic’
Over the course of a few years I’ve been monitoring the second hand parts market and have noticed the increased volume of parts with the corresponding reducing price. I’m referring to parts for the whole Rover 75/ZT production, not just the V8 of which I have a special interest; as a result of the laws of supply and demand I have observed the lowering second hand price range for car parts.
The benefit of this is that we can buy things on the cheap and have the ability to obtain parts as and when we need them. But on the other hand, the decline in the number of 75s and ZTs is accelerating, add to this the disparity of the whole car value against the sum of the parts and we are left with an ever-growing decline.
This disparity has accelerated the reduction in the numbers, which will continue until the balance has returned. My concern however is that the balance is not going to improve anytime soon due to circumstances which are not applicable to other more modern car makes. The current economic situation and the trend towards driving more efficient cars will play a major factor in the length of the cannibalisation of the Rover 75 and MG ZT. Both these additional factors will, in my opinion, kill off a large part of the car population in a shorter time than in the past with other car populace.
The current reduction will eventually result in a balanced market again but with a far reduced car population and perhaps smaller than may have been if the current climate had not existed. This would obviously be a shame but conversely may accelerate the car to classic status with parts produced by the smaller specialist makers, which is what is currently happening with the V8.
The next stage to Sainthood
We are in a period of lower prices and good supply which I would suggest is the next stage of ownership; followed by increasing prices, poorer supply and specialists becoming the norm. The length of this period is difficult to predict; taking into account the design, quality and the plaudits the Rover 75 achieved during the time MG Rover Group was in business, and since the demise in 2005 with Best Ride Quality from Auto Express in 2006 and Best Used Car Award for family car in 2007.
I suggest this next stage is going to be around four to five years with the approximate 238,000 75/ZTs built, the question is; how many are left now?
Using Government figures for vehicles currently registered on the roads of the UK, the figure is a surprising low 73,625 which would suggest a total of around 101,025, after taking into account an estimated 20,000 for exports and 7,400 as not currently registered.
Since the start of production in 2009, 137,000 cars have perished, that is about 12,455 per year. If this decline continues we will see extinction in eight years. In reality however the attrition rate levels off as the car becomes rare with the car enthusiast taking great care in looking after the vehicle.
So how do we get to ‘Sainthood’? Simple really, make sure car enthusiast groups survive and flourish, that the car you drive is maintained, used and scrubbed up to look its best.
The likes of the classic MGs where there has been good enthusiastic support from clubs over the years means that the long term future of the Rover 75 and MG ZT is assured.
We just need to make sure there will be a responsibility to ownership; it’s not just about owning the car.
Total production figures of the Rover 75 and MG ZT
1999: 53,581 from Cowley
2000: 28,388 from Cowley then 3,156 when the production line as moved to Longbridge.
2001: 33,883 Rover 75 – 3,510 MGZT
2002: 32,123 Rover 75 - 6,914 MGZT
2003: 30,449 Rover 75 – 8,011 MGZT
2004: 24,156 Rover 75 – 6,844 MGZT
2005 to 8th April: 5,439 Rover 75 – 1,870 MGZT
How many left?