Insiders report a number of issues damaging sales, such as the reluctance of traditional customers of the old Plus 8 to accept Morgan’s new V6-engined Roadster. Orders for the hand-built cars, traditionally full for years, are now booked ahead only for the next few months according to sources.
Dealers accuse Morgan’s management of failing to market the new Roadster properly, pointing to a lack of press coverage. “Just when we need to convince sceptical owners that the Roadster is a great car, we can hardly find a magazine test to back up our story,” says one. Another warns that the Roadster is overpriced, as it is more expensive than a Porsche Boxster.
However Morgan spokesman Matthew Parkin, is adamant the carmaker is in fine shape. He says UK sales are down about 10% this year, but claims overseas demand has been buoyant, with exports now accounting for two-thirds of sales, up from 50% five years ago.
He put Libra Motive’s demise down to a decline in Central London demand in favour of dealers in the Home Counties who, he says, are having a record year.
Libra Motive was run by Dan Ward, who left his position as head of PR at Ford of Britain to join the dealership. Ward has now joined the MG Rover press office.