Vauxhall: is it MG-Rover all over again?

Posted by Paul Horrell at 3:36 pm on Tuesday August 11, 2009

RoverIt’s depressing to be reminded all over again today of the sad and shabby history of MG-Rover. Much more sad is that it looks dangerously likely that history might repeat itself with Vauxhall-Opel.

BMW unloaded MG-Rover in early 2000. It was looking at bids from venture capital firms including Apax and Alchemy. Both planned a slimming down of the company and some quick redundancies. This in the hope of making the firm viable and selling it as a runner to another car company later.

But the government was scared of job losses. So instead it fell for the easy promises of the Phoenix Four, the local ex-managers of the firm who reckoned they could keep it going at its former size. Even though no one much wanted the cars it was making. Governments don’t understand the car industry – they understand only instant headlines.

Five years later Phoenix went bad and – surprise – the government blamed everyone but themselves. Even though it was patently obvious that the Chinese SAIC and Nanjing were simply waiting for MG-Rover to go bankrupt so they could buy it for nothing.

Anyway, back to the Opel-Vauxhall sale. Just as with MG-Rover, there are bids from venture capitalists – in this case RHJ – and the one from Magna, which is promising to save more jobs.

As with MG-Rover, the politicians are doing all they can to twist things in the favour of the bid that promises more short-term jobs. In this case the politicians being Angela Merkel’s German government

Yet GM in the US is saying the RHJ bid is the one that will probably be better and more realistic for Vauxhall-Opel in the longer term.

GM says the Magna bid, because it is financed by the Russian state bank, will probably result in production moving east, and the Russians grabbing designs that actually belong to GM. Messy.

Also, RHJ’s bid envisages Opel remaining in the global GM design and parts-sharing network, which is probably the only way it can keep competitive.

But that’s the kind of industry understanding politicians just don’t seem to have.

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  1. Satsujinkyou said...
    Tuesday August 11, 2009 at 4:16 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Its normal that politicians think only on short terms they are all short minded…
    Just like must of the people that elect them, if a govermant thinks in long term and gets 120k people fired now, they wont be re-elected but if they screw thing over and 1.500k people are jobless in a “distant” future its ok. They may even get the simpaty of the locals.

  2. ciaran said...
    Tuesday August 11, 2009 at 4:34 pm Link to comment Report comment

    second comment yeah.
    i always thought that vauxhall should have went to fiat.yes jobs would have been lost but it would have given the company stabilty

  3. Jack H said...
    Tuesday August 11, 2009 at 4:40 pm Link to comment Report comment

    If gm sell vauxhall, doesn’t that mean that they will lose the vxr8 and any chance of getting the r8 malloo ute!?!

  4. GMML said...
    Tuesday August 11, 2009 at 4:41 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Short sighted German unions will do anything to safeguard nationalistic job security in Germany. However the Magna group they prefer has links with the Russian automotive industry who will see this as an opportunity to get high tech designs for peanuts.

    Anyone who is prepared to deal with these people must remember what happened to LDV.

    RHJ seems to have a better long term plan and an understanding of the market in all countries, they are aware that some German plants are not viable, they will hopefully make judgments on merit and do what is best for the future of the business rather than pander to bullying unions.

  5. Screen Name said...
    Tuesday August 11, 2009 at 5:05 pm Link to comment Report comment

    The US government has kept GM afloat for over 30 years, and they always will. As an American I gave up trying to understand why my fellow countrymen like the domestic brands. It’s a giant load of horse-sh*t. The Republicans are owned by big business and those that own stock in said businesses. The Democrats will suck up to anyone with an ax to grind. The mass populace is to uneducated and self-absorbed to understand that American cars are the worst in the major car manufacturing nations. I have tried to explain to people, on a number of occasions, that the Japanese can build cars in the States for the American market and make a profit, but the domestics are completely incapable of doing so. In order to do that they would have to shutter all the plants in the North and move the to the Southern states (where there are no labor unions). If you know anything of American politics you will know that no Democratic Congressman will allow a bill to pass that would see jobs move from their state to Republican states. Free market my ass!

  6. John G said...
    Tuesday August 11, 2009 at 5:35 pm Link to comment Report comment

    No way Vauxhall are brilliant, they make brilliant cars and sell much more than mg-rover did. British companies must go on! (Vauxhall IS British)

  7. Paul Horrell said...
    Tuesday August 11, 2009 at 5:39 pm Link to comment Report comment

    To Screen Name (5) It’s true the American companies made some pretty rubbish cars, but their current and future ranges are getting quite strong. I’d rather drive a Ford Fusion than a Toyota Camry. Also rather a (NAFTA-made) Chevy Cruze than the awful version of the Corolla they sell in the US. The Caddy CTS is well-regarded. The upcoming Buick LaCrosse is an interesting Avalon rival. The Buick regal will probably be more than OK, but both Buicks are based on our Insignia.

    The other trouble the US companies had is a result of US economics. The state doesn’t pay enough pensions or healthcare, so individual companies have to do it. As a manufacturing company improves productivity over time, it has fewer and fewer active employees contributing to its healthcare plan and pensions reserves. Meanwhile as the years pass it has more and more old ex-employees calling on that money.

    The same fate will befall the Japanese transplants in the US as their workforce grows older.

    Here in Europe, society as a whole (in the form of the state) takes responsibility for pensions and healthcare, so corporations that have been around for a long time are not placed at a competitive disadvantage to start-ups.

  8. CJ said...
    Tuesday August 11, 2009 at 6:12 pm Link to comment Report comment

    It’s a shame about Vauxhall. They’re a good manufacturer. I wouldn’t be bothered if someone like Peugeot or Cadillac went bust, but this is another “English” car maker “going down the swanny”.

  9. catersam said...
    Tuesday August 11, 2009 at 8:13 pm Link to comment Report comment

    The difference between MG-Rover and Vauxhall-Opel is that V-O sell desirable products.

  10. KarMa said...
    Tuesday August 11, 2009 at 8:20 pm Link to comment Report comment

    hardly surprising and highly predictable, I’m afraid. Politicians know that this “crashing with style” is more popular than “giving up with style before crash and deal”.
    They will play this part until the people will understand that the result is even worse in terms of employment loss than preventing the firm to crash dealing for the best.
    Unfortunately electors tend to like politicians that pretend to be (bad quality) trade unionists, even if the result is usually disappointing in practical terms.

  11. AlbertoUSA said...
    Tuesday August 11, 2009 at 9:08 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Paul, I really hate to call you out on this, but as a registered Republican and a car guy, I feel a bit obligated to bring this up.

    The healthcare situation is simple. We have a large private market because no one wants to pay for subsidized healthcare in America. I am on this side of the argument because I absolutely refuse to pay for something that will not benefit me as a person or benefit my immediate family. This is what the US gov’t is attempting to do with their healthcare bill (which, if it goes through, will seriously cripple the market).

    Because of the UAW, the Big Three have always been required to ‘get on their knees’ (as it were) and offer healthcare plans. This always costed them a lot of money and is one of many reasons why GM and Chrysler were on the ropes this past winter and spring.

    I blame a lot of factors for the fall of GM and Chrysler, but some of the biggest include the following:

    1. United Auto Workers (UAW): Union. See above.

    2. Cerberus Capital Management/Mercedes Benz: Stripped and flipped Chrysler, especially Cerberus. They said they would keep Chrysler and its subsidiaries together, but in reality were attempting to chop up the company behind the scenes.

    3. The economic meltdown last fall. GM and Chrysler were in the midst of recovering (or, at least, GM was), and when the market took a huge hit to the ‘gentlemans area’ in October, the Big Three took it to the chin…this is something that the American media typically fails to address (They fail to address a lot of things).

    As for Vauxhall and Opel, I hope that they simply go to the right bidder. I don’t know enough about it, but the cars they’re making are much better than they used to be. Any American will remember the Cadillac Catera of the Nineties (dumped for the CTS in 2002), a re-badged Opel Omega, which was pretty much a flop. I’ve seen the Insignia as a Vauxhall and I can say that I’m really impressed. They need to go to a good buyer…

  12. john joe said...
    Tuesday August 11, 2009 at 9:19 pm Link to comment Report comment

    i really only have bought cars from independant companies or easy companies to understand. eg i can buy a citroen knowing that peugeot give them engines and a load of parts. i can buy a fiat becuase i know they own themselves and a lot of other companies. but i find it very easy to buy the likes of a bmw or mercedes because they are from sucessful independant companies. car companies like vauxhall what is their cars because they are just rebadged opels and opels really just use a bunch of gm parts which i dont have much faith in. seat is another company i dont understand. why buy one of them when vw is only a few pounds more

  13. Puzzled said...
    Tuesday August 11, 2009 at 9:37 pm Link to comment Report comment

    John Joe, sad to say there are no independants anymore, even BMW or Mercedes and certainly not FIAT.

    Vauxhall is Opel, clear and simple. If you are lucky enough to buy one of just a few Astras you may have a Vauxhall in name, but most of the components in that Astra come from all over including the Magna group.

    Modern automotive products are global, Seat is just the VAG cheaper brand, and they are great cars, as are the same groups cheapest offering, Skoda, a lot of VAG customers suffer from badge snobbery, only wanting Audi or VW products, if they have that much money, why not.

    I drive a Mazda, which is part Ford, as is the Volvo, the Aston Martin, the Jaguar etc. it all becomes very confusing!

    What we in the UK need is to retain all types of manufacturing, just shuffling money never did anyone any good.

  14. veedub said...
    Tuesday August 11, 2009 at 10:39 pm Link to comment Report comment

    vauxhalls are not desirable cars they are rep cars and that is why they look so dated quickly because there are so many astras and vectras and now insignias around,i,m a 22 year old lad and vauxhalls just don,t cut it with us youngsters,we like the mg,s that were produced before rover went bust because they are fast,handle well and are really tuneable,they also look quite cool and i think that mg rover were onto something with these cars until they ran out of money,they showed there potential to make great drivers cars,vauxhall never handle well and there engines just sound flat

  15. hancox555 said...
    Tuesday August 11, 2009 at 11:02 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I like vauxhall they are a good compony and they are a majour seller in the uk and i feel they should go to a compony such as ford, vw or toyota componies that are sucsessful brands and could sustain vuaxhall and i belive that vauxhall wont go under like mg rover as they can make good cars which are way better than the mg rovers even as vauxhall has alot of good cars

  16. Tom TG said...
    Wednesday August 12, 2009 at 12:17 am Link to comment Report comment

    It isn’t MG-Rover all over again. Firstly, Vauxhall are doing fine, sure they may not be in the best of shapes but their doing better than when MG-Rover were sold by BMW. Secondly, their car range is new and (suprisingly) a little bit classy, compared to MG-Rover’s dreary, out-dated, rubbish that they were selling. And finnaly, after the recession, Vauxhall might do quite well but we still don’t know what the sought of light is at the end of the tunnel. Until banks start lending and the stock prices rise again we’re all in pretty deep… well you know.

  17. Showie said...
    Wednesday August 12, 2009 at 9:28 am Link to comment Report comment

    to jack h, post 3, i don’t know if anyone has replied to you yet but the VXR8 is a GM-Holden-HSV Clubsport R8, the Maloo is a HSV Maloo. Importers can still get their hands on the cars and the Clubsport, given its already sold in England, would probably continue to be sold there any way. the base version of the Clubsport (Holden Commodore) is only driven pretty much by assholes in Australia any way and its ugly.. very ugly.. so why would anyone want one? Ford’s range is slightly better how ever the ugliness still remains. i recommend the Ford-FPV F6. the best Australian car possibly ever and the 6 turbo is faster then the Ford/FPV and Holden/HSV currently produced, and better handling too. and better for day to day driving.

  18. LoveRover said...
    Wednesday August 12, 2009 at 9:44 am Link to comment Report comment

    It is clear that the government has been playing politics with peoples jobs and the future of Britain as a manufacturing and engineering base. Their economic strategy of licking the unseen bits of the financial institutions in London, has pushed up the value of Sterling to such a level that we couldn’t export. People didn’t by Rover because this lot in Whitehall made imports cheaper and at the same time, made home grown products more expensive comparatively.
    MG Rover did not fail because of poor products. It had some of the finest engineers in the business there. And don’t forget that there was new cars that had been designed and pre-production tested. All that was waiting was for the Longbridge workshops to be re-fitted. Furthermore, according to industry insiders, the mid-range car had the likes of Ford and Vauxhall worried. MG Rover failed because it did not get any support from a government that couldn’t care less about engineering and exporting. And it has only recently shown interest because it is obvious that the only way we are going to get out of the mess that they have largely created, is to earn revenue through GDP. and that means exporting.

  19. MGRover said...
    Wednesday August 12, 2009 at 10:00 am Link to comment Report comment

    I always think Opel are trying to ruin the Vauxhall brand. Couldn’t Opel restyle their badge like Vauxhall did.

    Although I do love one little Opel, and he’s called Oliver!!

  20. Astraman said...
    Wednesday August 12, 2009 at 12:54 pm Link to comment Report comment

    MG Rover failed because it had nothing worth buying. All they had was a hideously out-of-date supermini (25), a 300 year old Honda (45) and a German-interpretation-of- what-an-Englishman’s-car- should-be (75).

    The Insignia is Car Of The Year and the 7th best selling car in the UK, the new Astra is due soon and looks pretty good, the Corsa is selling well so all Vx-Opel need is a strong financial backer and they’ll be fine.

  21. des said...
    Wednesday August 12, 2009 at 1:07 pm Link to comment Report comment

    GM is not interested at all in saving Opel.
    They tried to screw the german government over, by getting 334 million euros of tax money, tried to stop Opel from selling cars in China and America, which is contraproductive if you want to explore new markets with the company and if you honestly believe, that RHJI will try anything, but completely destroying the brands, you appear to know as much about the car industry, than you claim the german politicians do.

    Opel isn’t MG-Rover.

  22. AlbertoUSA said...
    Wednesday August 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm Link to comment Report comment

    @catersam

    I understand your points, the unions have now been weakened in the USA as well.

    As an example, the CAW (Canadian Auto Workers) would not give in to the deal that Chrysler was attempting to broker with them, and in the end, they were significantly weakened. Since the 1990s, the unions’ strength has ebbed and flowed in the industry here.

    Now, as for Palin…her opinions (other than abortion, which is a subject I prefer not to talk about, because I’m on the fence, and on gay rights/marriage, which I’d prefer to leave up to the states) are somewhat in line with mine, but I don’t think she’s all that bright at all.

    She’s not going to run for president–the Republican party will definitely find someone else. And I’m quite certain that the healthcare bill in Congress now will probably not go through–people are in an uproar over it, as am I.

  23. Steven said...
    Wednesday August 12, 2009 at 4:56 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Rubbish, Opel is certainly not Rover, please… Vauxhall-Opel more than quadriples the amount of cars sold to the public compared to MG-Rover. I do like this show and all, but sometimes Britons can be a little… how should I put it… a bit optimistic about their role in the automotive industry. Furthermore, I am quite astonished about the fact that they say it’s sad, that Vauxhall would dissapear to be very frank. Seriously, I believe that GM sent a couple of dollar bills to the Top Gear Office, because I can’t think of any hedge fund anywhere, at any time of human history, who has advanced any company at all. All they do is drain the cash out, sell the brand, the patents, use some government guarantees and then sell the whole lot off again…

    In this case however, there is something particulary funny. The plan is to buy Opel from GM, squish it out of juice and then, SELL IT BACK TO THE SAME COMPANY THAT WENT BANKRUPT BECAUSE THEY PRODUCE CARS THAT NOBODY WANTS!!! Well I don’t know but, they’ve had like about more than 10 years to make things better at Opel and given the fact that they had to use government subsidies to stay afloat, one could suggest that it has been a kind of a quite miserably, and utter catalysmic disaster. What did they do to Saab? What did they do to daewoo?

    No, Magna-Steyr, in fact is a modern, efficiënt and everpresent manufacturer of car components and has a lot of knowledge about this sector, they supply: BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda, Opel, Chevrolet, Cadillac, Chevrolet,… They can even build cars, as they are building the current X3. They are far more comptent than those four Midlanders!

    The only argument that RHJ can make is that it will sell Opel back to GM, that isn’t even a good plan (well is is a plan?) What if GM can’t turn the tides? What if they are still buried in debt? Who will they sell to then?

    The truth is, that RHJ international is the Phoenix 4: a hedge fund run by Belgians(?) and Americans who have never set foot in a car plant and you can say of Vauxhall what you want; at least they design their own cars instead of Rover who sold 15+ year old Metro’s and 10 year old Honda’s and TATA’s because they couldn’t make one of their own.

    Please feel free to commentate on this as rudely as possible, and don’t forget to check for language mistakes as I have noticed that this is a national sport where I live…

  24. Paul Horrell said...
    Thursday August 13, 2009 at 10:08 am Link to comment Report comment

    To Steven (25)
    I’m not saying Opel is the same as MG-Rover in terms of numbers of cars sold. I’m saying it is reminiscent in that political interference might cause the wrong buyer to be given the go-ahead.

    However in one sense you are absolutely right. RHJ’s plan, I expect, is to buy Opel then later on sell it back to GM later. It sounds crazy, but what other option exists for GM? It can’t raise the money to hold on to Opel, so it is in effect sending it to the pawn shop for a while. We’ve got to hope that the new American GM will be making profit enough to do the buy-back.

    Because otherwise Opel will struggle. It can’t survive as an independent car maker. Too small. And GM won’t give it free intellectual property rights on the cars it makes right now, never mind the future pipeline.

    I agree Magna is a good and reputable and expert company. It is nothing like the Pheonix Four and I’m sorry if I allowed you to infer I was saying it is. But in the so-called ‘Magna bid’ most of the money isn’t Magna’s but the Russian state bank’s.

    Now like you I have a strong distaste for venture capitalists buying car companies (remember Chrysler) but I have an equal distaste for state banks being in control.

  25. James Mays Father said...
    Thursday August 13, 2009 at 10:30 am Link to comment Report comment

    This is ridiculous. I understand that people face loosing their jobs and sympathise with those people. But it must be understood that Vauxhall is no more British than TVR is these days. They are simply re-badged Opels and i shouldnt have to remind you that Opel is owned by GM. Imagine the money it costs on advertising and everything else that goes along with re-badging the cars as Vauxhall just to satisfy the British market. It just does not make good business sense

  26. jaydee said...
    Thursday August 13, 2009 at 6:31 pm Link to comment Report comment

    PS: American cars ARE crap because American management wants them that way. Don’t blame the unions for that, as bad as they are.

  27. ben said...
    Thursday August 13, 2009 at 6:52 pm Link to comment Report comment

    mg rover failed not because of crap products but because of the phoenix 5 and the crap bristish goverment.

    lets go back 50 years we had all austin morris etc. stll running but now what do we have? we have lotus and er thats about it the rover 75 was a proper british car and vauxhall went down the pan because gm is crap like all american stuff and if the same happens again most of it can be blamed on JEREMY CLARKSON for critising brisish stuff all the time and MARGRET THATCHER for selling england off hopfully mg will be good now in chinese hands as 4 vauxhall its srewed.

  28. AlbertoUSA said...
    Thursday August 13, 2009 at 7:15 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Jaydee, I may be a Republican but I am quite well aware that we are paying for other peoples’ healthcare, as has been the case for a very long time–it’s called Medicare, Social Security (which has a bit to do with healthcare), Medicaid, et cetera.

    PS: American management doesn’t want American cars to be uncompetitive and unreliable. Just ask Ford and GM–Ford is producing cars on par with Toyota in quality and is doing much better than anyone ever predicted. GM, while it was on the ropes, has produced some world-class vehicles lately. I cite the Cadillac CTS-V and the Corvette ZR-1 as a few examples. Do your research.

    If they wanted to be uncompetitive, than they would have been out of business decades ago, and would likely be where MG Rover is now.

    Entrepreneurial ability is the fourth factor of economic growth (other three are land, labor and capital). If they didn’t have that ability, then they wouldn’t have wanted their products to improve so that they could stay in the market. If that were to be true, then they would be gone a very long time ago.

  29. Matt said...
    Thursday August 13, 2009 at 7:52 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Perhaps the governments decision over MG-Rover had nothing to do with understanding the industry, as Paul claims, but they just took the decision that gave them the best PR. Lost jobs and bad PR mean lost votes and even if Labour don’t win the next election, which is likely, the buck will then be passed to the next government. If Vauxhall then fails it will probably be seen as that governments fault, so it’s a win-win situation for Labour to save jobs.
    However I’m cynical so maybe the government employees just want to believe bent truths or promises. They are human after all.

  30. Matt said...
    Thursday August 13, 2009 at 7:57 pm Link to comment Report comment

    BTW Ben you said ‘if the same happens again most of it can be blamed on JEREMY CLARKSON for critising brisish stuff all the time and MARGRET THATCHER for selling england off’. Chill out mate! It’s unions that have killed American companies and they are now killing its car industry. Un-profitable companies also burden the tax payer with higher taxes, and higher taxes are less popular than swine flu. Maggie split the unions up and sold off un-profitable companies. A win-win situation it just creates un-employment in the short term in small areas. As for Jeremy Clarkson he’s like Simon Cowell: You may not like his opinion but that doesn’t mean it’s not the truth.

  31. jaydee said...
    Friday August 14, 2009 at 5:03 am Link to comment Report comment

    To all the GOPers: I said you are paying for everyone’s health care, but not ONLY through the government programs. When someone comes to a hospital and can’t pay, the hospital treats and YOU pay. They don’t give anything away. Who do you think pays? Also, just get really sick sometime and stay sick with a chronic, incurable illness and see how long your insurance company stands by you. Get chained to a job just for the benefits. Seriously, I hope it happens to you. Hey, who wouldn’t love that. Think for a change. Of course, the whole world is wrong and the US is right. I should have realized. Sorry.
    Furthermore, management IS responsible for the design and engineering of lousy cars, not the people who build them. The union doesn’t design and market Vegas, Pintos, Citations, crappy early 2000s Malibus, etc, etc. Yeah, the US has built SOME great cars, but most are lowest common denominator pieces that serve the purpose. Not even Toyota can get away with that anymore.

  32. shlomo said...
    Friday August 14, 2009 at 8:15 am Link to comment Report comment

    dear people, is this an open forum on U.S. health policy ? can you not take your opinionated factualisations elswhere ?? pleeeeeeease..

  33. Horsepowerrrrr said...
    Friday August 14, 2009 at 9:05 am Link to comment Report comment

    ^^ what a jolly discussion…

    Erghk Rover. Don’t even like talking about them.

  34. sandwad said...
    Friday August 14, 2009 at 5:49 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Everyone is talking so fancy and smart about the vauxhall-opel sell out. me feel stuped

  35. gary hitchcock said...
    Friday August 14, 2009 at 6:11 pm Link to comment Report comment

    In response to paul borrells article re vauxhall going the same way as rover i think vauxhall/opels story is very different.rovers k~series engine in my opinion killed the company a highly flawed unit i loved rovers but my last 400 series was one of the worst cars mechanically i ever had pity SIAC dont own the rover name(they use the “Rowee”name instead.Tata own the rover name now)they ammended the head gasket prob MG~Rover buyers turned their backs in droves because of this which ultimately killed the Co.Vauxhall/opel are a symptom of the recession and of being part of a huge parent Co GM thats gone sour long live independent car Co”s again!

  36. David said...
    Friday August 14, 2009 at 7:23 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Unfortunately, Vauxhall is no longer a truly British company. It is simply two factories in the UK producing badge-engineered Opel designs. Apart from the Astra, all Vauxhalls sold in the UK are manufactured by Opel plants overseas. so inevitably the German government will call the shots as they run the lion’s share of the business.

  37. Big M said...
    Friday August 14, 2009 at 7:29 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I agree with what many have said before me. Vauxhall/Opel produce far superior cars to what MGRover were producing in 2005. Rover 75 vs Vauxhall Insignia? – No competition, really!

    Vauxhall cars are currently, and are historically, high sellers, so as long as the company isn’t run into the ground, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t continue to be successful. They just need someone who will care for the brand and run the business sensibly.

    Come on Mandleson, give me a couple of billion! I can do it!

  38. the article said...
    Saturday August 15, 2009 at 11:52 am Link to comment Report comment

    ..hmm the question at hand isn’t wether opel/vauxhall products are superior to mg rover’s but wether gvmnt. intervention will lead them the right way or into the ground

  39. JagerJin said...
    Saturday August 15, 2009 at 7:51 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Is it just me or on total wipeout does richard hammond look like a midgit beetlejuice??

  40. pringle lad said...
    Monday August 17, 2009 at 5:38 pm Link to comment Report comment

    i hope so vauxhalls are crap and allways have been

  41. I said...
    Tuesday August 18, 2009 at 12:16 am Link to comment Report comment

    I know it has nothing to do with vauxhall, although it is very sad, put in on youtube jeremy clarkson beatbox by swedemason :)

  42. Tojó said...
    Wednesday August 19, 2009 at 4:09 am Link to comment Report comment

    You will be impressed how many MG-rovers are still alive throw out europe and the totaly diferent opinions from the ones posted here….

  43. gary hitchcock said...
    Wednesday August 19, 2009 at 8:50 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Are nanjing(siac)making MG”s at longbridge?not very many new ones on the road ive heard they not selling to well in china either pitty MG~Rover didnt stick with the honda tie up instead of the BMW/phoenix shambles.

  44. warren t said...
    Wednesday August 19, 2009 at 9:17 pm Link to comment Report comment

    you are a legend ignore what people complain about. ignore um !! jeremy clarkson keep up the good work .

  45. catersam r500 said...
    Thursday August 20, 2009 at 8:27 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I CAN TELL YOU ANY M.P.G BHP 0-60 AND MORE AND WILL FOR ANY CAR SO GET ME ON THAT SHOW SO I CAN SHOW UP JEZZA AND CHALLENGE HIM AND ANYBODY ELSE BUT NOW FOR MY COMMENT.I REMEMBER MY DAD WORKING FOR MG-ROVER HE HAD A ZR AS HIS COMPANY CAR I THOUGHT IT WAS BRILLIANT! BUT BACK TO THE SUBJECT I WOULDNT HAVE THOUGHT THAT VAUXHALL COULD BE GOING BUST ESPECIALLY WITH THE VXR8 THEY FEATURED A COUPLE OF SHOWS AGO AND THE ASTRA VXR MY DAD ALSO HAD AS A COMPANY CAR.

  46. CATERSAM R500 said...
    Thursday August 20, 2009 at 8:33 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Sounds pretty clued up for a 9 year old…a challenge id love to see!!!

  47. carmanic 2000 said...
    Thursday August 20, 2009 at 8:36 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I ave to agree,a challenge not to b missed.Nice one catersam r500!!

  48. catersam r500 said...
    Thursday August 20, 2009 at 9:07 pm Link to comment Report comment

    well nice one sort it if you can or give us a challenge now.

  49. EARTH LOVER said...
    Friday August 21, 2009 at 10:22 am Link to comment Report comment

    What’s Copenhagen?

    The capital of Denmark, but you knew that. Commentators are billing the international negotiations in Copenhagen this December (officially known as COP15) as “the most important meeting mankind has ever had”.

    COP15 is the culmination of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process, and it is supposed to produce a binding global agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by enough to prevent ‘dangerous anthropogenic interference’ in the climate.

    In practice, most countries agree that this means limiting global temperature rise to below 2˚C above pre-industrial temperatures. Above 2 degrees, it is believed that frightening feedback mechanisms in the climate system will kick in, causing warming to accelerate to a runaway pace that humanity will no longer be able to prevent by simply reducing our own greenhouse gas emissions. Pretty near every country in the world has signed up to the UNFCCC – which is a good start.

    The UNFCCC’s greatest achievement to date has been the Kyoto Protocol, which set binding targets for 37 industrialized countries and the European community for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These targets amount to an average of five per cent cuts against 1990 levels over the five-year period 2008-2012. What happens after 2012 is what must be decided at COP15 in Copenhagen this year.

    Many scientists now believe that it is too late to achieve the primary UNFCCC goal. As Professor John Holdren, now President Obama’s science adviser, put it way back in 2006: “We have already passed the stage of dangerous climate change. The task now is to prevent catastrophic climate change.”

    Unfortunately the increasingly grim news from the scientific community has not meant that the world’s political leaders have knuckled down to work harder on reducing emissions. Far from it; worldwide emissions have been rising faster than even the worst-case scenarios predicted by the global authority on climate change, the IPCC. Meanwhile, we are almost no closer to reaching a deal at Copenhagen than we were 4 years ago when Kyoto came into force.

    At present, the very highest aspirations of any rich nation at COP15 would, if realised in full, give us a 50% chance of avoiding crossing the 2˚C threshold to runaway warming; yet we are very unlikely to achieve even this best-case scenario at Copenhagen.

    Most observers agree that the outcome at Copenhagen – and hence, perhaps, the future of civilization – will ultimately be determined by what the USA and China can manage to commit to between them. But the truth is every nation has a crucial role to play in the negotiations, from the powerhouses of the G8 richest economies to the poor, low-lying countries of AOSIS, the Alliance of Small Island States. Nothing less than a comprehensive global deal that is as strong as the science demands will do. All of humanity must agree a way to work together to avert this disaster – or else.

    The international politics of climate change, and the relative positions of the world’s nations – both with regard to one another and to the absolute targets dictated by the climate science – are fiendishly difficult to follow and understand. Even the delegations themselves can have a hard time keeping up.

  50. catersam r500 said...
    Friday August 21, 2009 at 10:46 am Link to comment Report comment

    HELLO ANYONE THERE?

  51. Anastasios said...
    Friday August 21, 2009 at 11:09 am Link to comment Report comment

    Again??

  52. EARTH LOVER said...
    Friday August 21, 2009 at 1:42 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Ok then;

    What’s Copenhagen?

    The capital of Denmark, but you knew that. Commentators are billing the international negotiations in Copenhagen this December (officially known as COP15) as “the most important meeting mankind has ever had”.

    COP15 is the culmination of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process, and it is supposed to produce a binding global agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by enough to prevent ‘dangerous anthropogenic interference’ in the climate.

    In practice, most countries agree that this means limiting global temperature rise to below 2˚C above pre-industrial temperatures. Above 2 degrees, it is believed that frightening feedback mechanisms in the climate system will kick in, causing warming to accelerate to a runaway pace that humanity will no longer be able to prevent by simply reducing our own greenhouse gas emissions. Pretty near every country in the world has signed up to the UNFCCC – which is a good start.

    The UNFCCC’s greatest achievement to date has been the Kyoto Protocol, which set binding targets for 37 industrialized countries and the European community for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These targets amount to an average of five per cent cuts against 1990 levels over the five-year period 2008-2012. What happens after 2012 is what must be decided at COP15 in Copenhagen this year.

    Many scientists now believe that it is too late to achieve the primary UNFCCC goal. As Professor John Holdren, now President Obama’s science adviser, put it way back in 2006: “We have already passed the stage of dangerous climate change. The task now is to prevent catastrophic climate change.”

    Unfortunately the increasingly grim news from the scientific community has not meant that the world’s political leaders have knuckled down to work harder on reducing emissions. Far from it; worldwide emissions have been rising faster than even the worst-case scenarios predicted by the global authority on climate change, the IPCC. Meanwhile, we are almost no closer to reaching a deal at Copenhagen than we were 4 years ago when Kyoto came into force.

    At present, the very highest aspirations of any rich nation at COP15 would, if realised in full, give us a 50% chance of avoiding crossing the 2˚C threshold to runaway warming; yet we are very unlikely to achieve even this best-case scenario at Copenhagen.

    Most observers agree that the outcome at Copenhagen – and hence, perhaps, the future of civilization – will ultimately be determined by what the USA and China can manage to commit to between them. But the truth is every nation has a crucial role to play in the negotiations, from the powerhouses of the G8 richest economies to the poor, low-lying countries of AOSIS, the Alliance of Small Island States. Nothing less than a comprehensive global deal that is as strong as the science demands will do. All of humanity must agree a way to work together to avert this disaster – or else.

    The international politics of climate change, and the relative positions of the world’s nations – both with regard to one another and to the absolute targets dictated by the climate science – are fiendishly difficult to follow and understand. Even the delegations themselves can have a hard time keeping up

  53. catersam r500 said...
    Friday August 21, 2009 at 4:26 pm Link to comment Report comment

    IM WAITING FOR A QUESTION.

  54. Rabidibomshanx said...
    Friday August 21, 2009 at 6:39 pm Link to comment Report comment

    True True True its happened all over again.

  55. but just to be fair said...
    Friday August 21, 2009 at 11:17 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Although admittedly this is obviously out of place,in referance to earthlover’s little speech, I can’t help pointing out that there are two sides to every coin. For those of you intrested in CLIMATE SCIENCE, arguably the most political science .. in the world.. and who don’t neccesarily belive the scare stories, you are not alone. Check out climatescience.blogspot.c om as an antidote to the alarmism and general scaremongering displayed by governments and the media in general.

  56. EARTH LOVER said...
    Saturday August 22, 2009 at 6:29 am Link to comment Report comment

    Global warming is a conclusion based on observations of a great many global indicators. By far the most straightforward evidence is the actual surface temperature record. While there are places — in England, for example — that have records going back several centuries, the two major global temperature analyses can only go back around 150 years due to their requirements for both quantity and distribution of temperature recording stations.

    These are the two most reputable globally and seasonally averaged temperature trend analyses:

    NASA GISS direct surface temperature analysis
    CRU direct surface temperature analysis
    Both trends are definitely and significantly up. In addition to direct measurements of surface temperature, there are many other measurements and indicators that support the general direction and magnitude of the change the earth is currently undergoing. The following diverse empirical observations lead to the same unequivocal conclusion that the earth is warming:

    Satellite Data
    Radiosondes
    Borehole analysis
    Glacial melt observations
    Sea ice melt
    Sea level rise
    Proxy Reconstructions
    Permafrost melt
    There is simply no room for doubt: the Earth is undergoing a rapid and large warming trend.

  57. Tojó said...
    Saturday August 22, 2009 at 7:36 am Link to comment Report comment

    Off topic…we love cars…we want to enjoy good cars and have fun…dont spoyle with this earth thing…try to have fun by riding some bicicle to not polute or go eat green grass or something…

  58. catersam r500 said...
    Saturday August 22, 2009 at 8:45 am Link to comment Report comment

    who wants a vxr8?not enough unfortunately or a astra vxr.

  59. jolly roger said...
    Saturday August 22, 2009 at 6:06 pm Link to comment Report comment

    @63.. well.. they are a bit chav aren’t they ? yes, they are..

  60. jolly roger said...
    Saturday August 22, 2009 at 6:09 pm Link to comment Report comment

    @ earth lover.. all this at 6 in the morning on a saturday ???? How anal is that ?! You’ve got to be kidding m8 :p

  61. jolly roger said...
    Saturday August 22, 2009 at 6:18 pm Link to comment Report comment

    ps did you have coffe b4 you started.. is your toaster electric ? Do you flush your toilet ? Do you have a fridge ? Do you walk to work ? Do you work at all ? Will a transition planet suffice your appetite for paranoia ? Will it make the ice melt slower or freeze ? Why are you on this blog ? Why the propaganda ? Why in such an arrogant manner |? Didn’t your parents teach you any manners ? Does the cause always justify the means ? What do you WANT ????

  62. catersam r500 said...
    Sunday August 23, 2009 at 11:27 am Link to comment Report comment

    I AM 9 [ITS THE SAME CATERSAM R500 AS BEFOR]YEARS OLD AND CAN TELL YOU ANY MPG BHP AND MORE SO GIVE ME A CHALLKENGE

  63. jolly roger said...
    Sunday August 23, 2009 at 8:05 pm Link to comment Report comment

    @67.. the batmobile ?

  64. holden chick 34 said...
    Sunday August 23, 2009 at 11:26 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I HAVE TO SAY NOT BAD AT ALL.I THOUGHT THE HSV CLUBSPORT HERE IN AUSTRALIA WAS HOT.EARTHLOVER YOU MAY HAVE PROOF TO BACK UP WHAT YOU WRITE,BUT THIS IS A SITE TO TALK ABOUT CARS.IF YOU WANT TO TALK
    GREEN GO TO THE GREEN CORE SITE AND LEAVE THIS FOR OTHERS WHO REALLY WANT TO TALK CARS.

  65. holden chick 34 said...
    Sunday August 23, 2009 at 11:45 pm Link to comment Report comment

    TOPGEAR DID YOU PULL TGA BLOG SITE OFF?
    I LIKE OTHERS WERE UNIMPRESSED WITH THE GUTTER MOUTHS THAT WERE POSTING THEIR COMMENTS ON OUR SITE.I CHECKED TODAY AND THERE IS NO TGA SITE.A SHAME THAT OTHERS LIKE ME WONT BE ABLE TO MAKE GENUINE COMMENTS.WHAT PEOPLE LIKE THAT DIDNT REALISE IS THAT OUR KIDS LIKE TOPGEAR TOO
    AND THEY READ THE POSTS AND CAN SEE THE WORDS THAT WERE BEING PUT IN.IS THERE A CHANCE THAT THOSE WHO WERE BULLYING AND USING THOSE SWEAR WORDS HAVE THEIR POSTS PULLED AND GIVEN 2 WARNINGS?I LOVE BOTH SHOWS AND WE GET THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS I THINK.PEOPLE JUST DONT SEE THAT.HAVE WE LOST TGA SITE?

  66. Earth Lover said...
    Monday August 24, 2009 at 6:04 am Link to comment Report comment

    Private motor vehicles are the product of a coalescence of opinion centred around a particular world view. By their nature, they reflect values that are selfish, greedy, inconsiderate, brutal, shallow and destructive. Robber baronetcy writ large and modern, if you like. They appear to represent power without responsibility, travel(close to the French travail: ‘work’) without effort, style and wisdom by the possession of a high-priced, disposable and entropically-vulnerable artefact, and foster the perverted idea of distance measured in time taken to traverse it at maximum motorised speed, rather than units of distance. They have the erroneous and much propagandized idea of personal freedom attached to them. Costing on average $120/wk to buy, own and run, not counting the time spent idling in traffic – how free does that make you? They punish inattention suddenly, swiftly and catastrophically, they maim and murder indiscriminately, they shackle financially, they poison slowly and irritate and eventually enrage with their inefficiency. I’m sure being stuck repeatedly in traffic does bad things to your brain, and rewires your neurons to favour aggression and one-upmanship. Whilst our society is held hostage by the dictates of the motor industry and its siren song, other forms of transport are held in necessary subjugation to it. Trams and trains struggle to gain the funding they need to remain viable solutions to transportation needs (after being bought up and destroyed in the 1940s and 50s in many major cities – by, you guessed it, front organisations for oil companies and the motor industry), and us cyclists are literally in a losing battle to the death (how many times has a motorist been killed by a cyclist? Do I need more than one hand to count?) with it. Economists (apologists for right-wing attitudes, in the main) will argue that motor transport is absolutely vital to welfare of modern societies – ecologists would argue that modern societies will not know true welfare, in an integrated, broad , significant manner, until we stop designing our built environment for cars first, people an ill-thought-out and distant second, and everything else back round the last corner third.
    And that’s not even getting into the machinations of multinational companies involved in this gigantic ball and chain around our collective ankles. Nor the toxic residues it leaves, indirectly, and directly.
    Before you jump down my throat for being an anti-motoring, tyre-spiking, duco-scratching, Critical Mass attending hemp-wearing eco-fascist, I own a car. I drive it on average twice a week for about 70km, the remainder of my trips being by bike. I hate driving in rush hour – seeing millions of dollars worth of vehicle and billions of dollars worth of road choked to an angry standstill by the stupid and irrational desire to pretend everyone else isn’t there, or their journey isn’t important (hello the average car commercial – do you ever see those pristine examples of motoring nirvana in a traffic jam?), and that we can get where we want, when we want, in complete and insulated comfort. I know many kind, intelligent and lovely people who own cars, but I don’t know any such who think that it is God’s gift to man, unlike the average 20-odd year old male. This demographic has always been the ripest fodder for any propagandistic campaign to co-opt them to the greater glory, the young male has the arrogance and temerity (and the flipside, deep doubt about his life course and self-worth) enough to champion any cause, this time it’s a cool motorised suit of armour and the glamour game surrounding it

  67. jolly roger said...
    Monday August 24, 2009 at 6:23 pm Link to comment Report comment

    @71..You are simply so rude. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. I truley believe that the key in succesfully communicating our ideas however is respect. A concept your style lacks. Your convictions are clear, the essence is a little dumbfounded but hey, if it makes you feel better.. What bothers me personally is your tone. Rude, disrespectful, inconsiderate, arrogant, condescending just to name a few.. It doesn’t help in conveying your message. It simply peeeez ppl off.. If indeed that is your aim.. Change your tone and stop waisting your time ..and ours…
    hope it makes sense.. and in giving the benefit of the doubt thank you for understanding.

  68. jolly roger said...
    Monday August 24, 2009 at 6:29 pm Link to comment Report comment

    ps..In my humble opinion, everything you wrote can be transversley reflected on ideals on transition towns and low carbon communities.. so if you want a battle of the petrol head vs treehuggers..your on the right path.. if you’d like to establish a more meaningfull conversation please change your tone.

  69. jolly roger said...
    Monday August 24, 2009 at 6:35 pm Link to comment Report comment

    pps.. believe those who are seeking the truth.Doubt those who find it.Remember only that in you which is me can hear what i’m saying… savy ??

  70. Earth Lover said...
    Tuesday August 25, 2009 at 8:42 am Link to comment Report comment

    Thanks for your advice Mr Roger. There is no conflict between ‘tree-huggers’& ‘Petrolheads’. Treehuggers drive cars, petrol heads wouldn’t mind a future too you know. But…. The pressure is on, things have to change quickly.

  71. jolly roger said...
    Tuesday August 25, 2009 at 4:23 pm Link to comment Report comment

    :D

  72. MÄGER said...
    Wednesday August 26, 2009 at 7:55 pm Link to comment Report comment

    in estonia we think BMW 5 series e28 was the most stilish,and gratest car BMW ever mad….i dont care abouth vaxhall

  73. steathisprime said...
    Friday August 28, 2009 at 6:04 pm Link to comment Report comment

    There’s one big difference between Ford and Vauxhall, vauxhalls are cheap nasty plastic bits of rubbish that have no soul… Vauxhall don’t really care how their cars drive, they are like a toys in a toy shop,looking shiney and cosmetically appeasing but underneath plastic with the build quality of a GI Joe action figure. The Accountant is the man who runs vauxhall and thats increasingly obvious to anyone who walks into a vauxhall/opel showroom. Ford, in the shadow of it’s famous founding father is a complete contrast to vauxhall. Ford care about the driving dynamics of their motors, they want the driver and the car to be one, working in harmony for not much money!!!!! Ford dont need to go the any governments with their tail between their legs asking and begging for money, why? because Ford is run like a family global business. If you get credit, you pay your debtors off. Personally, I’d love to see Vauxhall go bust, serves them right for the bad cars and bad decisions they have made.

  74. jolly roger said...
    Friday August 28, 2009 at 6:56 pm Link to comment Report comment

    @77..than wait till you see the new ones! :D !!!!!!

  75. geronimo said...
    Friday August 28, 2009 at 7:02 pm Link to comment Report comment

    “78..that explains why korean cars sell so well// as for ford.. even the mustang was/is let down by the rubbish they manage to fill it with.. wont waiste my time in trying to defend the rest of the mediocre line up they’ve created through the past 80 years… you can still smell their cheapness in an aston and for crying out loud what a stink ! Everything you wrote has little or nothing to do with why vauxhall/opel are in a bit of a struggle .. nothing at all.

  76. pointer said...
    Saturday August 29, 2009 at 12:36 am Link to comment Report comment

    There is always a demand for conventional automobiles for mundane tasks. Witness how many astras the Met Police drive. Ford no longer manufacture vehicles in the UK nor do Peugeot or MG rover. Hence there is demand for the vauxhall butt I doubt if there is demand for the opel. If vauhall does go then Honda, toyota and nissan will move in to take up the slack of uk based production. The curious thing is that vauxhall opl designs are much more advanced than their US parent vehicles so where will they now test bed them?

  77. CJ said...
    Saturday August 29, 2009 at 9:23 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I was thinking since my previous comment. (8). Vauxhall is known as many different things around the world. But lets concentrate on Vauxhall and Opel. Surely they are 2 companies with 2 bank balances, even though they are making the same cars. If Vauxhall & Opel merged into one. (Preferably keeping the Opel badge and name as I prefer it!) Vauxhall (UK Branch) would make cash from Europe. If you get what I mean.

  78. CJ said...
    Saturday August 29, 2009 at 9:23 pm Link to comment Report comment

    By the way: I have a Vauxhall Vectra and it’s perfectly acceptable for what I use it for. Carrying stuff and motorway journeys.

  79. monster said...
    Sunday August 30, 2009 at 10:40 am Link to comment Report comment

    What is happening about the new road tax system, is it coming in or not. Because if it does my car which is a 1.8 Lancer falls in the new (i band ) that means by 2011 i will be paying 300 pounds a year.

  80. tintenter said...
    Monday August 31, 2009 at 7:02 pm Link to comment Report comment

    just had a thought, mr clarkson wants to ban caravans from britains roads, my theory is that myself and my fellow caravanners will then get rid of our guzzling towcars ,and replace them with more green types,thus making bill oddie very happy and then he and mr clarkson can be best buddies for ever and ever!

  81. Lucas from home said...
    Monday August 31, 2009 at 9:30 pm Link to comment Report comment

    caravans should not be banned, but first burned and destroyed in a public square then they should be banned

  82. Lucas from home said...
    Monday August 31, 2009 at 9:32 pm Link to comment Report comment

    hey, one more thing, james needs a better hair cut

  83. Rich T said...
    Thursday September 10, 2009 at 9:17 pm Link to comment Report comment

    With reference to the above comments on the Met Police and the Astra believe me if it was down to the officers they would not be using them – unreliable gutless crap -bought on price and not for any other reason. Why do you think most UK forces use the far superior Focus?!

  84. Best Registry Cleaner said...
    Monday June 14, 2010 at 10:40 am Link to comment Report comment

    This guy is really lucky !

  85. Twain said...
    Tuesday June 15, 2010 at 5:57 am Link to comment Report comment

    Как хорошо было Адаму: когда он произносил что-нибудь умное, он был уверен, что до него никто этого не говорил.
    What a good thing Adam had. When he said a good thing, he knew nobody had said it before. (С) Twain
    Думаю, Вы уловили к чему я привёл эту цитату…..

  86. Teen-ka said...
    Thursday June 24, 2010 at 3:40 pm Link to comment Report comment

    А я вот сессию сдала наконец-то!!! И кто придумал летом учиться, из года вгод, убеждаюсь, что это полный бред. Крыша едет, как у нас студентов, так и у преподов! Ну невозможно в такую жару сидеть в душных аудиториях.
    Кстати, те кто скажет, что кондиционер – это спасение в жару, глубоко ошибаются. У нас в группе 2 человек с бронхитом слегли!!!
    В общем, всем студентам – сил и упорства в сдаче экзаменов, а тем кто сдал – поздравляю с началом лета для нас!!! УРА!!!!

  87. Betsdyept said...
    Wednesday June 1, 2011 at 6:53 am Link to comment Report comment

    mjog ahugavert, takk

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